SBD/October 19, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Go Daddy Reaffirms Its Commitment To Danica Patrick; Cites Deal As "Valued Asset"

Danica Patrick hopes to still be in Go Daddy's Super Bowl commericals
Go Daddy on Thursday said that NASCAR driver Danica Patrick “remains a ‘valued asset’ and is far from being in limbo” as a company endorser, according to Brant James of ESPNW. Go Daddy CMO Barb Rechterman said that Patrick “still has a strong relationship and a future with the company.” Rechterman: "Danica is a valued asset to our organization. We have each grown our brands together with great success. We plan to continue with Danica for years to come.” IMG Senior VP/Business Innovation Mark Dyer, who reps Patrick, said that his client is “under consideration for more Super Bowl ads.” Dyer said Patrick "would like to continue her streak." Dyer refuted reports that Patrick's contract with Go Daddy “expires after 2013, stating that she has a multiyear deal in place as she begins her full-time Sprint Cup career next season with Stewart-Haas Racing.” Though her role as a TV spokesperson for Go Daddy “has been assumed by actors, Patrick was featured with IndyCar counterpart James Hinchcliffe in a series of ads this season in which they sparred in a nonexistent competition for the main presence on the Go Daddy home page” (ESPNW.com, 10/18). The AP’s Jenna Fryer noted Go Daddy first signed with Patrick “as an associate sponsor in IndyCar." Rechterman said that Go Daddy is “interested in discussing opportunities with Patrick for the Indianapolis 500 next season.” Patrick on Thursday said that she “wants to be in the Super Bowl spots but understands it's not her decision.” Patrick: "Obviously with an outside agency producing the commercials for the first time, there's a chance that I won't be in the spots. I'd like to be in the commercials but if not, that's OK.” She added, "The racing program is unaffected and Go Daddy is going to give me great support as they have for several years.” Fryer noted it is “possible this is much ado about nothing, and that Go Daddy used Thursday's announcement to create interest in Patrick's potential involvement” (AP, 10/18).

WHERE TO GO FROM HERE? SI.com’s Cary Estes asked, “Could this be the first sign that Danica-mania has run its course, and she could soon be heading toward Jeremy Lin territory?” There is “no doubt that Patrick remains one of the sport's few transcendent stars who can appeal to the non-NASCAR fan,” but how long “will that last if she doesn't start performing better on the track?” If Go Daddy “goes in a different direction, then it might be a sign that Patrick's clout with the company is slipping, and that her future in the sport might not be quite as secure as originally thought” (SI.com, 10/18).
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