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Volume 25 No. 84
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Target Ending Full-Season Deal For Larson's No. 42, But Will Maintain Majority Of Races

Target will reduce the amount of NASCAR races it serves as the primary sponsor of Chip Ganassi Racing's No. 42 Chevy driven by Kyle Larson in ’17 to allow other companies to work with him. Target, which along with its handful of vendor partners has been Larson’s sole major sponsor since he joined NASCAR’s premier series, will still have the majority of races on the No. 42. NASCAR’s premier series runs a 38-race schedule. Target previously had all the races, though the Minneapolis-based retailer passes through a number of them annually to brands it works with like Energizer and Axe. The deal is part of a mutual agreement between CGR and Target. CGR President Steve Lauletta said, "It’s something that we worked on together, and it allows Target to continue to market their brand in a big way with Kyle Larson, our team and NASCAR -- but allows us a little more flexibility to react to opportunities that were coming the team’s way. Everybody should benefit from that.” Sources said the move frees up about 5-10 primaries worth of inventory on the No. 42. Lauletta added that Target will still activate across in multiple ways off the track in ‘17 including in-store. Target’s deal expires on the NASCAR side after ’17, and the retailer ended a 27-year partnership on Ganassi’s IndyCar side after the ’16 season. Target’s previous spend on the No. 42 was not known, but full-season primary sponsorships in NASCAR run as high as the $25M annually range. How much Target will save from the reduction could not be learned by presstime.

STAYING ON TARGET: The move to reduce from sponsoring every race is not unusual, as sponsors across motorsports have reduced from full-season sponsorships over the last decade amid major changes in the media and marketing industries. The move can also be beneficial to teams, as it allows them to get away from having all their eggs in one basket, which can be detrimental when a brand decides to exit, leaving the team with no other current partners. Lauletta said, “We’ve been with them for a really long time, and all the decisions during that time have been made together. They haven’t been reactionary decisions, they’ve been well thought-out and they’ve always been made in the spirit of partnership so that each of us can continue to do what’s in the best interest of the overall program.” Ganassi’s other car in NASCAR’s premier series, the No. 1 driven by Jamie McMurray, is mainly sponsored by McDonald’s but has a couple of other significant partners including Cessna and Credit One Bank. McDonald’s and Cessna have both dabbled with Larson before by sponsoring races he ran in the Camping World Truck and Xfinity series.