Sonoco mad at Shell’s exposure UPDATE #2 A reader makes an excellent point - So what, grow up Sunoco.. What happens when the FedEx Chevy beats the UPS Toyota? UPS the official express package service of NASCAR must be furious to see Denny on the podium and I don’t see the FedEx logos getting any smaller.. Phones, aspirin, tires and belts… NASCAR has all the official suppliers it can wrap up in a contract and yet they still think they can pull the strings and keep other similar and competing business out of the gravy train.. Good Luck and Grow Up.. This is the free market and sponsorship money runs freely and carries a big stick. Time to get all the sponsors back on the Champ Car bandwagon, some diversity in the marketplace is good. Bob Petitt
02/23/07 A Shell executive said that Kevin Harvick will have a different uniform that will include the word "Pennzoil" on it more prominently for the race this weekend at California, but the company will explore its options beyond this weekend. Kevin Ilges, director of U.S. Social Responsibility and Business Support for Shell Oil Company, said his company followed NASCAR's requirements last weekend for the Daytona 500.
The Shell sponsorship of Harvick's car has conditions because its fuel product competes with NASCAR fuel supplier Sunoco. It must use the Richard Childress Racing No. 29 car to promote the oil side of its business.
Ilges said the logo, without the words Shell, is a company-wide logo and represents all of its products. On the hood of Harvick's car, the Pennzoil wording is bigger than the Shell logo. But on Harvick's uniform, there is big Shell logo. Scenedaily.com02/22/07 It appears there was something that failed inspection after Sunday's Daytona 500 -- the uniform and helmet worn by race winner Kevin Harvick.
Facing complaints from Sunoco, the official fuel supplier of NASCAR, the sanctioning body has been in discussions with Harvick's Richard Childress Racing team to address concerns over Shell-Pennzoil's sponsorship on Harvick's uniform and helmet.
In response to those complaints, Harvick can no longer wear the driver's helmet used Sunday, which featured a prominent Shell logo, and his uniform will have to be redone to include less prominent Shell logos, multiple sources confirmed.
Before the Daytona 500, sources confirmed Harvick was asked by NASCAR if he would wear a jacket over his uniform during introductions, which he agreed to do.
During Speedweeks, officials with Sunoco lodged several complaints with NASCAR regarding the Shell logos on Harvick's helmet and uniform. They hit a crest when Harvick's victories in Saturday's Busch race and Sunday's 500 produced several newspaper headlines utilizing the Shell name and many photographs of the logos.
Sunoco signed a 10-year deal in 2003 to become the official fuel supplier for NASCAR's three national series -- Nextel Cup, Busch and Trucks.
As part of the deal, no new fuel suppliers are allowed to sponsor teams, NASCAR officials said. Shell-Pennzoil was allowed to join RCR and Harvick's No. 29 Chevrolet this season because the sponsorship was for its automotive lubricants.
Sunoco's complaints are based on the extent Shell-Pennzoil's branding is seen promoting its gas product over its automobile lubricants.
"In exchange for providing a quality product for all three series, Sunoco was granted exclusivity in the fuel category at the track," said NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston.
"We're always trying to work with our sponsors and teams to navigate through any challenges, especially the automotive lubricant category, which is closely aligned with fuel." More at Charlotte Observer
[Editor's Note: We saw a similar incident between Cingular and Nextel over the branding the Cingular Chevy. AT&T wants their branding on the car now that Cingular has become AT&T but Sprint-Nextel is saying no. This is what happens when one organization (NASCAR) has all the sponsorship tied up. Some of these sponsors should be in open wheel racing, but they cannot land the deals because NASCAR can show a much better ROI based on TV Ratings.]