SBJ/January 23-29, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Banana Boat sunscreen warms up to racing with team, track deals

When the Banana Boat brand team attended NASCAR races in Phoenix and Chicago last year, it was entranced by the number of people sitting in the sun. Team members saw hundreds of thousands of potential customers and couldn’t believe that no other sunscreen brand had found them.

“There was this gap,” said Adrianne del Sol, associate brand manager, Banana Boat. “There’s no real sunscreen company or product at these races educating people. We decided, ‘Let’s get there.’”

Banana Boat signed with Ganassi Racing to reach fans of both NASCAR (through Jamie McMurray’s car) and IndyCar.
Photo by: BANANA BOAT / CHIP GANASSI RACING
Banana Boat, a division of Energizer, decided to jump into the motorsports world by signing a sponsorship with Ganassi Racing that will put its logo on Dario Franchitti’s car for every IndyCar race and make it an associate sponsor all season on Jamie McMurray’s No. 1 NASCAR Sprint Cup entry and primary sponsor on that car during the Sprint Cup race at Pocono in June. The brand also signed agreements with 10 racetracks, including Daytona, Talladega and Indianapolis, so that it can set up a display and offer sampling at races.

The first display will be set up at the Daytona 500. It will be branded as the “Banana Boat Coolzone Pit Stop” and feature a photo experience, giveaways and an opportunity to sample the brand’s new, continuous spray Coolzone sunscreen, which cools and protects skin.

“There are some products that fit with motorsports but for whatever reason haven’t been involved in the past,” said Ganassi President Steve Lauletta. “Banana Boat has a chance to stake out their place as a leader.”

Banana Boat signed with Ganassi Racing because it offered a chance to reach both IndyCar and NASCAR fans, and its brand managers felt that gave the brand a chance to reach two different demographics.

“We’ve been impressed by the passion of NASCAR fans and IndyCar fans,” said Hilary Daly, senior brand manager, Banana Boat. “We’re excited to bring Banana Boat into that.”

Banana Boat worked on the deal with the agencies Ryan Partnership, Stage Active Brand Marketing, Amplitude Marketing Group and its advertising agency, Grey, and media buying agency, MEC.

In addition to the Banana Boat deal, Earnhardt Ganassi Racing has brought on Belkin as a new sponsor and expanded its relationship with Liftmaster. Belkin will be the primary sponsor on McMurray’s car at Martinsville, Va., in April and will use the deal to promote its accessory line of products, such as iPhone and iPad cases. Liftmaster, which signed on as an associate sponsor with the team last year, expanded its sponsorship to include a primary sponsorship on the No. 1 car at New Hampshire in the fall.

The deals close out all of Earnhardt Ganassi’s primary inventory for 2012.

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