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Volume 26 No. 134
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Sources: Aspen Dental Not Expected To Return As SHR Sponsor

Aspen Dental is not expected to return to Stewart-Haas Racing next year, according to sources, amid the forthcoming departure of driver Danica Patrick. The dental-care chain signed on to sponsor the NASCAR team in '15 for four primary races and this year increased its investment to a double-digit amount on SHR’s No. 10 Ford driven by Patrick after the unexpected departure of Nature’s Bakery. Longtime CMO Mark Censoprano left the company in January and was replaced by William Setliff, a veteran marketer who is said to be re-evaluating Aspen Dental’s marketing strategy.

The length of Aspen Dental’s deal is not known, but sponsor contracts can include clauses that allow an out if there is a driver change. Aspen Dental did not return requests for comment, and SHR declined comment aside from noting that it is continuing to promote Aspen Dental (as exemplified by a recent NBCSN segment). Aspen Dental also has a multiyear partnership with NASCAR that started this year, but it is unclear whether there are any out clauses that could see the pact end earlier. NASCAR declined comment.