Danica Patrick will lose her primary sponsor for the #10 Chevrolet as GoDaddy.com made the announcement Wednesday that it plans to leave NASCAR after the 2015 season.
Patrick is one of the sport’s most popular driver and one of the most recognized names who will be without full-time funding as she is undergoing contract negotiations with her race team Stewart-Haas Racing. Patrick is in the final year of her three year contract at SHR after making the transition from the X-Finity Series and from IndyCar.
“We have been waiting for a while to know where GoDaddy’s at, but they have been doing their own research and figuring out where best to spend their marketing dollars to grow their company even more,” said Patrick of GoDaddy’s decision. “I got a text message two days ago saying we’re going to have a call tomorrow and that tomorrow was yesterday and so I found out yesterday afternoon.”
“It’s going to be really weird to think I won’t drive the bright green, can’t miss-it car next year,” Patrick said.
Both Patrick and SHR have reiterated that they would like to Patrick to return to the organization in 2016 to the four car organization co-owned by Gene Haas and fellow driver Tony Stewart. SHR also fields cars for three-time champion Stewart in the #14 Chevrolet, the reigning 2014 champion Kevin Harvick in the #4 Chevrolet and the 2004 champion Kurt Busch driving the #41 Chevrolet.
GoDaddy.com, a global online domain registrar serving more than 13 million customers in 37 countries, will shift its focus toward small businesses and international markets. The company first partnered with Patrick as an associated sponsor in 2007 and then made the decision to become her primary sponsor for the 2010 IndyCar season with Andretti Autosport, when she made the transition to NASCAR in 2012, GoDaddy went with her.
“The process that we took on this, we were very data-driven about it,” said GoDaddy chief marketing officer Phil Bienert. “We actually hired a third party to help us evaluate all our sponsorship dollars, the effectiveness of it. What the data showed was that this platform has been great for us, but where we are right now, it’s time to shift.”
“We finally had that data, probably Friday afternoon, than wanted to talk to Danica. We’ve not been sitting on this we really wanted to do our due diligence for the past couple months or two to get to the right answer.”
Even as GoDaddy is planning its exit from NASCAR, they have indicated it wants to retain Patrick on a personal services deal.
“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,” Bienert said. “We have the utmost respect for Stewart-Haas Racing, and they’ve been phenomenal partners. The fact Danica is having a record-setting season makes it tough to leave this motorsports sponsorship, without a doubt.”
Stewart-Haas also issued a statement thanking its long-term sponsor.
“GoDaddy has been an outstanding partner since joining our race team in 2012. They helped us grow from the two-car team we were at the beginning of 2012 to the four-car team we are today,” said Brett Frood, SHR’s executive vice president. “Along the way, their business has grown exponentially, proving our relationship to be mutually beneficial. We value all of our partnerships and take great pride in seeing GoDaddy’s association with Danica Patrick and Stewart-Haas Racing serve as a springboard for their global marketing strategy.
Patrick is having her best season in NASCAR and is 16th in the championship point standings after her 25th place finish at Richmond.