While it is generally expected that Danica Patrick will continue on with Stewart-Haas Racing next year, she will no longer have the backing of GoDaddy, ending one of the most successful and high profile sponsorships in NASCAR. The news comes at a time when Patrick’s stock car career seems to be taking off to new heights, as she continues to improve and gain more respect for her skills on the track, including breaking Janet Guthrie’s record (5) for the most top -10 wins by a woman in the Sprint Cup series when she finished 9th in the 2015 Food City 500 In Support Of Steve Byrnes And Stand Up To Cancer at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 19, 2015.
Although Patrick struggled during her first 2 years in NASCAR finishing 27th and 28th in the championship point standings (despite winning pole in the 2013 Daytona 500), she now ranks 19th with 2 top-10 finishes (at Martinsville and Bristol) in 9 races so far this season.
Go Daddy’s decision to end its sponsorship of the SHR No. 10 comes Danica’s initial contract with Stewart-Haas Racing expires at the end of this season. In fact, it was their sponsorship of her (which actually began in 2007) that helped pave the way for her transition from IndyCar nack in 2010 to stock car racing and bring her into the SHR family.
“We love Danica and all she does to empower and inspire people, especially women, which is why we are working to keep her in the GoDaddy family,” remarked GoDaddy Chief Marketing Officer Phil Bienert, in a statement. “The fact Danica is having a record-setting season makes it tough to leave this motorsports sponsorship, without a doubt. However we have the utmost respect for Stewart-Haas Racing, and they’ve been phenomenal partners. In fact, NASCAR has been a tremendous domestic platform to help us achieve an 81% aided brand awareness domestically, but at this stage, we need a range of marketing assets that reach a more globally-diverse set of small business and company customers.”
Go Daddy’s partnership with Patrick has not only turned her into one of the most recognizable athletes on the planet, her popularity with the public has helped the company grow as a name brand thanks to her appearances in 13 Super Bowl commercials which also emphasized her overall sex appeal by featuring her dressed in leather bodysuits or in the shower wearing nothing but a towel.
Despite losing Go Daddy’s sponsorship (which served as the primary funding for 32 out of 36 races), SHR is banking on the fact that Patrick’s appeal on and off the track will attract enough money to cover their expenses (somewhere close to $20 million) for the complete racing season.
“With Danica, we see a driver with unparalleled resolve and tenacity,” said Brett Frood, SHR executive vice president. “She is an individual who transcends the sport and we look forward to fostering new partnerships for her and the No. 10 team.”