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Volume 20 No. 42
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Premier Sprint Cup team inventory still available

Efforts to fill open, high-end Sprint Cup sponsor inventory continued as the NASCAR season got under way at Daytona.

Stewart-Haas Racing needs to fill six races on Tony Stewart’s No. 14 car and three races on Danica Patrick’s No. 10 car, while Hendrick Motorsports is still searching for a sponsor for 13 races on Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s No. 88 car.

Stewart and Patrick have open inventory.
Neither Stewart nor Earnhardt have open inventory available until the summer, which gives both teams time to find sponsors that fit their car and driver. Both teams are trying to maintain their pricing for each race. The cost of top Cup drivers can range from $600,000 to $1 million per race.

“The market right now has what I feel is healthier activity,” said Pat Perkins, Hendrick Motorsports vice president of marketing. “We’re engaged in a lot of good conversations and feel fairly confident we’ll be able to introduce some partnerships.”

Brett Frood, Stewart-Haas Racing executive vice president, hopes that the media coverage Patrick received after winning the pole for the Daytona 500 bolsters Stewart-Haas’ sales efforts. During the course of the week, she did 12 hours of interviews with 40 outlets ranging from NBC Nightly News and ABC World News Tonight to Parade Magazine and The Daily Telegraph. “SportsCenter” also showed six minutes of live coverage of her pole-winning press conference.

Frood said the team is targeting brands in the health, fitness and beauty categories.

The co-primary sponsor would get appearances, marketing rights, the primary paint schemes and firesuit for three races. GoDaddy sponsors 33 races, and Frood said they are willing to be flexible with the three races a co-primary sponsor receives.

Like Stewart-Haas Racing, Hendrick Motorsports has the No. 88 car covered with sponsors until the summer. Perkins said that Hendrick Motorsports remains open to signing one or multiple partners to fill its open races on the No. 88 car. They have held discussions with some companies interested in all 13 races and others interested in fewer.