Try not to be spooked

Posted by Iannucci | 10/30/2007 | 7 comments »
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Over the weekend the Indianapolis Business Journal ran a story (thank you everyone who sent this to me) that outlined some forthcoming announcements of sponsorships. Though not explicit on all accounts, they said in the next few weeks the IRL will be announcing “official” sponsorships of certain aspects like energy drink, soft drink, and motor oil. And although none of them will be providing the almighty “league” sponsorship, all are expected to be “activated” through multi-year contracts.

I’ve spent the last few days sending emails and reading stories to try to figure out the deal. Unfortunately, no one is really talking. The first announcement is in Las Vegas tomorrow, with another coming on New Year’s Day. Anyhow:

Energy Drink: This is expected to be Frank’s (no, I don’t know what that is either) with previous mentions of this being related to AGR. Speculation is that this will likely involve a national promotional deal with 7-Eleven, and we all know who drives that car. We also can see The Tongue is all over their website.

Soft Drink: This one is the big unknown, but it is anticipated to involve a race sponsorship as well – possibly at IMS. Pepsi was at one time the official drink of the IRL, and given their second-tier status with the N-Word they could be returning. Coca Cola is currently served at IMS. Beyond that – your guess is as good as mine.

Motor Oil: Indianapolis-based Lucas Oil was the likely guess, although the IBJ article indicates a denial by league officials. Today in his Q&A Curt Cavin casually drops that it’s actually a new motor oil from Peak. (Check out the ICS logo on the bottles!) Since Danica Patrick is already featured in ads involving Peak (sign up for a chance to meet her today) it’s unclear if that means additional sponsorship dollars for AGR or something more.

Tomorrow, we will all know more.

7 comments

  1. mmack // October 30, 2007 11:27 AM  

    Jeff,

    Nasty "unkillable" rumor from the Champ Car side that ties in neatly to new sponsors @ AGR:

    "Champ Car sponsor headed to the IRL. Sources tell us that Champ Car PKV Racing sponsor Pay By Touch is in discussions with Andretti Green Racing to sponsor a car in the IRL next year."

    Take it for what it's worth.

  2. Jeff Iannucci // October 30, 2007 11:28 AM  

    What's "Pay By Touch"? Is that liek a brothel?

  3. mmack // October 30, 2007 11:36 AM  

    Jeff,

    Check out their site. It's the biometric "pay by fingertip recognition" system I've seen at some gas stations and grocery stores around Chicago. Could be something big for AGR if the story is true.

  4. Johnny // October 30, 2007 11:50 AM  

    How's that "Champ Car World Series Brought to You By Methanol" coming over there?

  5. mmack // October 30, 2007 12:01 PM  

    Johnny,

    It's coming along as well as Sam I Am's attempts to qualify . . . .

    No, scratch that, we shouldn't be so snide on this blog. Just remember, if you stop by Champ Car Fanatics, have a glass of Champ Car Kool-Aid and take a shower afterwards.

  6. pressdog // October 30, 2007 12:59 PM  

    I read somewhere that pay-by-touch isn't happy with it's return on investment in CC. What return, is my question. I chortled out loud at CC approaching ethanol makers in the US to sponsor their races -- in Europe. That's a seriously Granny Clampet outfit over there. Even the Champ Car hard-cores agree with me on that one.

  7. Bash // November 04, 2007 9:44 PM  

    Franks? Darn. I was hoping it would be Go Girl Energy Drink. First of all, it actually tastes good. Secondly, it's two shades of pink with a breast cancer research ribbon on it. They'd be a great sponsor for Danica, Sarah, Milka or Leilani when she makes the move to the big cars.

    Anything with The Tongue's mug on it is sure to scare me away...