Danica Patrick came into the public eye in a big way in 2005 and her historic run in the Indianapolis 500 that year started a chain of events that are still playing out today. One of the most notable being her partnership with GoDaddy.
GoDaddy joined Patrick as an associate sponsor on her car in 2007 after founder Bob Parsons watched her make history in 2005. By 2010, GoDaddy was the primary sponsor on the No.7 IndyCar and accompanied Patrick as she ventured into the NASCAR world as well.
For two seasons, Patrick ran the full IndyCar Series schedule plus a handful of NASCAR Nationwide Series races, all with sponsorship from GoDaddy. When she made the decision to move to NASCAR full time in 2012, GoDaddy was on board.
Let’s jump to present day 2013. Patrick is wrapping up her Rookie season in NASCARs top series. Kicking off the season by becoming the first woman to sit on the pole for the Daytona 500, Patrick brought GoDaddy into the spotlight for weeks leading up to and following the race. Since then, her season has been filled with mixed results leaving critics to wonder if GoDaddy would be sticking around, especially under new management.
Just a few months ago, new GoDaddy CEO Blake Irving was quoted as saying their partnership with Patrick with Patrick would last an “awful, awful long time.” For Irving, it doesn’t matter whether or not Patrick performs on track right away, what he sees stemming from their partnership is worth the buildup.
“She’s good for us, and we’re a good match,” he said. “She represents our customers well. She’s GoDaddy to a large degree. Honestly it doesn’t matter. I am on Twitter, I am on Facebook, I read the blogs and she gets assailed … and who cares? She is still a magnificent driver, and she is getting as much done as she possibly can.”
Parsons saw that in Patrick right away. He saw the potential to grow his business and grow her fan base. In an economy where sponsorship is hard to come by, having a committed sponsor like GoDaddy is rare and that is something that Patrick realizes and takes to heart.
“I know how important it is to take care of them,” Patrick said. “I know how important it is to do what they want and give them what they want. I know how valuable they are and how easily it can go away, so I guess all I’m saying is, I’m not naive enough to think that I don’t have to do anything to keep it around. You need to work with them and you need to give them value, and the best thing that can happen for me is the company I am with grows. If they grow and I am a part of the program, then I am guilty by association. Forget if I am responsible for any of it. I’m with them. And that’s important.”
Patrick is one of racing’s most recognizable figures and is recognized by millions of people with no ties to the motorsports world. Seeing her with the GoDaddy logo is like seeing Jimmie Johnson with Lowe’s, they’re are inseparable. Her Rookie season may not have met expectation of fans and critics, but for GoDaddy, 2013 was a success. Irving has witnessed what Parsons knew from the start. When it comes to Danica Patrick and GoDaddy, as Irving says, “She’s awesome for us.”
It may not have been another top-15 finish like her first appearance in Martinsville but Danica Patrick earned her seventh top-20 finish of the season.
After slapping the wall and having to go to a backup car, Patrick and the team struggled in qualifying leaving her starting in the back of the field. Rallying back from a lap down, Patrick fought her way through the field and ran as high as tenth before a long green flag run at the end of the race dropped her back. She finished one lap down as race winner Jeff Gordon passed her to take the checkers at the start/finish line.
“I’m really proud of what our GoDaddy team accomplished today,” said Patrick, who finished 12th in her first start at Martinsville. “For pulling out the backup car on Friday and having to start so far back in the field, it was a really good run. We started in the back and made our way through, and we didn’t have quite the car that we had here in the spring, but we got a similar result and that’s something I’m proud of.
“The guys did a great job in the pits. They were on their game each stop. Our adjustments were good all day. It was just a really solid day for our team, and that’s what we want to do these next few races and end our season on a strong note. Today was the last race for our pink car. I’m really proud that we were able to give GoDaddy and .ORG a good run because I’m very proud of what they do to help promote breast cancer awareness, and I’ve been honored to help them with that through the month of October.”
If it wasn’t for her team in the pits and in the garage, her results may have been much different.
“I’m really proud of all the hard work from everyone on the GoDaddy team all weekend,” said crew chief Tony Gibson. “We got behind the 8-ball from Friday, but nobody gave up. I have to thank the road crew and everyone at Stewart-Haas because after the wreck on Friday, they all went to work. The guys at the shop put together a third car for us just in case, and I really appreciate their dedication. It was just a real team effort. I’m proud of what Danica did on the track today. She drove a smart race. And I’m proud of what our pit crew did in the pits.”
With only three races left in the season, the GoDaddy team are gearing up for 2014. In a press conference at Texas Motor Speedway this weekend, Patrick said her team as been trying new setups and experimenting for next year.
Making her third start at Texas in the Sprint Cup Series, Patrick has finished 24th and 28th respectively. Qualifying 30th for Sunday’s AAA Texas 500, Patrick and the team hope to make up ground quickly.
“I think, more than anything with Texas, it’s the fact it’s a really high-banked, fast track and those are the kinds of tracks I’ve liked the most,” Patrick said in a press release on DanicaRacing.com “I feel that load in the corner and you’re able to carry so much speed through there because of that banking. I feel like it translates more to a feeling I was familiar with from Indy cars. So, I like going to Texas.”
GoDaddy announced this week that they will once again have two 30-second commercial spots in the 2014 Super Bowl and at least one of them will feature Patrick, who has been in more Super Bowl commercials than any other celebrity. No date for shooting or information about the commercial has been released at this time.