GEICO’s relationship with Germain Racing and Casey Mears, driver of the number 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS, is a finely-tuned collaboration – a well-oiled machine, you might say. So it’s no surprise that all the parties have agreed to extend their relationship through the 2018 season. The company will continue to serve as the primary sponsor, and Germain Racing and Mears will continue their quest for a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship.
GEICO’s partnership with Germain Racing began in 2009. Since that time, GEICO has been a team player every step of the way and since Mears took over the driving duties in 2010, he has been a consistent top-20 performer who has contended for wins at both Daytona and Talladega. GEICO has also established itself as a title sponsor at Talladega Superspeedway with the GEICO 500, while also blanketing many racetracks across the country with the GEICO logo, including campgrounds where fans make their home during race weekends. And planes fly the GEICO banner overhead at nearly every NASCAR event.
The sport and its fan base continue to expand. According to NASCAR estimates, more than 3,518,000 million people attended last year’s 36 Sprint Cup races, an average of around 97,700 per race. And NASCAR attracts around $3 billion a year just in sponsorship money – more than twice what the NFL earns.
The Daytona 500 is NASCAR’s equivalent to the Super Bowl or World Series as an attendance mammoth. The Florida track seats around 100,000 spectators – and can hold 50,000 more in the track’s infield, along with a sea of RVs and travel trailers.
The same is true at the Brickyard 400, held at the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and the Coca Cola 600 in Charlotte, North Carolina, two of NASCAR’s other big events. NASCAR claims ownership of the top four most-attended sporting events in the country every year. No doubt about it; the fans love the sport. They travel from race to race across the country throughout the nine-month NASCAR season, following their favorite drivers.
Ted Ward, GEICO’s marketing vice president, sees the big picture. “NASCAR is a natural fit for the company and has provided access to a legion of brand-loyal fans,” said Ward. “We’ve enjoyed our partnership with Germain Racing and Casey Mears and we look forward to building upon our successful relationship in the sport of NASCAR.”
Look for great things from Mears and Germain Racing in 2016. Along with the sponsorship extension, the number 13 Chevrolet SS will itself sport a new paint scheme on a weekly basis, while a new GEICO Military paint scheme will appear at select races throughout the season.
By Tony Blue