With Jeff Gordon's Paint Job, NASCAR Meets a New Brand
Of all the stock cars zooming around NASCAR ovals for the past two decades, few were as recognizable as Jeff Gordon's candy-colored Chevrolet (GM), sponsored by DuPont Performance Coatings. It was a splashy partnership: Gordon, a young, California-born driver in a heartland-based sport, piloting a multicolored set of wheels bearing the name of an old-money American dynasty. Only two drivers in the sport's history have ever accumulated more wins. His team owner, Rick Hendrick, recently said that the DuPont car was "one of the most effective and iconic relationships in sports marketing."
Well, until this week.The chemicals giant sold its painting and coating division to the private equity firm Carlyle Group for .9 billion in February, and the new owner has since rechristened the company as Axalta Coating Systems. Gordon's car hood followed suit and launched its new look on Sunday at the Party in the Poconos 400 in Pennsylvania.
For non-diehards, it's difficult to appreciate the emotional attachment Nascar fans have with the sponsors and designs of their favorite drivers' cars. Given Gordon's relatively long career and overall success, a swapping of logos midseason is kind of like...
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