Jack Daniels drops RCR NASCAR sponsorship

Brown-Forman, one of the largest American-owned companies in the wine and spirits business, will conclude its Jack Daniel’s NASCAR program and will not extend its sponsorship with Richard Childress Racing’s No. 07 team.

A change in Brown-Forman’s spending priorities led to the decision to conclude the sponsorship that began in 2005. The Brown-Forman/Jack Daniel’s partnership with RCR will continue for the remainder of the 2009 racing season and the entire team is committed to being competitive on the track each and every race.

“Jack Daniel’s has enjoyed a good five-year run with Richard Childress Racing (RCR) and NASCAR, and we are pleased with the overall performance of our sponsorship program," said Tim Rutledge, vice president and brand director for Jack Daniel’s. “We have enjoyed building strong relationships with the people in Richard’s organization and throughout NASCAR. While it is difficult for us to end our formal relationship with RCR, the current economic environment has compelled us to revaluate our spending and we’ve concluded that other areas in the marketing mix require additional investment."

“We want to thank the many friends and fans of the Jack Daniel’s 07 Racing Team, and we can’t say enough about your incredible support over the last five years. And, as we have since 1866, we will continue to find ways to thank you and keep your loyalty of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey," said Rutledge.

Brown-Forman, Jack Daniel’s, and RCR are particularly pleased to have taken a leadership role in communicating a responsible drinking message throughout its NASCAR sponsorship through its core message of Pace Yourself, Drink Responsibly, featured in all NASCAR promotional materials, including on the race car itself.

“Brown-Forman has been a great partner of RCR for the past five years through its Jack Daniel’s brand," said Richard Childress, president and CEO of Richard Childress Racing. “They quickly became a NASCAR-industry leader in the promotion of the Jack Daniel’s brand through the Pace Yourself, Drink Responsibly messaging, which our fans have embraced. We understand the shift in their spending priorities during these tough economic times and the No. 07 Jack Daniel’s Racing program will continue to provide that successful platform for the rest of the 2009 season. We have built many valuable relationships with the loyal Brown-Forman employees and their distributors during our partnership and look forward to maintaining those relationships in the future."

The No. 07 Jack Daniel’s Racing program began in 2005. Drivers Dave Blaney (2005), Clint Bowyer (2006-08) and Casey Mears (2009) have combined over 171 races for two pole positions, two victories, 16 top-five and 50 top-10 finishes. Bowyer earned spots in the Chase for the Sprint Cup in 2007 and 2008 and finished those seasons in third and fifth place, respectively.

“Being flexible with our strategic investments has been a consistent theme for us at Brown-Forman and I support the decision to move from sponsoring NASCAR to investments in other areas." said Paul Varga, chief executive officer of Brown-Forman. “Richard Childress has been a great partner and this decision simply reflects a change in our investment mix, and not any dissatisfaction with RCR or NASCAR."

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