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Thread: GoDaddy drops Danica Patrick
04-29-2015, 09:28 PM #1
GoDaddy drops Danica Patrick
It's been at least a dozen years, by Danica Patrick's count, that she has had to worry about sponsorship for her race car.
There has never been a shortage of companies lined up hoping to use one of the most recognized drivers in the world to push their brand.
Now she suddenly finds herself in the same boat as so many drivers: In need of sponsorship to fund her ride in NASCAR's top series. GoDaddy said Wednesday it was leaving NASCAR at the end of this season, but will likely continue working with Patrick on a personal services agreement.
The internet domain giant has been with Patrick in some form since 2007, and became her primary sponsor in 2010 when she raced in the IndyCar Series for Andretti Autosport. GoDaddy moved with Patrick to NASCAR, and is in its third year as primary sponsor of her No. 10 Chevrolet in the Sprint Cup Series.
'I'm sad. I'm a little surprised and I'm sad,' Patrick told The Associated Press. 'But to say I didn't imagine this was not a scenario would be a lie. It's bittersweet. It's going to be really weird to think I won't drive the bright green, can't-miss-it car next year.'
GoDaddy's decision has been a possibility for several years as the company looked at marketing strategies to grow its international reach. GoDaddy is in the final year of its contract with Stewart-Haas Racing, which fields the car for the 33-year-old Patrick. Patrick is also in the final year of her contract with SHR.
Phil Bienert, the chief marketing officer at GoDaddy, told the AP it was strictly a business decision as data showed the company 'we are past brand marketing in the U.S.'
Patrick has long been closely tied with GoDaddy's growth in the United States, largely because of the advertising campaigns that featured the driver. She was initially used in multiple provocative campaigns, but GoDaddy has toned down that approach of late and concentrated on attracting the small business owner.