By Barry Janoff
August 1, 2012: Dale Earnhardt, Jr. is widely known for his feats on the track. Now, he may also be known as the spokesman for the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity.
The ACCCE has signed a deal to sponsor Earnhardt Jr. and his JR Motorsports Nascar team. The alliance, the first Nascar deal for the organization, will be supported by a multi-media national campaign starring the iconic race car driver.
Earnhardt, who earns about $24 million from endorsements, also has deals with PepsiCo's Diet Mountain Dew, Wrangler, AMP Energy drink, Nationwide, TaxSlayer.com, Hellmann's, Degree for Men, Go Daddy, the National Guard and Chevrolet.
Washington, D.C.-based ACCCE is a non-profit, non-partisan partnership of companies involved in producing electricity from coal. The campaign will help foster "energy policies that balance coal’s vital role in meeting our country’s growing need for affordable and reliable electricity with the need to protect the environment. ACCCE said it also "advocates for the development and deployment of advanced clean coal technologies that will produce electricity with near-zero emissions."
In the marketing effort, which includes TV, radio and Internet, Earnhardt explains, “Most people think of me as a race car driver. But I'm also a business owner. In my company, the cars run on gas, but the business runs on electricity. That’s why I have been learning about how coal keeps electricity prices down, and that keeps the lights on and people working, which keeps companies like mine out in front.” (See the full spot here.)
Marketing then directs people to visit a dedicated Web site to learn more about "clean coal."
As part of the alliance, JR Motorsports cars feature ACCCE logos, and members of the race team will work with ACCCE to "inform and educate Americans about the importance of coal and clean coal technology."
According to Evan Tracey, vp-communications for ACCCE, “America’s families and business rely on affordable and reliable coal. These new ads will draw America’s attention to coal’s importance as a domestic energy source to power our economy – from manufacturing to motor sports and everything in between.”