GoDaddy won’t return as Danica Patrick’s primary sponsor in 2016
It’s official: GoDaddy is leaving NASCAR after this season, though the company likely will maintain a personal services relationship with driver Danica Patrick, who has been sponsored by GoDaddy for her entire NASCAR career.
In a press release issued Wednesday morning, the company said it is "leaving NASCAR at the end of the 2015 season, as the company looks to diversify its marketing investment across more channels and regions."
Where that leaves Patrick remains to be seen, although she may continue her relationship with the company. Patrick is best known for her series of tongue-in-cheek and occasionally racy GoDaddy.com Super Bowl commercials.
"We love Danica and all she does to empower and inspire people, especially women, which is why we are working to keep her in the GoDaddy family," said GoDaddy chief marketing officer Phil Bienert. "We have the utmost respect for Stewart-Haas Racing, and they’ve been phenomenal partners. In fact, NASCAR has been a tremendous domestic platform to help us achieve an 81 percent aided brand awareness domestically, but at this stage, we need a range of marketing assets that reach a more globally-diverse set of customers. The fact Danica is having a record-setting season makes it tough to leave this motorsports sponsorship, without a doubt."
"Danica is a superstar. She’s making history in a male-dominated sport and that takes massive commitment, tenacity and passion," said GoDaddy CEO Blake Irving. "The way Danica approaches racing is remarkably similar to how our small business customers approach their work … they’re both chasing dreams in spite of huge obstacles. She’s an inspiration to go getters everywhere. She’s also helped inspire women around the world to dream big and keep working to make their dreams real. I would be thrilled if Danica stayed on as GoDaddy’s spokeswoman and I want to personally thank Stewart-Haas Racing and NASCAR for their help in building the GoDaddy brand domestically."
Stewart-Haas also issued a statement thanking its long-term sponsor.
"GoDaddy has been an outstanding partner since joining our race team in 2012. They helped us grow from the two-car team we were at the beginning of 2012 to the four-car team we are today," said Brett Frood, SHR’s executive vice president. "Along the way, their business has grown exponentially, proving our relationship to be mutually beneficial. We value all of our partnerships and take great pride in seeing GoDaddy’s association with Danica Patrick and Stewart-Haas Racing serve as a springboard for their global marketing strategy.
"Our organization has been fortunate to have committed corporate partners, a focused and dedicated employee base, and drivers capable of translating these tools to on-track success. It is our intent to continue raising our performance bar with all four Stewart-Haas Racing teams and delivering results to our constituents now and in the future. With Danica, we see a driver with unparalleled resolve and tenacity. She is an individual who transcends the sport and we look forward to fostering new partnerships for her and the No. 10 team."
For her part, Patrick said, "GoDaddy has been an incredible partner for a very long time and our brands have really grown up together. It’s pretty cool, from a marketing perspective, that we helped GoDaddy build such strong brand awareness here in the U.S. I’m excited to work with GoDaddy on a personal level moving forward, but will miss having their bright green color on my racecar next year. At the same time, this is a new opportunity for a brand to pair with me and Stewart-Haas Racing and achieve the kind of growth we experienced with GoDaddy."
Heck of a lot of season left to win driving the @godaddy car! Everything evolves and changes in life, I'm excited for what's to come!
— Danica Patrick (@DanicaPatrick) April 29, 2015