Jimmie Johnson hopes his team will have a sponsorship announcement about the 2019 season fairly soon.
Lowe’s announced earlier in 2018 that the season would be the company’s last as Johnson’s sponsor. The home-improvement chain has sponsored Johnson since the seven-time champion’s debut in the Cup Series in 2002.
“It’s going really well,” Johnson said Thursday at Charlotte Motor Speedway. “We will hopefully have something to announce in the near future, but the excitement about the No. 48 car, the multiple companies that are interested and the ideas and the ways that people would like to use us are very exciting and encouraging.”
Any company or companies who elect to sponsor Johnson will likely want to spend serious activation money. The pairing of Lowe’s and Johnson is one of the most recognizable in the sport’s history and it will take a serious marketing push to get casual fans to understand that Johnson is no longer sponsored by Lowe’s.
We say companies because of the recent trend for businesses to sponsor partial seasons instead of full seasons. With the departure of Lowe’s and Menards’ split sponsorship of Ryan Blaney and Paul Menard, FedEx will be the only full-season primary sponsor left in the Cup Series. And whatever Hendrick gets from those companies will likely be less than they would have gotten five or six years ago given NASCAR’s declining television ratings and the cut-rate title sponsorship deal the sport gave Monster Energy.
Johnson has been personally involved with the team’s sponsorship search and called it a fun and new experience.
“A lot of conversing and ideas and you feel like sometimes a conversation with a given company is going in a different direction and then they go and go to work and brainstorm and come back with a new idea and angle,” Johnson said. “So, it’s amazing how much follow-up is involved and how much collaboration exists through it all … I’ve been able to bring some opportunities to the table through my own contacts that I have and also others have come along through Mr. Hendrick’s network and other networks.”
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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