New Face For Budweiser
When Dale Earnhardt Jr. announced earlier this year that he will be leaving the team that his father started, among the hottest topic in the paddocks is where the most popular NASCAR driver today will go next season. And since Budweiser has been Jr.’s primary sponsor since he came into the Nextel Cup, it was also an issue whether the brewer will accompany Junior to his new team. It is now official that Jr. will be driving for Hendrick Motorsports next year and that Budweiser will no longer be his sponsor.
Recently, it was announced that Kasey Kahne will replace Dale Earnhardt Jr. as the face of Budweiser in the Nextel Cup Series. According to Bloomberg, Anheuser Busch, the makers of Budweiser, has entered an agreement with Gillett Evernham Motorsports. Kahne is with the team and his No. 9 car will be boasting the Budweiser logo next season.
Budweiser will be the young NASCAR driver’s primary sponsor. But aside from the beer brand, his car will also sport small decal from Allstate Insurance Co. Kasey Kahne has been sponsored by the said insurance company.
Marc Ganis, the president of SportsCorp Ltd., a sports marketing company, said that Kahne is a good choice for Budweiser. “It’s a good pickup by Budweiser,” said Ganis according to Bloomberg. “He’s an up and comer and he’s very charismatic. Recognizing that he’s not on the same level as Dale Earnhardt Jr., he’s still a very good pick for them.”
Budweiser meanwhile is also upbeat about sponsoring the young driver. “Budweiser has a long and storied history with NASCAR and some of its most successful drivers. We’re excited about Kasey’s ability to add to that outstanding lineage,” said Tony Ponturo, the vice president for global media and sports marketing, Anheuser-Busch, Inc. said in a news release.
Ponturo also said that they will be paying a bit more to Gillett Evernham than to DEI. “It is a little bit up,” Ponturo said. “You’re going to have to pay the right price and obviously for the top teams there’s a cost to doing business. I think it’s fair for us and obviously Gillett and Evernham feel it’s fair to them or they wouldn’t have accepted the deal,” he added further.
Meanwhile, some may be concerned about Kasey’s image as he is the face of Allstate Insurance and now he will also be advertising Budweiser. To this, Kahne has this to say: “You probably don’t know me too well if you don’t know that I’m a beer guy. As far as the image and things, when I came here in 2004 I wasn’t ready to go to Nextel Cup with all the fans. I didn’t expect it, I wasn’t ready for it and it hit me quick. It was really exciting for myself. Since then you get more and more used to it as time goes and now with this, it’s going to elevate it even more.”
The driver is having a dismal season this year on his No. 9 car after posting the most wins in Nextel Cup last season. Kasey Kahne though will be looking to improve his performance next season on his Dodge parts-equipped car with Budweiser sponsorship.