Penske signs Meijer to multiyear sponsorship deal

Penske Racing announced on Dec. 1 that the Meijer grocery store chain will join Penske as a sponsor of its three-car IndyCar Series program, beginning with the 2011 season.

Coca-Cola will play an integral role in the sponsorship, Penske officials said. The soft drink brand is a key supplier to Meijer and a sponsor of Penske Racing.

Meijer, which operates nearly 200 stores in the Midwest, will be a major associate sponsor on the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske IndyCar driven by Will Power next season.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but motorsports business experts estimated the value in the high-six-figure range annually.

Both Meijer and the Penske Corp. are based in Michigan. Under a multiyear agreement, both organizations will now work together for future success on the racetrack and on the retail floor.

Penske has been forced to look for new sponsors since Phillip Morris’ Marlboro brand pulled out earlier this year due to federal legislation severely limiting the advertising of tobacco products during sporting events.

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