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SBD/January 24, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship
Crazy 88s: Dale Jr. Still Without Primary Sponsor For 13 Sprint Cup Races
Published January 24, 2013
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SMOKE SIGNALS: Tony Stewart earlier this week noted he still has several sponsorship openings for his three Stewart-Haas Racing Sprint Cup cars, but ESPN.com's Marty Smith noted Stewart's approach to business has "evolved with time from one that concerned corporate partners to one that endears him to them." Stewart's assets include the Cup team that "represents nearly 30 corporate sponsors on the racetrack and in the marketplace, a four-team sprint car conglomerate that competes in the World of Outlaws and USAC, and a destination dirt track in Rossburg, Ohio." Stewart-Haas Racing Exec VP Brett Frood said, "No doubt Tony is a competitor and sometimes wears the emotions on his sleeve, but we have found that our partners support his passion and authenticity." Frood said that Stewart's focus on the grassroots segment "enables him to maintain a connection with both the boardroom suits and the workingman -- a core demographic for partners." Smith noted among Stewart's other business interests are "dirt racetracks in Macon, Ill., and Paducah, Ky.; Tony Stewart's Original, a line of food products that includes barbecue sauce, salsas and beef jerky; Custom Works remote-control cars; and True Speed Communication, a public relations and marketing firm." As team owner and driver, Stewart "must leverage his own brand with every partner who signs on to sponsor the organization." It is "time-consuming and taxing, but necessary." Frood said, "There's no doubt all of our partners here believe in Tony and are here in many ways because of Tony. He does appearances for every one of them. It creates a challenging lifestyle for him" (ESPN.com, 1/22).