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Volume 21 No. 2
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BofA extends Hendrick deal, will be presenting sponsor of website

Bank of America has signed an extension of its associate sponsorship of Hendrick Motorsports that will see the company become the first presenting sponsor of the team’s website.

In addition to the presenting sponsorship, the bank will be able to feature Hendrick Motorsports’ four drivers — Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Kasey Kahne — in promotions. The drivers also will make appearances for the bank.

High-profile drivers like Jimmie Johnson, plus the Web piece, drew Bank of America.

Financial terms of the one-year extension were not available.

Bank of America has sponsored Hendrick Motorsports since 2008. It most recently collaborated with the team to promote its “Express Your Thanks” campaign and “Hiring Our Heroes” initiative, which provide support to military service members and veterans.

“Hendrick Motorsports is the best name in race team driving,” said Charles Greenstein, Bank of America’s senior vice president and global sponsorship marketing executive. “There’s a great set of assets and access to talent. We drive a lot of client relationships through programming and they support us on that, particularly around the military.”

Greenstein said that being able to add the presenting sponsorship of was a major factor in the company’s decision to renew. The bank increasingly is looking to connect with customers online, and the presenting sponsorship will give it marquee advertising space on the site and result in its logo being featured when fans log into Hendrick’s mobile app.

Hendrick Motorsports’ website averages 81,000 unique visitors a month, according to the team. The team declined to share internal traffic numbers but said site visits were up 44 percent this year and video views were up more than 91 percent since 2012.

The team recently added to its digital staff, bringing on former Denver Broncos website writer Gray Caldwell as content editor and former DigitasLBi executive Jessica Rudis as digital strategist. They are pushing out an average of 11 pieces of original content a week and expect to double content production in the coming months.

Hendrick Motorsports also plans to redesign the site before the start of the 2015 season. It will monetize the site through sponsorship, not advertising.

“As we continue to build our strategy from a digital standpoint, there’s a lot more we can do,” said Pat Perkins, Hendrick Motorsports’ vice president of marketing. “This is the first time we’ve done [a presenting sponsorship] and our focus will be to make sure [Bank of America] gets that value. As we build out a new, we’ll see where additional integrations and opportunities go.”

In addition to sponsoring Hendrick Motorsports, Bank of America is the official bank of NASCAR, a sponsor of the NASCAR Hall of Fame, and title sponsor of Charlotte Motor Speedway’s fall race, the Bank of America 500. The NASCAR sponsorship runs through the end of this season. The race title sponsorship runs through the end of 2015.