Sponsors pump up Danica-mania

April 21, 2008
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Sponsors of Danica Patrick, who became the first woman to win a major open-wheel race with her Indy Racing League victory in Japan Saturday, have been quick to capitalize on the exposure.

AirTran Airlines quickly put huge photos of Patrick on two Boeing jets flying from Orlando to Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh to Atlanta today, and dubbed this AirTranica Day. Further promotions will come throughout the week, AirTran officials said, and likely through May leading up to the Indianapolis 500. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that AirTran is one of the first sponsors to aggressively market Patrick’s triumph. AirTran has been an ardent Patrick supporter, and earlier this year, rolled out Danica look-alikes to speed customers through check-in at LaGuardia Airport.

The Danica Pit Crew stunt was used to kick off AirTran’s Indy Racing League promotion in February. Through the promotion, AirTran is sending racing fanatics to select IRL races throughout the 2008 season.

AirTran isn’t the only sponsor speeding up its Patrick-centric marketing.

Motorola is contemplating its next move, but sports marketers said the cellular phone giant will likely utilize an image of Patrick using a Motorola phone from victory lane in Japan to call her sister back in the U.S. to tell her of the historical victory.

GoDaddy.com, a Web site domain name registry, already changed its Web site to celebrate Patrick’s victory and the company’s affiliation with the Andretti Green Racing driver. GoDaddy anticipates rolling out more Patrick related marketing initiatives in the following days and weeks. The company, ironically, just rolled out a TV ad featuring Patrick helping a little girl beat numerous boy go-kart racers. And GoDaddy founder Bob Parsons plans to put a special video commemorating Patrick's victory on his blog later today.

“For us, there was never a question of if Danica could when—we believed in her from day one,” Parsons said.
  • Good marketers are smart to jump on this gravy train while they can. Compared to the price of becoming a corporate partner with NASCAR's Lil E or Jeff Gordon, Danica is a real value.

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  1. why oh why does this state continue to elect these people....do you wonder how much was graft out of the 3.8 billion?

  2. i too think this is a great idea. I think the vision and need is there as well. But also agree with Wendy that there may be better location in our city to fulfill this vision and help grow the sports of hockey and figure skating in Indy. Also to help further develop other parts of the city that seem often forgotten. Any of the other 6 townships out side of the three northernmost could benefit greatly from a facility and a vision like this. For a vision that sounds philanthropic, the location is appears more about the money. Would really like to see it elsewhere, but still wish the development the best of luck, as we can always use more ice in the city. As for the Ice growth when they return, if schedules can be coordinated with the Fuel, what could be better than to have high level hockey available to go see every weekend of the season? Good luck with the development and the return of the Ice.

  3. How many parking spaces do they have at Ironworks? Will residents have reserved spaces or will they have to troll for a space among the people that are there at Ruth Chris & Sangiovese?

  4. You do not get speeding ticket first time you speed and this is not first time Mr.Page has speed. One act should not define a man and this one act won't. He got off with a slap on the wrist. I agree with judge no person was injured by his actions. The state was robbed of money by paying too much rent for a building and that money could have been used for social services. The Page family maybe "generous" with their money but for most part all of it is dirty money that he obtained for sources that are not on the upright. Page is the kind of lawyer that gives lawyers a bad name. He paid off this judge like he has many other tine and walked away. Does he still have his license. I believe so. Hire him to get you confiscated drug money back. He will. It will cost you.

  5. I remain amazed at the level of expertise of the average Internet Television Executive. Obviously they have all the answers and know the business inside and out.