The haters said Jimmie Johnson and Hendrick Motorsports would never find a 36 race sponsor to replace Lowe’s. They said those sponsors simply don’t exist anymore in this economy. It’ll be a patchwork of sponsors they said.
Wave to the haters because the haters were wrong.
Over the weekend at Martinsville, Jimmie Johnson and Hendrick Motorsports announced Ally Financial would replace Lowe’s as the full season sponsor for not only 2019 but also 2020 and potentially more seasons going further. It’s a huge get for Hendrick Motorsports at a time when sponsors are leaving the sport due to rising cost and a lower ROI.
Not only is it huge for the #48 team it also goes to show companies are still interested in NASCAR. The number of sponsors leaving NASCAR isn’t great but the number of sponsors joining is where the focus should be. Hendrick said they had 8 sponsors interested in the #48 car. The sport now needs to figure out how to convert those sponsors into sponsors on cars.
A number of companies were rumored to be interested. Red Bull, Gatorade, Blue Cross Blue Shield, to name a few. The first two couldn’t happen until after the 2019 season due to Monster Energy’s sponsorship of the series. Ally was never mentioned but I have a few questions about Ally. Specifically how this deal came about. GMAC is now Ally Financial, the GM ties there may be a favor sponsorship. It’s questionable and I’ll dive into it in a future blog.
Back at Kentucky, we were sitting in the media hospitality tent attempting not become a piece of charcoal in the July Sparta sun when we sat at a table to enjoy a lovely meal. At that table was a certain blonde NASCAR writer who may work for website that rhymes with tracer. SHe was talking to another media member and had nothing great to say about Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus. She also said they’d never find a 36 race sponsor to replace Lowe’s.
Maybe don’t put a lot of weight into everything the NASCAR media members say.
For now, Jimmie Johnson has a full season sponsor and the #48 will undoubtebly be purple next season. It’ll take a while to get used to that but change is a good thing. The dayglow yellow numbers must be on the sides though.
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