SBD/July 31, 2014/Marketing and Sponsorship

Leavine Family Racing Adds Christians-Only Bank As Sponsor For NASCAR Bristol Race

Thrivent's logo will appear on Michael McDowell’s car at Bristol
Leavine Family Racing yesterday announced a multirace deal for religious-based, nonprofit bank Thrivent Financial to sponsor the No. 95 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford driven by Michael McDowell. The deal includes primary sponsorship during the Aug. 23 Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway and four associate sponsorships (LFR). In Minneapolis, Kavita Kumar notes the move "comes as the financial services company looks to expand its awareness within the larger Christian community since it opened its membership ranks last year to all Christians -- not just Lutherans." Thrivent Dir of Content Marketing Craig Stacey said that NASCAR "seemed like a good fit" because about 76% of its fans "identify as Christians." He added that NASCAR data showed that half of them also "have a financial investment and half of them have incomes of more than $50,000." It also helped that McDowell "often speaks about his Christian faith." Thrivent's new heart logo "will be plastered on McDowell’s car at the Bristol race," and in addition, McDowell and his pit crew will "be decked out in Thrivent-logo’d gear." Thrivent as part of the deal also will "get some mentions" on Christian radio network K-Love, which also sponsors LFR. Thrivent’s NASCAR deal "drew a mixed response on its Facebook page." Some thought it was a "great idea, but others wondered whether Thrivent’s money could be better spent in other ways" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 7/31). 

CLEAN LIVING: Roush Fenway Racing yesterday announced it has extended its partnership with High Ridge Brands' Zest soap and the Sprint Cup Series No. 17 Ford driven by Ricky Stenhouse Jr., into the '15 season. Zest will again serve as a primary for Stenhouse for multiple races in '15, as well as a season-long associate sponsor (RFR).
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