SBD/April 23, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Axalta Faces Challenges Using Jeff Gordon NASCAR Deal To Help With DuPont Rebrand

Gordon's No. 24 car had Axalta's Cromax Pro as primary sponsor last week in Texas
The NASCAR marketing team for Axalta Coating Systems -- which purchased and rebranded DuPont's car paint business last August -- “remains essentially the same" following the company's transition, but trying to get fans “to identify with the new entity may take a bit of work,” according to Jeff Pappone of the GLOBE & MAIL. Axalta North American Marketing Manager Michael Bennett and Axalta Racing Manager Larry Deas are “the point men for the company’s rebranding of the sponsor relationship between four-time NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon and the former DuPont operation that goes back more than two decades.” Bennett said, “While we as a company have a challenge of re-branding, we see this as an opportunity -- having an established racer like Jeff with our new name and logo on the vehicle is a tremendous asset.” Axalta's plan is to "focus more on the existing products that customers and fans recognize, and then ease them into getting acquainted with the new moniker.” So far this year, it has been “using the No. 24 to show off its Cromax Pro product, which was the primary sponsor on the car a week ago in Texas.” Still, there are “challenges after being linked to the same driver for an extended period.” Before Axalta gets to a point where it sees fans “starting to identify with the new name, it will have to go to work on Gordon first.” Gordon said about the switch, “My biggest thing right now is trying not to say DuPont” (GLOBE & MAIL, 4/23).
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