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DATE News (chronologically)
05/21/09
irl
Patrick follows Shaq in new sponsorship plan
IndyCar driver Danica Patrick, the first woman to win an IndyCar race, has launched a new Twitter service in conjunction with a sponsor. Tissott watches will receive extensive branding on her page on the social networking site.

Patrick, the Rookie of the Year for both the 2005 Indianapolis 500 and the 2005 IndyCar Series season, has been consistently linked with a move to Formula One, speculation that only increased after she won the 2008 Indy Japan 300.

When she was named in Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People list earlier this year, she said of Twitter: “I just don’t get it. I don’t want people to know where I am all the time. I don’t think it’s healthy or safe.“ However, Tissott appears to have persuaded her that the commercial opportunities available make it a worthwhile venture. ‘The company sees social media as less invasive than in-your-face advertising,‘ said one analyst.

2,700 fans had signed up to follow Patrick even before the new service was launched this weekend.

Earlier this year, basketball star Shaquille O’Neal announced that he had signed an endorsement deal with Enlyten, the electrolyte strip brand, via his Twitter account. The Phoenix Suns star currently has more than 500,000 fans on the site.

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