Ally Financial expands NASCAR spend with 2 new partnerships
By JENNA FRYER
LOS ANGELES (AP) Ally Financial has expanded its growing portfolio as a top NASCAR sponsor with a deal to become the official bank of the stock car series and NASCAR-owned race tracks.
The multiyear deal was announced Sunday ahead of NASCAR's exhibition extravaganza at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and led to the creation of the "Ally Pre-Race Tailgate" that debuted ahead of the Busch Light Clash.
Ally also will be the presenting sponsor of NASCAR's Drive for Diversity Awards beginning in 2024. It said it will use that platform to celebrate "the stories, community, and work being done across the cultural landscape of racing" and work with NASCAR on initiatives to welcome a diverse audience.
Ally entered NASCAR as the main sponsor of the No. 48 Chevrolet for the final two years of Jimmie Johnson's full-time career, stayed on the car after Johnson retired in 2020 and has been supportive of replacement Alex Bowman.
Ally has also sponsored NASCAR's return of Cup racing to Nashville.
"We've loved every minute of the ride since becoming a sponsor of the No. 48, from seeing the growth in popularity of the sport to the increased diversity among team ownership," Ally chief marketing and public relations officer Andrea Brimmer said. "The timing couldn't be better for us to complement our wonderful relationship with Hendrick Motorsports by expanding our footprint as an official NASCAR sponsor."
Diversity (and animal rescue) have been key pillars of Brimmer's stewardship of Ally spending in NASCAR. Ally's increased activation has coincided with social changes throughout the NASCAR industry. Bubba Wallace remains the only full-time Black driver at NASCAR's top Cup level, but he drives for Michael Jordan, showing the landscape of the ownership group is diversifying.
Ally this season worked with paint scheme designer Carolina Fogle, one of the few women in her position, to design the primary No. 48 scheme that will be used on Bowman's car.
"It's been a privilege to work in partnership with Ally these past five years and see them quickly establish themselves as an engaged and admired sponsor in our sport," Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick said.
AP auto racing: https://apnews.com/hub/auto-racing and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports
Updated February 5, 2023