Jeff Gordon adds new primary sponsor
June 17, 2014, Kenny Bruce, NASCAR.com
Long-term deal hints at four-time champion not retiring soon
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Hold off on the retirement talk. Put the bubbly back in the bucket. With today's sponsorship announcement, it seems four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon isn't planning any going away parties anytime soon.
Officials with Hendrick Motorsports announced Tuesday an expanded relationship with Panasonic that will include primary sponsorship of Gordon's No. 24 Chevrolet for select races through the 2016 season.
The company will be the team's primary sponsor for two races each year, beginning with this weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Sonoma Raceway. It will serve as an associate sponsor in the remaining races.
Panasonic will also be the primary sponsor of the No. 24 later this year at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The company aligned itself with Hendrick Motorsports as a technology partner in 2007.
Hendrick Motorsports fields four Sprint Cup teams, for Gordon, six-time champion Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kasey Kahne.
According to a news release from HMS, Panasonic's Toughbook brand will be featured on the car's quarter panels this weekend.
"To maximize the value of a NASCAR sponsorship, you need to partner with proven teams and drivers that exemplify your brand," Rance Poehler, president, Panasonic System Communications Company of North America, said. "Hendrick Motorsports and Jeff Gordon have a record of excellence that is a perfect fit for Panasonic and its Toughbook brand."
Team owner Rick Hendrick said his company uses Panasonic technology "across the organization, and it provides the best possible tools in every area, from competition to marketing to IT."
The Toughbook mobile computer is a staple in the NASCAR garage among engineers.
Gordon, 42, is the series points leader and a five-time winner at Sonoma.
The debut of Panasonic couldn't come at a better place, according to Gordon.
"This is the next step in what's already been a successful partnership, and it's going to be fun to take it to another level," he said. "We hope to kick it off with a win this weekend for Panasonic and Toughbook."