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SBD/June 6, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship
The King's Speech: Petty OK With RPM Downsizing, Hopes STP Returns For More Races
Published June 6, 2011
DECADE-LONG REST: YAHOO SPORTS’ Jay Hart noted STP was “sold to a private equity firm last year” and is “once again ramping up its profile in the racing business.” STP in ‘72 “became the first nationwide company to back a driver full time when it paid Petty Enterprises $250,000 to put its logo on the hood of Richard Petty’s No. 43 for all 31 races.” Petty said, “That was like money falling out of the sky because we had never had sponsorship.” The relationship “finally ended after the 2000 season when Clorox, which purchased STP in 1998, moved in another direction.” Hart wrote the “re-emergence of the STP 43 conjures up more than memories, it raises the question of today’s full-time sponsors, which are few and far between.” With DuPont no longer serving as Jeff Gordon’s primary sponsor, the “longest-tenured relationship between driver and primary sponsor is Jimmie Johnson and Lowe’s, a relationship that dates back to the final few races of the 2001 season.” Besides Johnson, the only “current driver and primary sponsor pairing that have been together for at least five years is Denny Hamlin and FedEx.” Petty: “Economy-wise and stuff, it gets tougher for anybody to stay with anybody for that long.” RPM's deal with STP was for “just one race,” but the “hope is to add more” (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 6/3).