Haas Automation CEO Gene Haas has landed the first company to sponsor both his NASCAR and Formula One teams.
Old World Industries is joining Stewart-Haas Racing in a new deal for 2019 and is upgrading its partnership with the Haas F1 Team that started in July. That will make the Illinois-based company the first to become a partner of both SHR and Haas F1, which were founded in 2009 and 2016, respectively.
For the F1 team, OWI will upgrade its branding from the front noseplate to the more visible rear-wing endplates. In NASCAR, it will buy three primary sponsorships and serve as an associate sponsor for the other 35 races on SHR’s No. 14 Ford driven by Clint Bowyer, who has a longtime relationship with the company. The deals will promote Peak coolant and antifreeze, and BlueDef diesel exhaust fluid brands.
Terms were not disclosed, but the assets combine to be worth a mid-seven-figure annual spend.
Mike Verlander, SHR’s vice president of sales and marketing, has focused on companies like Peak that have both domestic and global marketing objectives.
“I’ve known [OWI CMO Bryan Emrich] for a while, and we talked about [OWI’s] global expansion and growing its touchpoints with distributors in Latin America, Asia and other places where NASCAR doesn’t race,” Verlander said. “As that was established and as 2018 has played out with the on-track success of Clint, who has been a brand ambassador of theirs, that success triggered conversations [about adding an SHR element to the deal].”
Cross promotion around the teams will begin this week, when Bowyer will head to Circuit of the Americas for a promotional appearance with OWI alongside Haas F1 Team drivers Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen, who will be there to compete in F1’s annual race in the U.S.
OWI works with Illinois-based agency Protential on its motorsports marketing.
Emrich said that OWI is eyeing both business-to-business and business-to-consumer objectives for its deals with Haas’ teams. On the B2B side, OWI is passing through its hospitality assets at F1 races to key distributors and their customers, and measuring new business from those companies. On the B2C side, OWI is looking for boosts in brand equity metrics like awareness.
Emrich added that through the initial splash OWI made in July with Haas F1, the company was “able to leverage [the location of F1 races matching up with OWI’s key markets] this year and saw it was really working for us,” which is why it has now bought additional assets.
OWI’s consumer activation next year will also include putting some of its assets from the deals — both driver and car — on products sold at retail.
OWI most recently has been a team sponsor with Joe Gibbs Racing in NASCAR, but it used to sponsor Bowyer when he was at Michael Waltrip Racing. OWI is also a major sponsor of the NHRA team John Force Racing, which Emrich called OWI’s “biggest investment” in motorsports.