SBD/January 26, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Time For Another Round: MillerCoors Signs Extension With NASCAR, Penske Racing

(l to r) Roger Penske, Keselowski, MillerCoors' Andy England, Miss Coors Light Rachel Ruper and NASCAR's Steve Phelps
MillerCoors today announced it is extending its commitment to NASCAR, signing a multiyear extension with Penske Racing that will see its Miller Lite continue to sponsor the No. 2 Dodge for 36 races. It also signed a five-year extension with NASCAR that will see the Coors Light brand remain the sport's official beer. MillerCoors VP/Media & Marketing Services Jackie Woodward said, "MillerCoors has been a prominent supporter of NASCAR and its fans for 40 years. It seemed like a good time for us to put this together. We have such a strong relationship with the Penske organization. Miller Lite will now be one of the few primary sponsors throughout the season." Woodward said that both brands will ramp up their activation in digital and social media in the coming years. She pointed to Miss Coors Light's Facebook page as an example of what she expects the company to do more of in the future (Tripp Mickle, SportsBusiness Journal).

BACK IN THE BIG SHOW: YAHOO SPORTS’ Nick Bromberg reported NASCAR driver Elliott Sadler “will be back in the Sprint Cup Series for the Daytona 500.” Sadler, who race full-time on the Nationwide Series for Richard Childress Racing, will drive RCR's No. 33 at Daytona "with sponsorship from General Mills and Kroger.” The car “is locked into the race because that's the car that Clint Bowyer drove for RCR last year before moving on to Michael Waltrip Racing” (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 1/25). The No. 33 car “will also run four more Cup races with driver Brendan Gaughan and sponsorship from South Point Hotel & Casino,” the Las Vegas resort which is owned by Brendan's father Michael Gaughan. Brendan Gaughan previously “announced an 18-race Nationwide and Truck Series schedule with RCR” (AP, 1/25).

LOOKING INTO THE FUTURE: Driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. discussed his future in NASCAR and said, “In the perfect world, I may slow down and go run in the Nationwide Series and have some fun with that. I might run some trucks, I have never done that. They have a lot more relaxed schedule and the garage area is a lot more calm.” Earnhardt added, “I will probably drive way longer than I should, but I don’t think I will become an owner in the sport. The challenges with that are something that I don’t have interest in working on.” Earnhardt brought up a possible broadcasting career and said, “I don’t even know if I would be any good at it. I do want to have a reason to go to the track and be around the people that are there and build new relationships and be a part of the sport” ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 1/25). 
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