Danica's Nascar Wheel Move Whets Marketing Appetites

December 10, 2009: Danica Patrick's confirmation that she will enter the Nascar Nationwide Series via a limited schedule in 2010 is good news not only for lead sponsor and her other marketing partners, but for companies that have been waiting for her to make the move.

Patrick said she would drive the No. 7 Chevrolet in a partial Nationwide schedule next season, plus one ARCA race as a member of the JR Motorsports team owned by Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Rick Hendrick, Kelley Earnhardt and Tony Eury, Jr. through 2011. This would be in addition to her commitment to the Indy Race League.

GoDaddy CEO and founder Bob Parsons and Patrick unveiled her plans and the No. 7 car in Phoenix, where she had just completed filming TV spots for Super Bowl XLIV.  Patrick is scheduled to take part in her first stock car race, an ARCA event in Daytona, scheduled for Feb. 6. Her new TV spots will air during the Super Bowl on CBS on Feb. 7.

Patrick recently extended her contract with Andretti Autosport and GoDaddy for three years. IRL recently signed a sponsorship deal with Izod to become title sponsor of the newly named Izod IndyCar Racing Series, beginning in 2010. She currently earns about $10 million in endorsements from such companies as Honda, AirTran, Peak Motor Oil, Izod, Tissot and 7-Eleven. The Nascar alliance should open doors for her in categories including telecommunications, restaurants, clothing, electronics, credit cards and financial and insurance services such as those offered by Nationwide, title sponsor of the Nascar series. Patrick is handled by Alan Zucker and associates at IMG, who also work with Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning.

While women athletes generally earn less than their male counterparts in total endorsement money, analysts agree that Patrick has the potential to join such top female earners as Maria Sharapova and Venus and Serena Williams, who each make between $13-$19 million a year in endorsements.

“It’s been a long time coming, but the stars finally aligned for me with Go Daddy and JRM,” said during a press conference. “I have always said I love to drive, and if I could make it work to race in both IndyCar and Nascar – with the right sponsor, like and the right team, like JRM – then I’d love to drive in Nascar!”

GoDaddy also said it would leverage its existing relationship with Earnhardt Jr., who has also driven for GoDaddy in the Nationwide Series and will continue to work as a GoDaddy spokesperson.

GoDaddy Going Three More Laps With Danica Patrick

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