Jeff Gordon and Hendrick Motorsports picked up another key ally on Tuesday, with the announcement that 3M will be the primary sponsor of Gordon’s No. 24 Hendrick Chevrolet in 11 NASCAR Sprint Cup races annually through 2017.
The departure is a blow to Roush Fenway Racing, where 3M had been Greg Biffle’s primary sponsor.
In addition to being Gordon’s primary sponsor for 11 races, 3M will be an associate sponsor the remaining 27 races.
Last week, Hendrick announced that it had re-signed AARP’s Drive to End Hunger program to be Gordon’s primary sponsor for 13 races next season, down from 22 this year.
The 3M announcement fills out Gordon’s No. 24 car for next year. AARP will be the primary sponsor for 13 races, 3M for 11, Axalta for 10 and Pepsi and Panasonic for two races each.
In addition to its team sponsorship, 3M has been an official NASCAR partner across several categories since 1995.
According to a release issued Tuesday by the team, all five of 3M’s business units will participate in the new deal.
"At 3M, we play to win, and we push hard every day to do just that," said Jesse Singh, senior vice president, 3M Global Sales and Marketing in the Hendrick release. "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."
"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."
"Innovation is what 3M is known for," said Gordon, who is second in points as he pursues a fifth championship. "We’ve seen that approach throughout their involvement in NASCAR, and it’s a terrific fit for what we do at Hendrick Motorsports and with the No. 24 team. I’m personally excited about the opportunities and thrilled to represent a company that’s so passionately supported auto racing for such a long time."
After the Hendrick announcement, Roush Fenway Racing issued the following statement from team President Steve Newmark:
"We’re thankful for the 10-year relationship we’ve enjoyed with 3M that included some of Roush Fenway’s most memorable victories. We have some exciting ’15 partnership announcements for the No. 16 coming up in the next few weeks, and look forward to sharing those soon. Right now our focus remains on competing for wins and championships with all of Roush Fenway Racing teams in ’14."