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SBD/October 2, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship
Penske Racing Signs Extensions With Keselowski, No. 2 Primary Sponsor Miller Lite
Published October 2, 2013
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LOOKING TO REBOUND NEXT YEAR: Coming off last year’s Sprint Cup title, Keselowski has struggled in the No. 2 Miller Lite car this year. He failed to win a race and he became only the second defending Cup champion to fail to make the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship. Penske and Keselowski believe the combination of a long-term deal with Miller Lite plus two other sponsorships will boost the No. 2 team’s revenue and allow it to invest in improving the car in coming years. Keselowski: “The naked eye looks at this as going from 36 to 24 (races). The initial reaction to that is that this is a reduction to the sport. But that’s not how things are working here. This is a strategic play. … What this does for us is open up 12 races to increase sponsorship and revenue base for our team, which we think is going to make us more competitive.” He added that the sponsorship extension and his contract extension will help him improve as a driver, as well. “When you have a deal extended long-term, this is beyond myself, this is sponsorship, you can put that out of your head. When you can put those out of your head and focus on the task at hand, performance, that can be healthy for the team. You can become more focused.”
SALARY INCREASE AS WELL: Keselowski, who is represented by John Caponigro of Sports Management Network, also got an increase in salary under his new deal. Penske said that some of the increase in costs for the No. 2 team will be because of driver salary. He added, “One of the good things is we pay our drivers based on performance. To (Keselowski’s) credit, he did not come back after he won the championship and knock on our door and say, ‘You have to increase my salary.’ That’s the type of guy he is.”