Earlier this week, we saw Miss Sprint Cup unveil the top 10 vote-getters in the Sprint Fan Vote ahead of Saturday's Sprint All-Star Race, with each driver announced alongside a comic book-like depiction of themselves.
That appears to be the theme of the week, as Hendrick Motorsports announced Thursday a partnership with Warner Bros. Consumer Products in conjunction with DC Entertainment in a unique three-year agreement that will allow the team and its partners to develop consumer promotions and original content to engage youth, drive fan excitement and energize licensed merchandise initiatives.
WBCP and DCE will work with Hendrick Motorsports and its partners to build on- and off-track programs teaming star drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Kasey Kahne with the most recognized characters in superhero lore, including Batman, Superman, The Flash and Green Lantern.
“Working with Warner Bros. Consumer Products and DC Entertainment will make for an innovative and impactful partnership,” said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. “Adding value to sponsor relationships, developing an even stronger retail licensing platform and engaging with young people are high priorities for us. This collaboration will generate many opportunities in those areas.”
The first joint program will come to life around upcoming Sprint Cup Series events at Charlotte Motor Speedway (May 25) and Michigan International Speedway (June 15) where Superman, the world’s first and most recognized superhero, will be featured on Earnhardt’s No. 88 Chevrolet SS.
Great kryptonite! pic.twitter.com/IMTE5lBbS0— Hendrick Motorsports (@TeamHendrick) May 15, 2014
Earnhardt Jr. ran a Superman paint scheme last year at Michigan as well, and had a Batman trim on his race-winning car at the track in 2012.
The Superman-themed paint scheme will pair the Army National Guard with the Superman Hall of Heroes, a new online gift-giving portal that empowers consumers to honor their personal heroes; those who have made a positive impact on their lives or the lives of others.
“We are excited to partner on a long-term program that brings together Hendrick Motorsports’ superhero drivers with the superheroes of DC Comics,” said Brad Globe, president, Warner Bros. Consumer Products. “This partnership will allow us to offer NASCAR and DC Comics fans unique experiences that tap into the storylines of our characters and the successes of these four world-class athletes.”
Potential programs include more co-developed car paint schemes, comic books and digital content incorporating DC Comics superheroes and illustrated likenesses of Hendrick Motorsports drivers. Team partners will have exclusive opportunities to align with upcoming Warner Bros. Consumer Products and DC Comics-inspired programming and releases.
All four Hendrick drivers have changed their Twitter avatars to reflect their new comic book looks.
👈Checkout my avatar: "If I was a super hero".— Jimmie Johnson (@JimmieJohnson) May 15, 2014
“@JimmieJohnson: 👈Checkout my avatar: "If I was a super hero". What about mine 👊— Kasey Kahne (@kaseykahne) May 15, 2014
“Our partners have activated promotions around Batman and Superman that remain two of the best programs we’ve ever seen at retail,” said Patrick Perkins, Hendrick Motorsports’ vice president of marketing. “We expect similar success with the Superman Hall of Heroes. It’s an excellent fit for the National Guard and a perfect kickoff to our new association with Warner Bros. Consumer Products and DC Entertainment. "