GoDaddy’s marketing has evolved over the last couple of years. In the process of the evolution we’ve seen them switch their messaging around quite a bit and try to dump their “old image”.
A new casualty of this shift is NASCAR. For years the hosting and domain company was associated with the motor sport and its spokesperson Danica Patrick was also a well known and relatively successful driver.
As of the end of 2015 GoDaddy is dumping NASCAR from its marketing spend and moving on.
In a statement released today the company rationalises the move as “diversification”.
But they want to keep Danica Patrick. They really do.
Here’s the full release:
GODADDY SHIFTING OUT OF NASCAR NEXT YEAR TO FUEL GLOBAL STRATEGY
WORKING TO RETAIN DANICA PATRICK AS GODADDY SPOKESWOMAN
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., April 29, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — GoDaddy Inc. (NYSE: GDDY), the world’s largest technology provider dedicated to small businesses, is leaving NASCAR at the end of the 2015 season, as the company looks to diversify its marketing investment across more channels and regions. The move marks another milestone in GoDaddy’s marketing evolution, in which the company is balancing brand awareness with a more personalized data-driven marketing approach while expanding its global footprint.
In less than two years, GoDaddy has grown to serve 37 countries in 17 languages and is positioning to fortify its presence in Asia by the end of this year. In reallocating portions of the marketing spend internationally to places where the brand is not as well-known, GoDaddy can market to small business owners and entrepreneurs around the world who want to leverage the power of the Internet with their own digital presence, while still executing on new initiatives to connect with U.S. consumers in a more targeted way.
While GoDaddy is not renewing its primary sponsorship of the No. 10 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team of Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) and driver Danica Patrick, the company is negotiating to keep Patrick as a GoDaddy spokeswoman under a personal services agreement.
“We love Danica and all she does to empower and inspire people, especially women, which is why we are working to keep her in the GoDaddy family,” said GoDaddy Chief Marketing Officer Phil Bienert. “We have the utmost respect for Stewart-Haas Racing, and they’ve been phenomenal partners. In fact, NASCAR has been a tremendous domestic platform to help us achieve an 81 percent aided brand awareness domestically, but at this stage, we need a range of marketing assets that reach a more globally-diverse set of customers. The fact Danica is having a record-setting season makes it tough to leave this motorsports sponsorship, without a doubt.”
2015 is proving to be Patrick’s best Sprint Cup Series to date. She now holds the record for most top-10 finishes by a woman in NASCAR’s top series, with six including a seventh place finish at Martinsville (VA.) Speedway and a ninth place finish at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway earlier this season.
“GoDaddy has been an incredible partner for a very long time, almost nine years, and as I’ve said before, our brands have really grown up together,” Patrick said. “It’s pretty cool, from a marketing perspective, that we helped GoDaddy build such strong brand awareness here in the U.S. I’m excited to work with GoDaddy on a personal level moving forward, but will miss having their bright green color on my racecar next year.”
Patrick signed with GoDaddy for the 2007 IndyCar season where, in 2008, she became the first woman to win an IndyCar race. GoDaddy later helped transition Patrick into NASCAR, as her primary sponsor, starting with the Xfinity Series and then moving into Sprint Cup full-time in 2013. She is one of 14 elite drivers who have led laps at both the Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500.
“Danica is a superstar. She’s making history in a male-dominated sport and that takes massive commitment, tenacity and passion,” said GoDaddy CEO Blake Irving. “The way Danica approaches racing is remarkably similar to how our small business customers approach their work … they’re both chasing dreams in spite of huge obstacles. She’s an inspiration to go getters everywhere. She’s also helped inspire women around the world to dream big and keep working to make their dreams real. I would be thrilled if Danica stayed on as GoDaddy’s spokeswoman and I want to personally thank Stewart-Haas Racing and NASCAR for their help in building the GoDaddy brand domestically.”
In recent years, Patrick has worked to promote GoDaddy’s online services for small business owners and helped with campaigns to fight breast cancer and attract more young women to study science, technology, engineering and math, also known as “STEM.”
“GoDaddy has been a great partner for us and for the sport overall,” said Tony Stewart, SHR co-owner and teammate to Patrick. “There’s a lot of season left on the calendar and it would be great to go out with a win … that would really put the exclamation point on what has been a hugely successful relationship.”