Can You Say Sponsor Activation?

Posted by Dale Nixon | 7/23/2009 | , , | 7 comments »
Bookmark and Share

So now we find out the real reason Alex "Pink" Lloyd left Target Chip Ganassi Racing (and how is that Iowa debut coming along, Alex?) - he had to draw the line at prancing down Gasoline Alley in an outfit heisted from the Pink Panther.

So it now falls to Dario Franchitti to pilot the Chipster's machine this weekend at the Rexall Edmonton Grand Prix in the (ahem) proud blue and white livery of Vaseline (for) Men Lotion.

Yes, of course the official press release had the usual flowery prose about synergy and made-up-by-the-PR department quotes (Martin Truex Jr. will get the same honor in N*****), all inherent to cashing a hefty check from a multinational.

“Any time you get the chance to work with a big brand like Vaseline you have to be both encouraged and proud. We would love nothing more than to see the Vaseline MEN car in victory lane," said Steve Lauletta, President of Chip Ganassi Racing Teams, Inc.: "One of the advantages that our team has is the ability to provide a sponsor with opportunities and assets in multiple forms of auto racing thereby giving them the ability to market to different audiences. I think this is a great opportunity for both of us.”

We can think of a few other advantages for Team Chip, chapped lips not being one of the first that comes to mind.

But it brings up an interesting question, what was the most embarrassing sponsor/car combination?

John Surtees 1976 Formula 1 entry piloted by Alan Jones was sponsored by Durex Condoms, and certainly wins the pole position in the race of embarrassment. In fact, the BBC would not telecast the race from Brands Hatch that year where Jones finished second to James Hunt.

Mark Martin also spent a couple memorable seasons in a Viagra entry (and had the grey hair to prove it), and Paul Gentilozzi is said to have a had a Hustler sponsorship nixed from his CCWS partners.

But Chip's crack sponsor finders seems to have really outdone themselves this time.

Can't wait to hear Bob Jenkins sputter when the Chrome Horn "slips around" the Vaseline car.

Hopefully we won't have to worry about lock stepping with a Versus broadcast Sunday afternoon.


  1. Andy // July 23, 2009 3:06 PM  

    Minardi lost any hope of TV coverage for the Malaysian Grand Prix in 2003 with this one-race sponsorship deal, as I recall:

  2. AZZO45 // July 23, 2009 9:45 PM  

    Gentiloser with Hustler CCWS car??? Probably paid him as much as his Budweiser T/A deals.... Paul got a year's supply of lap dances for him & crew??? :) :)

    The Penthouse Arrows (?) with the model airbrushed on as a livery... NICE

  3. Anonymous // July 23, 2009 10:58 PM  

    Worse yet...the call if Dario somehow falls behind Danica due to pit strategies, and gets a call from Jenkins about "sliding his Vaseline car inside of Danica." Just wrong." The potential exists for a million variations on a theme, I suppose. was almost compulsive.

  4. Travis R // July 24, 2009 5:51 AM  

    Randy Hannagan in the World of Outlaws was sponsored by Penthouse a couple of years ago.

    Kind of appropriate for a guy named "Randy."

  5. mmack // July 24, 2009 6:29 AM  

    Condoms? Meh
    Girlie Magazines? Heh
    Vasoline for Men raising all sorts of American Pie like humor? Crude, yet not embarassing enough.

    Ladies and Gentlemen, My Name is IRL posters of all ages, I think we ALL would agree driving a car sponosred by "Boudreax's Butt Paste" takes a level of bravery and confidence MILES ABOVE simply driving a girly pink car.

    And yes, this is not a gag! It is a real product, and not a joke.

    Imagine the jokes about car #90 running "a little behind" at the end of the race.

    Remember, sometimes there is NO limit to the lengths teams will go to get the $$$$$$$$$$ needed to go racing.

  6. AZZO45 // July 24, 2009 2:08 PM  

    Butt Paste was a baby/ diaper rash cream... the Vasoline logos would be tougher for me to put onto my race car...


  7. Anonymous // July 28, 2009 4:57 PM  

    you really said that the Durex Condom sponsorship won the "pole" position?