Danica look-alikes at LaGuardia

February 20, 2008
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AirTran Airways, a sponsor of Danica Patrick’s, recently announced that passengers at LaGuardia Airport in New York will have the privilege of their own personal pit crew to get through check-in fast, thanks to a hustling team of Danica Patrick look-alikes. Patrick is the Indy Racing League’s most popular driver, piloting a car this year for Andretti-Green Racing team.

Instead of changing tires and fueling cars, the “Danica Pit Crew” will work the AirTran Airways ticket counter, assisting travelers with their luggage and helping customers speed through check-in. To complete the racing theme, passengers will exit the check-in area by crossing a “finish line” between two checkered flags.
The airline will use the Danica Pit Crew to kick off its new Indy Racing League promotion, sending racing fanatics to select races throughout the 2008 open-wheel season.

“AirTran Airways continues to be a great sponsor on the No. 7 Motorola Team car,” Patrick said. “The pit crew promotion is a great opportunity for race fans to get closer to the action than ever before – just remember to bring your ear plugs.”

Danica is fast becoming the IRL queen promoter. What do you think of this latest promotion?
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  • New York City being the mecca of IRL fans that it is, I'm sure this is fascinating for them (or not). You'd think that they'd do the promo at an airport in the midwest where she's actually associated with racing (given that it's a racing promotion they're doing) instead of known solely for Go Daddy ads and Sports Illustrated poses. Of course, no one ever faults Airtran for being marketing geniuses. I guess part of the problem is that Airtran has no midwest hub or large presence in any airport and their hub in Atlanta caters more to those of the Nascar persuasion. I just can't see people being that jazzed about getting luggage tags from a Danica lookalike. Danica maybe, but she'd never touch a piece of luggage. Probably not even her own.
  • While this may not be a genius marketing ploy by Airtran, what they may be counting on is the fact that Danica is marketable beyond the IRL/open wheels limits.

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