Spartanburg-based Advance America unveiled a two-year marketing partnership with NASCAR driver Danica Patrick.
The short-term lender announced the partnership during a ceremony at its headquarters downtown. A large crowd of employees got fired up after watching a 30-second commercial featuring the Monster Energy Cup Series racer.
Patrick was not in attendance due to racing commitments, but employees snapped selfies in front of a cardboard cutout of the racing icon.
Under the partnership, Patrick will display Advance America’s logo on her helmet during the 2017 season. The endorsement also includes the use of Patrick’s name and likeness in advertising, promotions, social media and other content.
Trudy Boyles, senior vice president of customer experience at Advance America, said the company began doing its due diligence on the partnership with Patrick this past fall, and inked a deal in December.
Boyles said the company believes its customers identify with Patrick’s story, which began when she left home at age 16 to pursue a racing career.
“We’re all about helping people move forward and achieve their goals,” Boyles said. “She’s very popular, recognizable and relatable.”
She said the company’s potential customer base includes about 20 million NASCAR fans.
“We all face obstacles from time to time and struggle to make ends meet,” Patrick said, in a statement. “I’m proud to partner with a company that offers reliable and trusted solutions to help Americans get back on track during tough financial times.”
Advance America spokesman Jamie Fulmer said this is the first time the company, which is owned by Mexico-based Grupo Elektra, has partnered with a major celebrity.
“I think it takes our brand recognition to another level,” said Patrick O’Shaughnessy, Advance America’s CEO. “She’s the perfect fit for us.”
Founded in 1997 by Spartanburg businessman George Dean Johnson Jr., Advance America has grown to 2,000 centers in 28 U.S. states.
For more information, visit www.advanceamerica.net/Danica.