It seems obvious in retrospect. With the NASCAR Cup Series running a dirt track race for the first time since 1970, a cleaning product would make a perfect sponsor. Proctor & Gamble jumped on the opportunity, announcing plans to sponsor the Petty Motorsports entry into the Bristol Dirt Race with the colors and logo of its Tide brand. Food City, one of the region’s leading sellers of Tide, will also have its logo on the car.
Matt Mueller, a sales account executive for Proctor & Gamble in fabric and home care, said, “We just reached out and said, ‘Look, this is a great opportunity. Bristol’s getting dirt. Tide’s a great equity brand that we can tie to this. We can say, ‘Bristol’s got dirt but your clothes shouldn’t.’ We can say, ‘To win at Bristol, you have to be good on dirt, like Tide.’”
Mueller credits the Food City marketing team for bringing the deal together quickly. “With the great people at Food City, we pulled this together in three weeks – the graphics, the firesuit, everything. Working with both legal teams has been a crazy three weeks, but it’s been fun.”
Said Food City President and CEO Steve Smith, “How awesome is it that we have the opportunity to serve as the primary partner of the iconic Richard Petty Motorsports No. 43 Chevrolet Camaro for the running of this historic event at the Bristol Motor Speedway?”
Petty Motorsports team owner Richard Petty was the last man to win a Cup race on dirt, back in 1970, so his team’s involvement ties the whole package together.
“The Tide deal came up and I said, ‘you can’t beat that. It’s gonna be a bunch of dirty people leaving here and they’re going to need a bunch of Tide to clean themselves up,” Petty said.
Bristol Motor Speedway has spent the last month creating a dirt track on top of its existing racing surface, with Tennessee red clay ranging from one to 10 feet in depth.
Erik Jones will drive the Tide car for Petty Motorsports. The graphic design for the car merges two iconic paint schemes from NASCAR history using Tide orange and Petty blue. The Tide logo will be emblazoned on the bonnet of the car and on both rear quarters. The Food City logo will appear on both rear quarters and the back of the car. Petty’s signature number 43 will appear on a field of light blue on top of the car, and on a field of dark orange on both doors.