Fans of the hit A&E series Duck Dynasty and NASCAR get to enjoy a joint effort of sorts as the stars of the show will sponsor the upcoming April 6 Sprint Cup race, choosing to go with the apt moniker Duck Commander 500.
Sporting News' Jeff Owens reports that the Robertsons, whose successes and lives are chronicled on the hit show, are actually going to be something of an early-season mainstay for NASCAR.
Duck Commander, the highly successful business that spawned the creation of the hit show, signed a three-year deal to sponsor the spring race at Texas. The Robertson clan will be a big part of the festivities at the track, possibly serving as grand marshals and making appearances on race weekend.
So for at least three years, the Robertson family will sidle up next to the NASCAR brand, which is getting quite the influx of celebrity names at the moment.
NASCAR.com's David Caraviello reports that rapper 50 Cent will partner with Swan Racing for the upcoming Sprint Cup Series. Swan Racing owner Brandon Davis explained at the time: "I'm an entrepreneur, 50's an entrepreneur. That piece is it, is the synergy that pulled it all together."
Davis spotlights the sport's willingness and ability to bring in celebrities: "You have two entrepreneur-minded people coming together. … NASCAR's structure, it really allows for and opens the door for entrepreneurs to come in and use this platform for different kinds of marketing opportunities, and this is one of them."
And that brings us back to Duck Dynasty, a show and, to a larger extent, brand that could certainly use a boost from this particular partnership.
As Owens reminds, the show has taken a bit of a hit in the ratings following controversial comments made by patriarch Phil Robertson.
Deadline Hollywood reports that the second episode of Season 5 had a whopping 21 percent drop in ratings, noting that the overall decline among a younger demographic comes on the heels of Robertson's anti-gay remarks.
Despite the controversy, Texas Motor Speedway president Eddie Gossage is ecstatic to welcome the Duck Commander name to the April 6 event:
This is perhaps the most unique sponsorship in professional sports because not only does this come with special branding, it comes with celebrity spokespeople that are followed by tens of millions of people every week. Fans will see members of the Robertson Family and cast of Duck Dynasty and all the rest during Duck Commander 500 week.
Gossage didn't stop there, proclaiming, "This marriage is perfection."
One person who will agree wholeheartedly is Clint Bowyer, who showed off this amazing Duck Dynasty paint job last August:
Duck Commander CEO Willie Robertson found a moment to sound off in Owens' report as well, stating, "We're excited about the partnership for the Duck Commander 500, being aligned with NASCAR, and to have our brand associated with an event of this magnitude.
"And, like you, the Robertsons love their NASCAR," he continues. "We are all big fans of NASCAR and have been all our lives. It's especially exciting to see our brand join to make it an awesome experience for the fan base and we can't think of a better place than our neighbor at the Texas Motor Speedway."
When you consider the massive popularity of the show, despite remarks delivered by one of the more visible personalities, pairing NASCAR and Duck Dynasty certainly seems like a great way to push both brands forward.
It might be one race, but the event on whole will have fans mingling with some of their most beloved stars. NASCAR gets to utilize a powerful pop culture name, and the Robertson family gets to wash away some of the sting of controversy by delivering fan service.
While nothing is perfect, Gossage may not be far off, because this is sure to be a hit with fans of the sport and show.
So come to the Texas Motor Speedway this April. The weather will be warmer, the beer will flow as it should, and the beards, well, they will be quite prolific.
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