SBJ/October 31-November 6, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Pitch readied for spots with Danica Patrick

With Danica Patrick this week set to announce eight of the 10 races she will run in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Stewart-Haas Racing is putting the finishing touches on a sales proposal for her remaining open inventory.

The team plans to sell three multiyear associate sponsorships in 2012. One of those associates will convert to a primary sponsor for three Cup races in 2013. Team executives are determining pricing for those deals and will work with IMG, which represents Patrick, on the sales process.

GoDaddy will sponsor all 10 of Patrick’s 2012 Cup races.
Photo by: GETTY IMAGES
Associate deals with high-profile drivers like Patrick typically cost more than $450,000 a race.

“We’re going to go out and attack the marketplace to find several sponsors that mesh with our team culture, Danica and our existing partnership base,” said Brett Frood, Stewart-Haas Racing’s executive vice president. “Ultimately, it’s about creating a story line that fits with Danica. We’ve got a skilled driver, one that’s courageous, versatile and beautiful, and a parallel to these is we have the first female driver to run full-time Cup.”

Patrick announced in August that she would leave the Izod IndyCar Series in 2012 and race in NASCAR full time. She plans to compete in the entire Nationwide Series season with JR Motorsports and run 10 races in the Sprint Cup Series with Stewart-Haas. She plans to race a full-time Sprint Cup schedule with Stewart-Haas in 2013. GoDaddy will sponsor all 10 Cup races she runs in 2012 and 33 of 36 Cup races in 2013.

Frood said that the team won’t come to companies with a specific list of associate-level sponsorship assets for those 10 races in 2012 or Patrick’s full-time schedule in 2013. Instead, it will work with companies to develop a package of assets that match their marketing goals. One of the assets that may be included, depending on the company, is Tony Stewart, who co-owns the team and often is included in deals with sponsors interested in using him for appearances or promotional use.

“We don’t send out proposals with one production day and two or three appearances because until you understand who your partner is you don’t know what their needs are,” Frood said. “The assets will be worked out with whomever that entity is to be sure it works with their short- and long-term strategies.”

Frood said Stewart-Haas would consider putting a driver in Patrick’s Cup car for the other 26 races if it can find enough sponsorship support.
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