Wheels & Deals: Danica Patrick Prominently Featured In Weekend Coca-Cola Spots
ADWEEK's Lauren Johnson noted NASCAR driver and Coca-Cola spokesperson Danica Patrick for yesterday's Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 was touting the soda "through digital ads that target sports fans." NASCAR.com and Yahoo.com/NASCAR featured "homepage takeovers" on Saturday. In addition, Turner Sports "built a custom rich media ad for Coke -- dubbed a twig ad -- that lets users customize and send a virtual bottle straight from the unit." Mobile ads and pre-roll video from a TV spot debuting this weekend were "planned parts of the marketing mix" (ADWEEK.com, 7/3). Patrick's eighth-place finish was her second-best Sprint Cup performance since she moved to NASCAR's highest level (THE DAILY).
SEMINOLE WIND: In Jacksonville, Garry Smits wrote Brian Vickers is the "new favorite driver of Florida State football fans -- even those who had a long allegiance to other Sprint Cup stars," as his No. 55 featured a FSU paint scheme for yesterday's Coke Zero 400. The car was a "popular stop" for FSU fans. Michael Waltrip Racing "tried to work out an appearance by FSU coach Jimbo Fisher with the car and the crew but Fisher was unable to make it." Defensive coordinator Charles Kelly was "able to be at the track before the race." Vickers also "wore an FSU-themed driver’s suit and members of his crew had FSU hats with Vickers’ No. 55 on them" (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 7/6).
MARKET WATCH: NASCAR VP/Licensing & Consumer Products Blake Davidson said of drivers' influence in online market sales, "A driver’s on-track performance has a significant impact on merchandise sales, especially if that driver is winning. New or special paint schemes will often drive fan interest and therefore spike sales. When Hendrick Motorsports, through a partnership with DC Comics, featured Superman on the hood of Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s No. 88 Chevrolet earlier this season, there was immediate demand for the merchandise. Fans were already buying the die-cast replica of Brian Vickers’ Florida State car before the paint scheme’s debut" (NEWS-JOURNALONLINE.com, 7/6).