SBD/December 16, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Dow, General Mills Not Worried About Backlash From Sponsoring Rebirth Of No. 3 Car

Austin Dillon's No. 3 car will have two different paint designs next year

While Dow Chemical and General Mills “couldn’t be two more different companies,” the publicity generated with the No. 3 car “was attractive to the sponsors, who didn’t appear worried about any backlash” over returning the late Dale Earnhardt’s number to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, according to Bob Pockrass of SPORTING NEWS. Dow last week inked a multiyear deal with Richard Childress Racing to be the primary sponsor of the No. 3 driven by Austin Dillon in the Cup Series, while General Mills inked a partial-season primary sponsorship deal for its Cheerios brand. Dow “hopes to use NASCAR to cultivate more business from companies involved in NASCAR.” But Pockrass asks, “What if Dillon was driving the 33 instead of the 3?” General Mills Manager of Shopper Marketing & Motorsports Gregg Dorazio said, “Austin’s a great guy and obviously I don’t know (what we’d do) on a decision like that -- we’re just thrilled to be on the 3 with Austin.” Pockrass noted the Cheerios car “will be yellow with a good deal of black as part of the paint scheme.” The Dow scheme “is white and black.” Earnhardt “made the No. 3 famous in an all-black RCR car.” RCR Owner Richard Childress said, “(The schemes) were more sponsor driven. We wanted it to be built around this (deal) instead of being solid black.” Pockrass noted “in addition to business to business, it is expected that the companies will earn a significant amount in merchandise sales, which often are split equally between the team, sponsor and driver.” While the deal was announced “too late for diecasts to be ready for Christmas, they will be" by the start of the '14 season. Dow “also hopes that its partnership with RCR will increase relationships with other automotive companies that can use Dow products” (SPORTINGNEWS.com, 12/15).

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