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.”