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Volume 25 No. 175

Marketing and Sponsorship

Richard Childress Racing is celebrating its 50th anniversary next year with plans including two gold paint schemes at the Daytona 500. They will appear on the No. 3 Chevy driven by Austin Dillon with sponsorship from Dow, while Daniel Hemric will drive the No. 8 with co-sponsorship from Bass Pro Shops and Caterpillar. The No. 8, which has been out of regular use in the Cup series for several years, will replace the No. 31 as RCR's second full-time car. RCR also will feature a special logo for the year that included 15 stars as a nod to its 15 championships that it has won across NASCAR and ARCA. The logo will be incorporated into merchandise, marketing collateral, digital content, ad programs and driver firesuits throughout next season. The team is also planning a content plan to celebrate the 50 years on RCR’s digital and social channels throughout the ’19 season.

GREAT EIGHT: Sponsorship plans were announced for Hemric's No. 8 on Friday, with renewed brands being Bass Pro, Caterpillar and Liberty National Life Insurance. There also is a new deal with Cessna, which will now be a primary sponsor with two NASCAR organizations, with the other being Chip Ganassi Racing. RCR announced that VF Workwear will step up from sponsorship in the Xfinity Series to joining its No. 8 program on the Cup level. The exact number of primary paint schemes each sponsor will get was not revealed, but RCR CMO Ben Schlosser said the car is close to being sold out for the ’19 season. RCR is changing from the No. 31 to the No. 8 both to start fresh after Ryan Newman left the organization this past season and to hearken back to the team’s and Hemric’s roots. Late NASCAR HOFer Dale Earnhardt Sr. used the No. 8 in his first Cup start, while Dale Earnhardt Jr. used the number from ’00-07. Both the Earnhardts and Hemric are from Kannapolis, N.C.

ESPN, which owns the New Mexico Bowl, will pick up the tab for the sponsorless game
Photo: UNIV. OF NORTH TEXAS

The New Mexico Bowl will be played Saturday without a title sponsor for the first time since '10, as Gildan's contract "quietly ended around nine months ago," according to a front-page piece by Maddy Hayden of the ALBUQUERQUE JOURNAL. ESPN, which owns the game, will "pick up the tab in the meantime." New Mexico Bowl Exec Dir Jeff Siembieda said that organizers are "close to finding a replacement title sponsor." Bowl Media Relations Dir RaeAnn McKernan said the game, which this year pits Utah State against North Texas, has the "full support of ESPN Events." McKernan said ticket sales are “on pace with most years." Last year’s bowl, which matched Colorado State and Marshall, "had around 26,000 attendees" (ALBUQUERQUE JOURNAL, 12/14). Meanwhile, the Birmingham Bowl, which is also owned by ESPN Events, has signed on jewelry chain Jared for a one-year title sponsorship deal. The game has been without a title sponsor since '14, when BBVA Compass entitled the event (THE DAILY).

WHAT'S IN A NAME? USA TODAY's Brent Schrotenboer noted title sponsorship of the Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl cost Elk Grove Village, Ill., $300,000, but Mayor Craig Johnson "estimated it already has received millions of dollars’ worth of publicity from the deal, helping show how even the lowest bowl game can hold huge value -- and why the bowl industry is poised to get even bigger." The sponsorship contract for the Dec. 21 game "calls for logos featuring 'Makers Wanted' at the 50-yard line, on uniform patches and other name displays." ESPN is "required to use the name 'Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl' in all on-air references, in addition to airing commercials for the village during the game." Johnson said, "Go on Google right now, and type in ‘Makers Wanted.’ First listings will be Elk Grove Village. That’s marketing. You want somebody to (notice the bowl name) and go, 'What the heck is Makers Wanted?'" He said the village is “extremely happy” with the deal. Schrotenboer noted this is for "one of the least watched and attended bowl games -- before the game is even played" (USA TODAY, 12/13).

Colgate's ad will feature actor Luke Wilson in his first ever Super Bowl commercial
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Colgate is "taking a comedic route this year" in its return to the Super Bowl, according to Ann-Marie Alcantara of ADWEEK. The 30-second spot "will air during the second commercial break of the third quarter." The ad, which is being produced by Red Fuse Communications, N.Y., and directed by Bryan Buckley, will "feature actor Luke Wilson in his first Super Bowl commercial." This marks Colgate's second appearance on the game, as it made its debut in '16 (ADWEEK.com, 12/12). The ad will feature Colgate's "flagship Total brand," marking the "first time it has featured its oral-care brand" (ADAGE.com, 12/12).

ANOTHER LAP: In Phoenix, Russ Wiles noted GoDaddy has tapped former driver and longtime spokesperson Danica Patrick for a "series of advertisements, media appearances and public-speaking engagements, focusing on her entrepreneurial and inspirational messages." Patrick said she wants to "show people how life can transition." She also "emphasizes the importance of websites and social marketing to small business people." While Patrick and GoDaddy have had a long partnership of working together on Super Bowl ads, there has been nothing mentioned about a return to the game this season (AZCENTRAL.com, 12/12).