Scotts, one of Carl Edwards' two major sponsors, received millions in unexpected worldwide publicity last week. So why aren't they thrilled? Well, because the guy driving their car was painted as a borderline-homicidal maniac, that's why.
Edwards received a three-race probation, a punishment that some observers deemed too light. But with no race since then, it's impossible to tell whether anybody -- Edwards, Keselowski, or NASCAR -- got the message. Scotts isn't taking any chances, and as Scene Daily noted, released the following statement on its website:
"Scotts appreciates the support of NASCAR fans everywhere, and we have an excellent relationship with Carl Edwards, Jack Roush and the No. 99 Roush Fenway Racing team,” the statement read. “However, like many fans, we were very concerned about the on-track incident that occurred in Atlanta this past weekend. As a result, we have strongly expressed these concerns to both Carl and Jack, and we are confident that they have a clear understanding of the trust we have placed in them as ambassadors of our company, our associates and our brands. In addition, as a sponsor, we want to make sure that drivers, race teams and NASCAR focus on keeping these types of incidents and misjudgments from happening."
Yikes. We see who's wearing the green jeans in this relationship, don't we? Edwards' other sponsor, Aflac, also had a statement, which was less pointed than Scotts:
"Aflac supports and values the relationship we have with Carl Edwards and the No. 99 Aflac Roush Fenway Racing team. While we don’t discuss the specific details of our partnerships, we trust that the on-track incident will remain just that and was handled appropriately by NASCAR."
The wreck put the sponsors in a tricky position. Is it true that there's no such thing as bad publicity? And what would it take to get a sponsor to pull out of a high-profile deal such as the Edwards one? Jack Roush certainly hopes he doesn't have to find out the hard way.