Joining Peyton's Place: Nationwide Signs Dale Earnhardt Jr. To Personal Endorsement Deal
Nationwide has signed Dale Earnhardt Jr. to a multiyear PSA, continuing a longtime association with the retired driver and customer of the company. Financial terms were not disclosed. Nationwide had a PSA deal with Earnhardt from '08-14 before ending that to focus fully on its primary sponsorship of Hendrick Motorsports. The insurer is rekindling the personal deal with Earnhardt after his retirement. Nationwide will focus on using Earnhardt in a similar way that it has used Peyton Manning, with speaking engagements to employees and customers on top of some consumer-facing activation, and slowly introducing a focus on financial services to relate to his retirement. Nationwide has used Earnhardt across a number of its divisions, including pet and small-business insurance, and will continue to do so moving forward. The company also is interested in having Earnhardt help push his fan base to supporting Alex Bowman, who is taking over the No. 88 Chevy at HMS and is hopeful that Earnhardt's move to the NBC broadcast booth will keep him relevant. Earnhardt will remain involved with the Nationwide Children's Hospital, which recently had a room renamed after him and his wife Amy. Nationwide was in Charlotte last week shooting several social media videos with Earnhardt. Nationwide, an official sponsor of the NFL, will also have Earnhardt make an appearance alongside Manning at an event for the company in Minneapolis next week for the Super Bowl.
REDUCING HIS PORTFOLIO: Earnhardt yesterday said that Nationwide is one of a handful of brands he is still looking to work with in his post-driving days, as he will pare back his partner list. He said, "Obviously I want to continue on and have relationships, but the ones I want to do are the ones that are going to mean the most. The Nationwide relationship has been the one that has felt very genuine to me the whole time. We talk about being a customer and all that, and it's true. ... They came up with a plan to use me using forward and my job outside of that is to stay relevant and hold some sort of value so it'd be a win for them. I think they were excited that we were going to go into broadcasting, go to the Super Bowl, and a lot of what I'm doing -- there's a bit of that (desire to stay relevant) driving it."