National Guard Back With Earnhardt For 2014
By: Dustin Long - @dustinlong on October 25, 2013 | 3:51 P.M. EST
The National Guard will return as a sponsor for Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 2014. (Photo: Getty Images)
MARTINSVILLE, Va. - The Army National Guard will return as a sponsor for Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 2014, Hendrick Motorsports announced Friday.
The National Guard will be Earnhardt’s primary sponsor in 20 NASCAR Sprint Cup races next year, including the Daytona 500. The National Guard will have prominent brand placement during the other races.
Hendrick Motorsports has partnered with the National Guard since 2007.
PepsiCo previously announced it would sponsor Earnhardt’s car in five races a season through the 2015 season. Additional sponsorship for Earnhardt’s team will be announced later.
“NASCAR is a critical marketing platform for the National Guard,” said Lt. Col. Michael Wegner, marketing branch chief, Army National Guard. “This program touches recruiters, influencers, our own Citizen Soldiers and those interested in the Guard’s many career opportunities and benefits.
“NASCAR fans in our target demographic are twice as likely to consider the military as a career option, and the overall fan base strongly advocates for military service. It’s the right place for the Guard and has helped us recruit more than 400,000 Citizen Soldiers since 2007.”
The Army National Guard and other military branches have faced scrutiny in Congress for sports sponsorships in previous years. The U.S. House of Representatives voted 289-134 in June to defeat an amendment that would prohibit military sponsorships of sporting events. The amendment was sponsored by Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Minn., who has fought the past couple of years to limit military sports sponsorships. The House voted against such measures in 2011 and 2012.
Motor Racing Network – “The Voice of NASCAR” – will have live coverage of Sunday's Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 from Martinsville Speedway at 12:30 p.m. (ET), with live streaming at MotorRacingNetwork.com.