Jeff Gordon and Hendrick Motorsports have named 3M as a new sponsor. The famed NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver and Champion has long been associated with a two distinct sponsors.
One helped earn his pit crew the nickname “Rainbow Warriors,” because of their brightly colored uniforms bearing the Dupont logo. Another sponsor, the AARP's Drive to End Hunger, is now known to millions of race fans because of their association with Gordon.
Now Hendrick Motorsports and Gordon, have announced that they have partnered with 3M in a multi-year deal that will start in the 2015 season. The reported agreement will make 3M the primary sponsor for at least three years running to the end of the 2017 season for Gordon’s No. 24 Chevrolet SS. The company has sponsored Roush Fenway Racing driver Greg Biffle since 2007. Which means that Biffle will be in search of a new sponsor.
3M is not new to NASCAR or racing. Aside from sponsoring Biffle at RFR the company has been partnered with the series in various manners for years. According to Hendrick Motorsports there are over 65 3M products used in the construction and maintenance of a Sprint Cup Series race car.
“The range of 3M’s business is just incredible,” said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. “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.”
Where Does this Leave Biffle?
With Carl Edwards leaving Roush Fenway after the season it was announced that his Fastenal sponsor would move over to Ricky Stenhouse Jr. starting in 2015. Fastenal has been the primary sponsor on the Edwards car for the 2014 season.
Now that news has broken that 3M is leaving Roush Fenway and driver Greg Biffle after a long run you can expect, hopefully, that news would come out shortly about a new sponsor for Biffle’s ride. As of yet nothing has been announced but there has been a hint from RFR that something is in the works.
Roush Fenway president Steve Newmark posted on his Twitter feed that the team would have some announcements in the future. His tweet appeared on August 14.
“We have some exciting '15 partnership announcements for the No 16 coming in the next few weeks and look forward to sharing soon.”
The Need for Many Sponsors
For years race car drivers were associated with the longtime sponsors that were logoed across their car hoods race after race, season after season. Those days are over as the industry has moved to several teams seeking a multitude of different sponsorships. It’s hard to find a sponsor that has deep enough pockets to be the only company associated with a driver.
There have always been associate sponsors but the trend over the last decade or so is to split primary sponsorship hood time up with a couple of different companies for select races. Teams and drivers have been doing this for years now as companies scaled back marketing efforts during the tough economy.
This is even the case with a driver as successful as Jeff Gordon. He is currently second in points, he’s a four-time Cup Series champion, has 90 victories, and ranks third on the all-time wins list.
Even with those numbers Gordon’s car will share hood time with several other companies besides 3M. The No. 24 car will still run several races with familiar brands such as the AARP’s Drive to End Hunger and Axalta, formally named Dupont, next season.