SBJ/September 17-23, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship
Stewart-Haas busy shopping spots on two cars
Published September 17, 2012, Page 6
The open inventory became available after the U.S. Army declined to renew its 14-race, primary sponsorship on the No. 39 car, and Office Depot declined to extend its 22-race, co-primary sponsorship of the No. 14 car. The sponsorships are the most significant ones the team has lost since losing Old Spice, a 14-race, co-primary sponsor on the No. 14 car, in 2010, and Burger King, an associate sponsor with two primary paint schemes on the No. 14, in 2011.
|Stewart-Haas is trying to sell 15 to 20 races as primary sponsor for Tony Stewart’s car.
“Having inventory to sell is never a position anyone wants to be in, but if I have inventory, there’s nobody better to endorse a brand than Tony Stewart,” said Brett Frood, Stewart-Haas Racing executive vice president. “We’ve never had difficulty finding a sponsor for him. He’s an individual who transcends the sport.”
Frood declined to specify what the cost per race will be on the No. 14 car, but marquee drivers like Stewart historically command more than $450,000 per race from sponsors.
The team is looking to find a single sponsor that will buy more than 15 races on the No. 14. It is approaching sponsors in categories ranging from quick-service restaurants to automotive parts to companies looking to appeal to do-it-yourself consumers.
“There are a lot of companies that fit [Stewart’s] authenticity and fan base and what they stand for — that old-fashioned work ethic and entrepreneurial spirit,” Frood said.
Frood said there’s a chance that Office Depot, which has sponsored Stewart since 2009, takes some available races on the No. 14.
On the No. 39 car, Stewart-Haas Racing is in talks with Quicken Loans, which became a primary sponsor for nine races this year, about expanding its support of the team in 2013. Associate sponsor Outback Steakhouse will sponsor two races next year, as well.
Frood said the team still envisions expanding to three cars in 2013. It hopes to make Danica Patrick, who is scheduled to run 10 Sprint Cup races this year, a full-time driver next year. Patrick finished 29th or lower in her first five Sprint Cup races, but she was more focused this year on getting experience than finishing well.
“Our goal has been to expand, and I don’t see anything deterring us from that,” Frood said.