Team Penske signs big IZOD deal

UPDATE #2 Here are some of the facts and some other clarifications on the Penske to IZOD press release.

1. IZOD has said time and time again that they are not interested in being a full time primary sponsor on any car. They are only willing to pay for full IZOD branding on an INDYCAR at the Indy 500 and a few select races.

2. There are few teams, or perhaps any team other than Team Penske, that have the luxury of running a car for the full season on the budget for the Indy 500 and another race or two. For their own reasons Team Penske may have decided to do that for IZOD. Andretti was obviously unwilling to do that. No one knows if Penske has signed another sponsor for six to ten races, or fifteen other sponsors for ‘one offs’ at the other races or will self fund the balance of the races. What is clear is the MONEY a sponsor pays for the Indy 500 and one or two other races is not sufficient to run a car for the season. All the B2B and other intangible marketing reasons fall short if a team doesn’t have enough money to pay their employees, make lease payments, pay for hotels and airfare as all of those type of expenses require hard cash.

3. No competent company that is considering a full season INDYCAR primary sponsorship would entertain a proposal that has them paying to be the primary sponsor at five million dollars or so a season and then vacating the car for the biggest race of the year, The Indy 500, which returns the biggest marketing value of the year. Not going to happen.

4. With Andretti Autosport just barely piecing together Hunter-Reay’s car on a very thin budget last year it is no surprise that Andretti Autosport had to find a sponsor that was willing to be a primary sponsor, and provide a proper budget, for the entire season. It may very well have been part of RHR’s contract that the team have a proper full season sponsor and a proper budget to allow the team to field a competitive car at all of the races, which takes time, planning, and money. Additionally, you can bet Michael Andretti is focused on returning his team to the winners circle on a regular basis and fighting for the championship. Hunter-Reay is without a doubt their best chance of doing that, and they will need a full proper budget to compete with Penske and CGR.

So with Hunter-Reay unavailable to run a ‘one off’ or two, Andretti Autosport unwilling to provide a part time sponsor a full time driver and sidepods in return for payment for a couple of races it is not so surprising that IZOD ended up with Team Penske who has the luxury of running Team Penske sidepods for some races and all the time in the world to try and sell sponsorship for the other races. If you factor into the deal that Verizon is a Penske sponsor as well and will provide substantial media buys where the IZOD brand is prominent it makes perfect sense.

12/06/10 has learned that this is really a B2B deal between Verizon and IZOD. Verizon will feature the IZOD car(s) in a lot of their advertising.

12/06/10 Phillips-Van Heusen Corporation (NYSE: PVH) and Team Penske, the most successful team in IndyCar racing history, today announced that they had entered into a multi-year sponsorship agreement for PVH’s IZOD brand, title sponsor of the IZOD IndyCar Series, to sponsor Team Penske and its drivers. The agreement begins with the 2011 season.

The IZOD brand will sponsor all three Team Penske Dallara/Honda entries – the No. 6 car driven by winning driver Ryan Briscoe, the No. 3 machine piloted by three-time Indy 500 champion Helio Castroneves and the No. 12 car driven by 2010 series runner-up Will Power. The IZOD brand will be the primary sponsor on Briscoe’s No. 6 IZOD Team Penske Dallara/Honda at the 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500, as well as other selected IZOD IndyCar Series Championship races, including the yet-to-be-announced season finale event. IZOD, the sport-inspired lifestyle apparel brand, will serve as an associate sponsor on all three Team Penske cars for the full season. z

“The IZOD brand’s Team Penske sponsorship is a strategic decision to continue to build brand equity in the IZOD IndyCar Series and we are honored to join forces with such a storied operation," said Mike Kelly, Executive Vice President of Marketing for Phillips-Van Heusen. “We intend to leverage this partnership to expand the reach of our brand not only through the relationship with Team Penske but also through cross-promotional activities with Team Penske’s other sponsors."

"Part of the IZOD brand’s stated strategic approach to motorsports marketing is to partner with leading sponsors in the Series to further elevate the reach and awareness of the IndyCar sport and its brand," said Starke Taylor, Vice President Sponsorship and Activation for Phillips-Van Heusen. In 2010, the IZOD brand successfully partnered with IZOD IndyCar Series sponsors, including Honda, as part of the successful multi-media campaign around the “Fastest Seat in Sports," the program in which a custom-built, two-seat Honda led the field to the green flag at start of each of the races, starting with the Indianapolis 500.

As IZOD Indy Car Series title sponsor, the IZOD brand hosted a number of high-profile events, including a series of exhibits titled “In Pursuit of FAST: 100 Years of Indy Racing, Fashion and Design" held at Macy’s throughout the country and parties integrating celebrities such as Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg, Diddy, Adrian Grenier, Jeremy Renner, Kim Kardashian, Greg Kinnear, and Mario Lopez, and music, including Dave Navarro and his band Camp Freddy, to drive visibility of the Series within pop culture and mainstream audiences. Events were hosted in New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Toronto and Indianapolis during the 2010 season and served to expand the sport to new fans and revive interest in fans from the past. The IZOD brand and the IZOD Indy Car Series were also featured in the “Race to the Party" advertising campaign.

“Team Penske is excited to build this new relationship with Phillips-Van Heusen," said Roger Penske. “As we saw in 2010, they have put the full strength of their IZOD brand behind growing the sport of IndyCar racing and we believe they will be a terrific partner with our team and our drivers for years to come."

Team Penske is the winningest team in the history of North American open-wheel racing. The team has produced 153 race wins, 196 pole positions, 12 national championships and 15 Indianapolis 500 victories in IndyCar competition.

“I am really looking forward to driving under the IZOD brand, beginning next season," said Briscoe, who has earned six wins and 10 poles over the last three seasons competing for Team Penske. “The team behind the IZOD brand clearly has a passion for IndyCar racing and Team Penske will be working hard to bring them a victory in the Indianapolis 500 and, hopefully, a series championship in 2011."

The IZOD brand’s first involvement with the sport came in July 2008, when it became the official apparel sponsor of the IndyCar Series, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Firestone Indy Lights. In November 2009, the brand announced its title sponsorship of the newly re-named IZOD IndyCar Series.

Leave a Reply