Today JTG Daugherty Racing officially became unofficially known as Team Kroger Clicklist JTG Daugherty Racing. The two car team announced today on Twitter that they will be referred to as Team Kroger Clicklist JTG Daugerty Racing but later elaborated on the matter explaining that on the official event entry lists they will still be listed as “JTG Daugherty Racing”. With all of that being said, it’s looking like they’ve expanded their partnership with Kroger into a naming rights deal which further builds on what they’ve done together in the last few years. I’m trying not to show extreme favoritism here but this is big news for the non-Penske/Hendrick/Gibbs organizations of the world.
Last season, Tommy Joe Martins wrote a blog explaining the basic business model behind a lot of the race teams in the Camping World Truck Series as well as the Xfinity Series. In that blog he mentioned that “there is more money flowing through the garage area now than ever before”, and I believe that Kroger upping their ante with JTG is a prime example of that. Their partnership is unique in that it’s literally grown right in front of our eyes. Without any deep thought, I remember back in 2015 when Kroger would partner with the team for their Daytona 500 entry and I also remember seeing Dillons (who’s parent company is Cincinnati-based Kroger) on the car when the series was in the Dillons market. Since then, they’ve been an integral part of the JTG Daugherty team through their growth into a two car team as well as their unique and effective marketing strategies.
Last season we saw the brands on the car range from Barstool Sports to Breyers Ice Cream on the 37 car and from Cheez-Its to Cheerios on the 47 car while representing Kroger or their regional brand on the hood. With Kroger’s expanded partnership you can expect to see not only more of the same from a marketing perspective but a more concentrated effort from all parties involved. It’s not only year two of the serious Kroger support but also year two of being a two car team with Hendrick chassis support and an ECR engine supply. Granted they aren’t the first professional race team to incorporate a brand partner in their official team name (think Marlboro Team Penske, Red Bull Racing, Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, the list goes on), but I respect the hell out the fact that they’re bringing it back to the NASCAR realm.
I feel like I’m writing a proposal for my day job, talking about ‘partnerships’ so much but this is genuinely a huge day for the rising teams in the sport. Tad and Jodi Geschickter’s hard work and business savvy has brought them and their teams a long way in this sport and for not knowing them personally, I’m genuinely happy for them. A wise, and somewhat talented man, named Jeff Gordon once said that the business model of racing is not a pretty one, but it’s great to see genuine, hardworking people build their business. Now that the growing pains of their first season as a two-car operation are out of the way I’m ready to see consistent improvements from TKCRJTGDR in 2018.
The self-awareness of The Dinger’s tweet about his team’s news was hilariously awesome.
— AJ Allmendinger (@AJDinger) January 31, 2018