Special to NYSportsJournalism.com
August 12, 2014: 3M is driving away from a sports marketing alliance, but is not going very far. The company, which has been an official Nascar partner across several categories since 1995, has signed a three-year deal to join 11-time Sprint Cup Series champions Hendrick Motorsports beginning with the 2015 Nascar season, becoming a primary sponsor of driver Jeff Gordon and his No. 24 Chevrolet SS team.
The new pact would see 3M as a primary sponsor in 11 Sprint Cup races annually and as an associate-level partner in all other events. Financial terms of the agreement, covering the 2015, 2016 and 2017 Nascar seasons, were not released.
3M said that all five of its business units, which comprise more than $31 billion in annual sales, would use the sponsorship in" consumer promotions, product launches and business-to-business opportunities."
3M said it would end its primary sponsorship deal is with Roush Fenway Racing and driver Greg Biffle after the current season, an alliance that has been in place since 2004.
“At 3M, we play to win, and we push hard every day to do just that,” Jesse Singh, svp-global sales and marketing for 3M, said in a statement. “With this deal, we align with champion driver Jeff Gordon and an organization at the top of its game in Hendrick Motorsports. What they do in the garage and on the track exemplifies what we’re all about in our labs, plants and business teams around the world.”
In addition to 3M, Gordon's schedule beginning in 2015 would see AARP as primary sponsor for 13 races via a deal unveiled last week, Axalta for ten and Pepsi and Panasonic for two races each.
According to 3M, more than 65 of its products are used in the construction and maintenance of Sprint Cup Series race cars, 3M for decades has played a key role in the success of Nascar teams. The company manufactures more than 80,000 different products.
“The range of 3M’s business is just incredible,” Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports, said in a statement. “It’s an amazingly diverse company that spends billions in research and development to continue rolling out new and innovative products. We’re already using many of them throughout the organization, and when you consider the potential for both consumer and business-to-business programs connected to our sport, the possibilities are endless.”
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