SBD/May 15, 2014/Marketing and Sponsorship

Hendrick, DC Entertainment Sign Promotional Deal, Including Superman Theme For Dale Jr.

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Hendrick Motorsports has signed a three-year deal with Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment that will allow them to pair drivers like Dale Earnhardt Jr. with superheroes like Superman for on- and off-track promotions. The agreement will result in Hendrick and DC creating original content around drivers and superheroes, licensed merchandise and special paint schemes and marketing programs. Hendrick VP/Marketing Pat Perkins said, “This is a unique and exciting agreement to align their property and platforms with our property and platforms. There’s a lot of opportunity here.” Perkins believes the deal will help Hendrick engage and attract younger fans, which is a key initiative for the NASCAR industry, and deliver more marketing assets to corporate sponsors. The first promotional program will be on display at the May 25 Sprint Cup race in Charlotte, where Superman will be featured on Earnhardt’s No. 88 car. In addition to a Superman-themed paint scheme, Earnhardt’s biggest sponsor, the Army National Guard, will be paired with a DC program called the Superman Hall of Heroes, an online gift-giving portal, where people can submit stories about the personal heroes in their lives and make donations in their heroes’ honor. The donations benefit the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. Hendrick has been in talks with DC for more than a year. The team reached out to DC about partnering. Perkins said, “We’ve done a lot with studios and companies like DC in licensed programs, but it’s always been driven by a third party or tied to another property. We were just an outlet with a paint scheme. The focus was around one event and the lead time and ability to activate was a challenge. We wondered how we could make a partnership more efficient for them and us so that we could harness the power of a relationship mutually.”
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