Sarah Fisher has supplanted fellow open-wheel racer Danica Patrick as the star of a new $30 million ad campaign for AAMCO Transmissions, which shot four spots last week in Los Angeles.OK, so now we really have a legitimate connection for a rivalry between these two – in the form of cash. But even bigger than the news relating to these two fine drivers is, as Paul Harvey would say, the rest of the story.
Sources tell us that while Patrick was cast as the star of AAMCO’s new campaign in a deal that would pay her more than $2 million, her Andretti Green IRL team nixed it because of a possible conflict with team sponsor Honda.
Sources also tell us Fisher got less than a quarter of what AAMCO offered Patrick to be its first spokeswoman. Still, we’ll be interested to see how much being in a high–profile campaign revs up Fisher’s image. She has competed on the Indy circuit off and on since 1999 and races for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing. The AAMCO campaign should break sometime near the Indy 500.
AAMCO also is expected to take a leaguewide sponsorship position within the IRL.*ding ding ding*
If AAMCO is indeed ponying up the cash as a sponsor of the league, then this would be the biggest news of the year. Additional cash to pay at the league level would trickle down to things like prize money, which translates indirectly into more entries. Look at the evidence in the surge in Indy Pro participation since prize money has increased in that series.
It’s a far cry from the amount of cash thrown around in tin top racing, but a leaguewide sponsorship would certainly be “huge” news. Let’s keep the fingers crossed in the hope that like so many other deals in racing this one doesn’t fall through.
UPDATE: Just did a Google and found this on a Boston Red Sox blog(?) from last Wednesday.
I was actually in Anaheim yesterday, working as an extra in a AAMCO commercial with a country band called Whiskey Falls and an IndyCar driver named Sarah Fisher, neither of whom I had ever heard of before.AAA, AAMCO...looks like Fisher just opened the Yellow Pages and started tracking down sponsors.