New York (AFP) - The online Web hosting firm GoDaddy said Wednesday it is shifting its global strategy into a new gear, and dumping its longtime sponsorship of NASCAR auto racing.
The move leaves race car personality Danica Patrick, the best known female IndyCar driver, without a primary sponsor for the first time since she signed with GoDaddy in 2007.
GoDaddy said however they were in talks to keep Patrick as a spokeswoman under a "personal services agreement."
Arizona-based GoDaddy, which raised some $460 million in a public stock offering in early April, said it would drop NASCAR at the end of the 2015 season, "as the company looks to diversify its marketing investment across more channels and regions."
"The move marks another milestone in GoDaddy's marketing evolution, in which the company is balancing brand awareness with a more personalized data-driven marketing approach while expanding its global footprint," the company said in a statement.
GoDaddy, which operates in 37 countries and 17 languages, said it is positioning to fortify its presence in Asia and in countries where the brand is not as well known.
GoDaddy is not renewing its primary sponsorship of the No. 10 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team of Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), which includes Patrick.
"We love Danica and all she does to empower and inspire people, especially women, which is why we are working to keep her in the GoDaddy family," said GoDaddy chief marketing officer Phil Bienert.
GoDaddy claims to be the world's largest Internet registrar, hosting some 59 million domain names.
It also manages and provides tools for the websites of some 13 million customers.