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Volume 25 No. 63
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JTG Daugherty Racing Is Snapping Into A Slim Jim This Weekend

Slim Jim will be on the car driven by Chris Buescher as part of a deal between Kroger and Conagra Brands
Photo: JTG daugherty racing

Former longtime NASCAR team sponsor Slim Jim is making one of its more visible returns to the sport in years this weekend with a primary paint scheme on JTG Daugherty Racing’s No. 37 Chevy as part of a tie-up with Kroger. Slim Jim will be on the car driven by Chris Buescher as part of a deal between Kroger and Conagra Brands, which owns the beef jerky brand and joined Kroger’s NASCAR vendor program this year. Kroger gets more than a dozen of the companies that sell goods in its stores to help augment the cost of the NASCAR sponsorship, and those companies choose the brands they want promoted in the sport as a result. Conagra bought two primaries this year; it ran its Healthy Choice brand on a car earlier this year, and this weekend it will run Slim Jim. The team also produced three light-hearted digital spots around the activation that show Buescher and fellow JTG driver A.J. Allmendinger doing activities around the shop while biting into Slim Jims. The team will also have Slim Jims at the track this weekend to give out to crew members. Slim Jim has essentially been out of the sport for years after a longtime partnership with the Bodine family of drivers, aside from a few appearances in the NASCAR Truck Series as a co-primary with Menards.

NATURAL CONNECTION: Conagra Brands Kroger Team Marketing Dir Tim Schatz said, “For Conagra as a whole, Kroger is a critically important customer, and we know that the NASCAR program is a key focus for Kroger, so as good partners, we were excited about the opportunity to join the team when it presented itself. ... If you look at our portfolio, there’s an incredible overlap between NASCAR fans and consumers who love the Slim Jim brand. There is that legacy as a former sponsor in NASCAR, and there’s a lot of innovation around the Slim Jim brand [in the form of a new Slim Jim Premium line that was just released], so it seemed like the perfect opportunity to celebrate Slim Jim on the car.” Schatz cited data that shows that 60 million people shop at Kroger grocery stores annually. 

JTG UPDATE: JTG VP/Sponsorship Marketing & Corporate Partnerships Paul Zindrick noted that Conagra is in the top tier of the JTG/Kroger vendor program, a status that grants them an extra asset where JTG sets the brand up on a weekend trip to the track where they hold several business meetings with key Kroger execs in relaxed settings. Zindrick said: “It’s something that we thought was going to be very important, but it’s turned out to be really, really impactful.” Meanwhile, Kroger recently announced that it is implementing at-home delivery to its stores in a program called Kroger Ship, and Zindrick said it’s still to be determined whether Kroger will promote that in NASCAR next year or stick with ClickList, the program where Kroger shoppers pick out their order online and then come pick it up at stores.