The Target Corporation, who has been partnered with Chip Ganassi Racing for three decades, is celebrating their 50th anniversary. Target opened its first store in Roseville, Minnesota, in May of 1962. To help commemorate and honor Target, four-time IndyCar champion Dario Franchitti will change his car number from #10 to #50 for the entire month of May including the Indianapolis 500 (source - PR Newswire).
The Target signature bullseye logo will be replacing the zero of the #50 along with its usual places on the car. See here for a couple of shots of the new design and number. Also, Franchitti's teammate Scott Dixon will once again be sponsored by and represent Target. Both drivers will have the Target logo on the chests of their firesuits.
Said Franchitti of the change and the relationship with Target: "Driving with a target on my back, literally, for the past four seasons, I've come to find not only what an incredible sponsor Target has been but what a truly amazing corporation they've become. I look forward to representing them at Indianapolis again this May, especially in such a landmark year."
Chip Ganassi should be congratulated for keeping such a successful marketing partnership going for as long as he has. Considering the business climate what with the Great Recession still wreaking havoc on racing teams - for Ganassi to continue and even grow the joint venture with Target says a lot about his business sense and knowledge.
Ganassi's sponsorship with Target is unique. Target partners with suppliers, working together for promotions within Target stores and for that privilege in-turn those companies fund the team.
This is the 23rd year of the marketing relationship between Chip Ganassi and Target and in fact, it's the 23rd year that Ganassi has been a car owner in IndyCar - the team was established in 1990. It is Target's longest running partnership in company history. Together, the Target Ganassi marketing relationship has produced 86 victories and nine championships.
Chip Ganassi has had a car in the Indy 500 winner circle at Indianapolis three times with Juan Pablo Montoya, who now drives for Ganassi in NASCAR, winning in 2000 (source - Sports Illustrated). Franchitti is a two-time winner of the famed Indy 500 (2007, 2010) and has qualified on the front row four times.
Practice for the May 27 race begins Saturday May 12th for all teams.
Sources - IndyCar
Daryle has been involved in motorsports most of his life and has three decades of experience inside racemarketing, plus for several years has blogged about every type of racing.
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