Danica Patrick, the Sprint Cup driver, is about to lose her longtime primary sponsor and benefactor- GoDaddy at the end of NASCAR season. GoDaddy announced last week that they will not return to NASCAR after this season.
This action by GoDaddy leaves one of the most popular drivers in car racing history without full-time funding. Patrick, 33, called GoDaddy an incredible sponsor and partner, while stating she hoped to continue the relationship with them.
Patrick and GoDaddy's chief marketing officer Phil Bienert stated that they hoped to renegotiate a personal services contract in order to continue the 9-year long partnership. Patrick first signed with GoDaddy for the 2007 IndyCar season where, in 2008, she became the first woman to win an IndyCar race. GoDaddy later helped transition Patrick into NASCAR, as her primary sponsor, starting with the Xfinity Series and then moving into Sprint Cup full-time in 2013.
Danica Patrick gave her response to the news on twitter with an upbeat message:
Heck of a lot of season left to win driving the @godaddy car! Everything evolves and changes in life, I'm excited for what's to come!— Danica Patrick (@DanicaPatrick) April 29, 2015
GoDaddy's decision should be viewed as the result of a relationship reaching fruition, and not stagnation.
GoDaddy is a global online domain registrar company serving more than 13 million clients in 37 odd countries. The move came as GoDaddy is shifting their main focus toward international markets and small businesses. GoDaddy acted as an Associate Sponsor for Danica since the year of
GoDaddy is not in the brand building process in the United States anymore. In fact, they are a household name in the country right now. They have made plans to build their brand name in international markets starting this season, which is one of the main reasons they have decided to focus on other marketing projects.
Patrick's record-setting season made the decision more difficult for us.
Bienert said: "we actually hired a third party advertising company to evaluate all our sponsorship dollars and the effectiveness of it. The data showed that this platform has been great for us up to now, but it's time to shift now." Bienert says that Danica has helped them grow the company's brand awareness by at least 81 percent domestically. It usually costs between $16-million to $18-million to carry a Cup Car for a full season. Danica is facing a grave situation of finding an immediate sponsor once she loses all this money. However, Bienert added, "Patrick's record-setting season made the decision more difficult for us." Danica is currently the 16th in the standings. She was able to establish a record this season for the "Most Career Top-10s" by a woman with six Top-10s. She did it with a relatively new crew chief in Daniel Knost, who joined her with three races remaining in the 2014 season.
Blake Irving, GoDaddy CEO, and Danica had espoused a satisfaction with their relationship as Danica transitioned to NASCAR. Irving declared that Danica's on-track performance didn't matter as he called her a "Superstar" anyway. Danica's presence in the commercials of GoDaddy had waned within recent years since GoDaddy decided to shift their marketing campaign toward small businesses. The titillating campaigns that earned the company brand awareness had been replaced by a more conservative approach since of recently. With the small business commercials with Jean-Claude VanDamme performing so well, it is no wonder they are looking to change direction:
Bob Parsons, the founder of GoDaddy, was on record that his company would sponsor Danica even if she decided to become a professional skater. But, all this was before GoDaddy was sold to private equity firms for $2.5-billion in the year of 2011. Patrick was instrumental in raising brand awareness for GoDaddy across the USA.
In conclusion, GoDaddy's logo is going to disappear from Danica's racing car at the end of this NASCAR season. GoDaddy had been sponsoring Danica Patrick from 2007, and they became her main sponsor in 2010. Danica had been a major marketing presence for GoDaddy from that time. In fact, she was instrumental in building brand awareness for GoDaddy in the U.S. market. GoDaddy is concentrating more on international markets and small businesses right now. This is the main reason for GoDaddy to end their contract with Danica Patrick.