Special to NYSportsJournalism
May 10, 2012: Coca-Cola said today that it has signed a multi-year endorsement deal with race car driver Danica Patrick, who will represent the Coke Zero brand.
Patrick becomes a member of the Coca-Cola Racing Family that includes Dale Earnhardt Jr., Dale Jarrett, Bobby Labonte and Tony Stewart.
Financial terms of the deal were not released. Patrick earns about $10 million a year from endorsements, according to industry analysts, which include GoDaddy.com, Tissot, Aaron's, Mattel's Hot Wheels, Peak and Nationwide Insurance.
"Thank you @cokezero!!! I can't wait to start this partnership!" Patrick wrote on her Twitter account.
Patrick will have the Coke Zero logo on her racing togs and her No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet. She will also be featured in marketing including POP and will make personal appearances on behalf of the Coke Zero brand.
In addition to competing in the Coca-Cola 600 on May 27, Patrick will work with model/actress Brooklyn Decker to promote Universal Pictures' Battleship (which opens May 18), in which Decker appears and Coke Zero is a marketing partner (complete with product placement, a supporting TV commercial and consumer sweepstakes).
In conduction with the Coke Zero 400 on July 7 (in which Patrick will not race), she will participate in activities surrounding the event and appear in a series of online vignettes.
“Joining the Coca-Cola Racing Family is one of the really cool things that’s happened so far in my career. I'm a Coke Zero drinker and fan, so with this partnership, I really get to have it all,” Patrick said in a statement. “I’m really excited about working with Coke Zero for a lot of reasons, but the idea of having my image at retail stores next to guys like Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman and the rest of the Coca-Cola Racing Family is amazing.”
According to Sharon Byers, svp-sports and entertainment marketing partnerships for the Coca-Cola Co., “The Coke Zero brand has seen consistently strong growth since it launched, and to maintain that success, we need to bring new consumers to the franchise. We believe partnering with one of the most relevant and talked about athletes in motorsports — and one who embodies the brand’s 'enjoy everything' spirit – will help us do just that.”