Big Fish

Posted by Iannucci | 7/16/2008 | 9 comments »
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When we last left Sarah Fisher she was exiting the infield medical center at IMS in dismay, fearful that a crash in the Indianapolis 500 had ruined her family investment in the fledging Sarah Fisher Racing entity. Sarah openly wept, as did many FishHeads.

Well turn that frown upside down because Sarah’s got some new sponsors – including an unbelievable deal with Dollar General – and is ready to get back on track.

Though Fisher wouldn’t comment on the value of the deal, sports marketers said it is likely a low to mid six-figure deal. Fisher said it is a deal for a “primary sponsorship” that will allow her to race aggressively and not worry about crashing the only car she has.

“We’re not going out there to just run around in circles,” Fisher said. “We have to have a good result. And we have to make sure Dollar General has a good experience.”

Fisher said money is built into the deal that will allow any fixes necessary, and since there’s a month between her two races, that allows plenty of time for repairs.

The deal is structures somewhat like Chip Ganassi’s deal with Target, Fisher said, with product makers landing shelf space at Dollar General co-sponsoring the effort. Fisher’s car is co-sponsored by Dollar General’s vendor partners, Arm & Hammer, Band-Aid, Clorox, Colgate, Kraft, Lysol, Reese’s and Slim Jim.

(MORE from Indianapolis Business Journal)
It would seem that losing that beverage company deal wasn’t the worst thing in the world for SFR, because, well, check out the size of those sponsors! Ahem.

Oh, and for those of you that wrote checks or simply handed cash directly to Sarah back in May when she was experiencing a more dire financial situation, rest assured she has not forgotten you.

Fisher has sent more than 100 notes of gratitude and included a piece of carbon fiber from her Indy 500 car, damaged in a crash.

"It's like a wedding," says Fisher, who was voted the Indy Racing League's most popular driver for three consecutive years. "You get all these people sending money, and I had to send thank-yous. It's only appropriate. One fan even said they would frame (the piece) as a souvenir."

(MORE from USAToday)
If you ever wonder why Sarah’s maintains her popularity despite her recent struggles on the track, then observe how sending “thank you” notes and a piece of the car works towards energizing the fan base. Sarah Fisher the driver may be scoffed at by others, but Sarah Fisher the brand is unmistakably formidable. With a deal like this one involving so many sponsors it's possible that a comparison to Ganassi – who as a driver had a less spectacular record than Sarah’s – will one day prove to be prophetic.

9 comments

  1. Anonymous // July 16, 2008 10:05 AM  

    Good for Sarah !

  2. Tabernerus // July 16, 2008 10:32 AM  

    Nice point comparing Sarah to Chip. It's tough to compare records, since they raced in inherently different eras, but I think all would agree that neither was a front-running driver. It will be interesting to see if Sarah can put together a solid, one-car operation next season, and build from there. There will come a time when she'll need to step out of the car, and that moment will be the pivotal one in determining whether she'll be a great car owner.

    ahem*martyroth*ahem

  3. Doug // July 16, 2008 11:12 AM  

    The similarity of sponsorship deals between SFR's relationship with Dollar General+vendors, and TCGR with Target+vendors was the first thing to cross my mind when I read the presser. I'm really hoping this turns out well for SFR, and I'm hoping to see the team field a full-season program in 2009.

  4. Robert // July 16, 2008 11:14 AM  

    Sarah should hire John Andretti for Indy 2009 right now - there is not a better tech set up driver tham him at Indy.

  5. Jennifer of Dog.Yarn.Knit. // July 16, 2008 2:40 PM  

    That is the most awesome news. I almost cried. I have several round about connections to the Turner Family of Dollar General. And I could just go kiss them all straight on the mouth.

  6. pressdog // July 16, 2008 3:05 PM  

    I'm off to the local Dollar Store to buy about $100 worth of random stuff. Mega killer point about the Sarah Brand, Jeffy. Speak it, Brother.

  7. Anonymous // July 16, 2008 9:54 PM  

    I'll second the motion on those BIG sponsors on the race suit !!!

  8. Billy Coy // July 17, 2008 4:38 AM  

    me too pressdog
    I'll go this weekend and also hit the web page and tell them.

  9. Anonymous // July 18, 2008 4:28 PM  

    WOW! Someone with class and ability gets a MUCH-deserved break! Way to go Sarah!!! Little teams CAN win!