Danica, Earnhardt Jr. to pair in ad campaigns

December 22, 2009
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It’s clear now that IMG is in full control of the brand that is Danica Patrick. That means her profile is likely to go even higher than it is now, and she could eventually end up in a commercial with a certain quarterback with a laser rocket arm.
The powerful athlete marketing firm engineered her move to NASCAR, sources told IBJ, and now they are aligning Patrick with sponsors who power Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Earlier this month, Patrick signed to drive a dozen or so NASCAR Nationwide Series races in 2010 for JR Motorsports, which is co-owned by Junior and Rick Hendrick.

Patrick’s entry into the sport is being carefully orchestrated—her debut was steered from Daytona Feb. 13 where she could get clobbered racing bumper to bumper with NASCAR’s stars, to the race in Fontana, Calif. the following week.

IMG is laying out Patrick’s marketing path with equal care. IMG Senior Vice President Mark Dyer has begun meeting with Earnhardt’s sponsors to see where cross promotion might work. IMG officials think they can boost Earnhardt’s and Patrick’s careers by pairing them in advertising and marketing campaigns.

Earnhardt’s primary sponsors are Pepsi’s Amp Energy Drink, National Guard and Nationwide Insurance. Dyer said there’s a possibility that Patrick could be involved in any of those campaigns, but noted that some of the Pepsi brands might offer the most potential for a Patrick-Earnhardt pairing. Patrick recently said she’d like to be a “Pepsi girl.”

Dyer said there’s also interest in pairing Patrick with Junior’s sister, Kelley Earnhardt, JR Motorsports’ president, who like Patrick is seen as something of a female trailblazer in a male-dominated business. Kelley Earnhardt negotiated the deal with IMG to bring Patrick to the NASCAR team.

ESPN is planning to use Patrick heavily in the promotion of the Nationwide Series, which the cable network airs. That campaign is expected to launch in late January. ESPN/ABC is eager to boost Nationwide TV ratings, which were down 12.7 percent last season.

IMG could also look at an interesting cross-promotion for Patrick. Alan Zucker, Patrick’s IMG agent, also represents Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning. IMG officials said all possibilities are being considered.

While sports marketers question how much followers of the two high-profile athletes overlap demographically, they admit there would be intrigue in pairing the two in an ad campaign. Manning’s versatility and trademark humorous ads could fit well with Patrick’s edgy brand, sports marketers added.

  • makes sense
    This makes a lot of sense and could really end up being ideal for the IRL. They could get a big boost by having one of their drivers paired in ads with one of NASCAR's most popular personalities.
  • perfect sense
    Yes, this makes perfect sense! Pairing two drivers, neither of whom can drive worth a hoot. The motorsports media and fans will have a heyday with this. Very bad for IRL ... unless Danica actually wins something (preferably on this continent when most U.S. citizens aren't fast asleep).
  • How long
    How long will it be after Patrick comes over to NASCAR that she sees the Izomnia Indy-Car series for the 2-bit hayseed go-kart series that it is and completely abandons it?
  • Patrick and Izod Indycar Series
    George Anthony - Get this, if you can. The open wheel series has been combined for 2 years. There is no alternative. TG is gone. Those that are left are working hard to make lemonade out of this lemon we've been left with. As long-time fans of open wheel racing and the IMS, they deserve our support until they succeed or fail.

    Get over your bitterness and stupidity. Your are helping no one with your constant bemoaning of the same tired old drivel. How about just shutting up unless you can provide some encouragement?

    Goodness sakes......
  • Wah wah whiner
    "Those that are left are working hard to make lemonade out of this lemon we've been left with."

    No they aren't. That's as utterly laughable as it is totally delusional.

    "As long-time fans of open wheel racing and the IMS, they deserve our support until they succeed or fail."

    It's done nothing but fail from its miserable inception, and there is no reason to think it could possibly 'succeed' given its track record. The same vermin who enabled TG are still there. Ridiculous.

    As for Danicle & Dale, I'm sure getting her in Nascar-oriented ads will make her a lot of money. It won't do a single thing for the 'league', as it has been nothing but a pile of fail, and always will be as long as it exists.

    Calling people bitter and stupid is very hypocritical of you. You stupid, bitter gomer.

    code = 8n7pb
  • Lets review the other predictions of the haters around here. The IRL without Unsers. Andrettis et al. will fail. The IRL without Tony Stewart will fail. The IRL without Juan Pablo will fail. The IRL without Sam Hornish will fail. The IRL without (fill in the blank) will fail. Guess what guys, it is still here. I know that drives you nuts. But like it or not, like what it is or not, it is still here.
  • Stan the ?man
    Stan, you say I'm hypocritical for suggesting that your ramblings are stupid. What does that make you? You suggest that what other people are doing is not an attempt to be successful (that being EVERYONE involved with IMS and the IRL). You say it is laughable and delusional. Are you kidding me?

    Try this Mr. Know-it-all. Get off your high horse and let things evolve as they may, be it success or failure. Indy takes enough hits from the mistakes of the past without people like you continuting to beat the dead horse. Why don't you just sit out on West 16th Street and "bang your drum all day"?

    You are helping no one and are an embarrasment to the City of Indianapolis. You are, in fact, the imposter.

    Go tell your mom she wants you.
  • Agast
    two more people who are famous for being famous

    600 million dollars

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