Best Buy To Sponsor Sadler

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Best Buy, Inc., announced today it has entered a new affiliation with Gillett Evernham Motorsports.

The nation’s leading electronics retailer will serve as the primary sponsor of driver Elliott Sadler and the No. 19 Gillett Evernham Motorsports Dodge Avenger in 15 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events in 2008, including the 50th running of the “Great American Race,” the Daytona 500.

“At Best Buy, we’re all about bringing consumers the complete product and service experiences, and that’s what we feel we’ve found with Gillett Evernham Motorsports, “said Barry Judge, senior vice president , Marketing, Best Buy. “With Gillett Evernham Motorsports, not only do we have the focus on performance, but we also have a charismatic fan favorite and proven winner in our driver, Elliott Sadler. We’re confident this new relationship will generate excitement and enthusiasm among our employees, as well as our customers.”

”This sponsorship is a natural fit,” said Gillett Evernham Motorsports co-owner, Ray Evernham. “Gillett Evernham Motorsports is known for bringing technology and innovation to its race program, just as Best Buy is recognized for bringing the newest technology in entertainment to its customers.”

“At Gillett Evernham Motorsports, we always look to align ourselves with companies at the forefront of their respective industries,” said George N. Gillett, Jr., co-owner of Gillett Evernham Motorsports. “We’re honored to have such a prominent brand supporting our racing program, along with our other outstanding partners.”

Since 2000, Gillett Evernham Motorsports has posted 13 wins, 24 poles, 67 top-five and 130 top-10 finishes in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition.

Driver Elliott Sadler is also no stranger to Victory Lane, with three Sprint Cup wins, 55 top-10 finishes and seven pole positions to his credit.

“Best Buy is a brand I’ve believed in and supported for years, so to represent them is honestly a dream come true,” said Elliott Sadler, driver of the No. 19 Dodge Avenger. “I love all kinds of music and movies, and I’ve always been a ‘gadget guy.’ My house, car, boat and even my motor home are all tricked out with stereos, speakers, gaming systems, GPS, flat screens, DVD players, you name it. The employees at the Mooresville (N.C.) Best Buy store already know me by name, but they’ll be seeing even more of me now.”

To announce the partnership, Best Buy and Gillett Evernham Motorsports held a press conference on Friday morning, Nov. 9, at Phoenix International Raceway, which featured a unique twist on the traditional sponsorship announcement. Instead of representatives just speaking about the new partnership, the relationship was announced through a special video piece that aired on flat-screen TV’s placed in front of the media center stage.

Produced by Best Buy’s internal Yellow Tag production team and filmed last week at the Mooresville, N.C., Best Buy store, the humorous clip featured Sadler, Evernham and local Best Buy employees, known as “Blue Shirts.”

“Best Buy is all about having fun, so we wanted to do something a little different than just sitting on a stage and talking about next year,” said Brad Morrill, senior motorsports manager, Best Buy. “This video reveals the new relationship, but does it in a humorous way that really showcases the personalities of Elliott (Sadler), Ray (Evernham) and Best Buy. There are a lot of sponsorship announcements this time of year, so we wanted to give ours a different look and highlight some of the technology Best Buy is known for.

“The other great benefit is that Best Buy will use this piece to generate awareness and excitement among Best Buy’s 130,000-plus employees, as well as millions of race fans. We believe this is one of the first times, if not the first, a company has announced its motorsports sponsorship across multiple distribution channels to so many different publics.”

As the press conference got underway, a link to the video was emailed to members of the motorsports media, allowing them to view the spot directly from their computer screens.

Fans have the opportunity to view the piece by visiting the Best Buy Racing website (www.racing.bestbuy.com), and the clip will be linked on the Best Buy employee internal website.

Sadler, a native of Emporia, Va., began his NASCAR career in 1995, competing in two NASCAR Busch Series events. In 1997, his first full season of Busch Series competition, Sadler posted three wins, four poles and 10 top-10 runs on his way to a top-five points finish. The following year, Sadler added two more victories, one pole and 10 top-10 finishes to his Busch Series résumé, and made his Sprint Cup debut at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.

In 1999, Sadler competed in his first full season of Sprint Cup competition, driving the legendary No. 21 car for Wood Brothers Racing. Sadler remained with the team for four seasons, scoring his first Sprint Cup Series victory during that time at Bristol Motor Speedway in March, 2001.

The 2003 season saw Sadler moving to Robert Yates Racing, where he scored wins at California Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway in 2004. Midway through the 2006 season, Sadler joined Gillett Evernham Motorsports to drive the No. 19 Dodge.

Gillett Evernham Motorsports is a leading team in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, NASCAR Busch Series and ARCA RE/MAX Series. Founded by CEO Ray Evernham in 1999, the team is in its seventh season of competition at the highest level of NASCAR racing with drivers Elliott Sadler in the No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger, Kasey Kahne in the No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger and Patrick Carpentier in the No. 10 Valvoline/Stanley Tools Dodge Charger in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series.

Gillett Evernham Motorsports also fields the No. 9 Ultimate Chargers Dodge Charger in the NASCAR Busch Series, driven by the three NASCAR NEXTEL Cup drivers, Boris Said and Chase Miller. The team is campaigning Dodge Chargers driven by Erin Crocker in the ARCA RE/MAX Series.

In 2008, Best Buy will enter its fourth season as a sponsor in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. In 2005, Best Buy partnered with NetZero as co-primary sponsors of the No. 0 entry, fielded by Haas CNC Racing. For the past two years, Best Buy has served as the primary sponsor of the No. 66 Haas CNC Racing car.

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