Budweiser drops NHRA and Bernstein Racing sponsorship “Anheuser-Busch today announced the 2009 season will be Budweiser’s last as official beer sponsor of the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) and as primary sponsor of Kenny Bernstein Racing and the Budweiser Top Fuel dragster.
Budweiser has sponsored the NHRA since the early 1980s and is celebrating its 30th season with Kenny Bernstein Racing. The Budweiser-Bernstein relationship is the longest running in motorsports history, eclipsing Scientifically Treated Petroleum’s (STP) 28-year sponsorship of Richard Petty in NASCAR. Kenny Bernstein Racing, one of the sport’s most consistent winners, aims to continue racing if new sponsorship is secured for 2010.
“The NHRA and Kenny Bernstein Racing have been world class partners and we’re proud of everything we’ve accomplished together,” said Dan McHugh, vice president, Media, Sponsorship and Activation, Anheuser-Busch. “For three decades Budweiser helped grow the sport while its association with the NHRA and Kenny Bernstein provided a unique opportunity to market to adult beer drinkers.”
“NHRA is grateful to Anheuser-Busch for their long association with the sport and Kenny Bernstein Racing,” said Gary Darcy, senior vice president of sales and marketing. “Their 30-year run with the sport is a testament to the return on investment they’ve enjoyed and Kenny Bernstein’s personal commitment and dedication to the brand and its distributors.”
“Budweiser provided us the opportunity to make a career of doing what we love,” said Kenny Bernstein. “We owe a debt of gratitude to all the Anheuser-Busch employees and wholesalers we’ve worked with, as well as the fans and friends who’ve followed and supported us all these years.”
In 30 years together, Budweiser and Kenny Bernstein Racing captured six NHRA titles, including four consecutive Funny Car crowns (1985-1988) and two Top Fuel titles (1996, 2001). Kenny and son Brandon, who took the keys from his father in 2002, amassed 85 national event victories under the Budweiser flag and in 1992, Kenny became the first driver to surpass the 300 mile-per-hour barrier.
“The success and longevity of our relationship with the NHRA and Kenny Bernstein Racing is a tribute to their understanding of the Budweiser brand over the years,” said McHugh. “For his part, Kenny Bernstein has been nothing less than the ultimate ambassador for the brand. We thank him, his team and the NHRA for a great run.”