SHR reveals two of Harvick's Anheuser-Busch paint schemes
It's official. Kevin Harvick's No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet will carry the Busch Beer branding for 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races in 2016.
While the news of the switch in branding had been known for some time, Harvick and Anheuser-Busch officials laid out the plans and unveiled two paint schemes during a press event Thursday at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
"I'm really excited," said Harvick. "You hear talk of the national platform, listening to the plans everybody has with Busch and tying it into the other properties that they have with the outdoor stuff. It really fits what I do, who I am and who our fan is. I'm just really excited to be a part of it."
The partnership is a switch in branding from Budweiser to Busch Beer, but Harvick will maintain a personal agreement with Budweiser off the track.
"Everybody's fighting for a property. Everybody's fighting for the NFL, Major League Baseball, and quite honestly, everybody's fighting for NASCAR," said Nick Kelly, director of experiential marketing for Anheuser-Busch. "We have the most passionate fan base with NASCAR, and the Busch drinkers are some of the most loyal drinkers. We have the opportunity to partner with Kevin Harvick, the reigning champion, and really kind of bring something to the table for (the fans) that they haven't had in a long time. They haven't had a national platform since they left the Busch Series. The goal for us is to hopefully reintroduce that."
Harvick will be featured in national television advertisements, point of sale and packaging for the Busch brands.
This will mark the first time Busch Beer has served as a primary sponsor on a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car since the brand supported NASCAR Hall of Fame member Cale Yarborough from 1979 until 1980. Yarborough carried those colors in the 1979 Daytona 500 -- the race after which he and the Allison brothers infamously fought on national television.
"1979 is probably one of the biggest moments in our sport with that particular car -- it might not be on the track, but it was still a pretty big deal as far as where our sport is today," Harvick said. "When you look back, to be a two-time Busch champion, to be part of the Busch Series coming up, that was really where you looked to go after the Camping World Truck Series. Even to this day you sometimes slip up and call it the Busch Series.
"The heritage that the Busch brand has in our sport is something that is really, really deep. I think NASCAR fans will 100 percent relate to some of the paint schemes and some of the things we do going forward."
According to Kelly, Anheuser-Busch is working with Stewart-Haas Racing to determine the 12 events in which Harvick will carry the Busch colors. Kelly also indicated there are likely to be multiple throwback paint schemes used throughout the year.
These are two of Kevin Harvick's Anheuser-Busch paint schemes for next season.