Team Penske's busy and lucrative off-season continued Monday with the announcement that Phillips-Van Heusen Corporation has entered into a multi-year sponsorship agreement with the team with its IZOD brand. The IndyCar Series title sponsor will sponsor all three Team Penske Dallara-Honda entries beginning with the 2011 season. It will serve as the primary sponsor for the No. 6 car driven by Ryan Briscoe at the Indianapolis 500 as well as other selected IZOD IndyCar Series races, including the yet-to-be-announced season finale event. The lifestyle apparel brand will serve as an associate sponsor on all three Team Penske cars for the full season.
“The IZOD brand's Team Penske sponsorship is a strategic decision to continue to build brand equity in the IZOD IndyCar Series and we are honored to join forces with such a storied operation,” said Mike Kelly, executive vice president of marketing for Phillips-Van Heusen. “We intend to leverage this partnership to expand the reach of our brand not only through the relationship with Team Penske but also through cross-promotional activities with Team Penske's other sponsors.”
"Part of the IZOD brand's stated strategic approach to motorsports marketing is to partner with leading sponsors in the series to further elevate the reach and awareness of the IndyCar sport and its brand,” added Starke Taylor, vice president, sponsorship and activation for Phillips-Van Heusen.
In its first year as the series title sponsor, the IZOD brand hosted a number of high-profile events, including a series of exhibits titled “In Pursuit of FAST: 100 Years of Indy Racing, Fashion and Design” held at Macy's throughout the country and parties integrating celebrities such as Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg, Diddy, Adrian Grenier, Jeremy Renner, Kim Kardashian, Greg Kinnear, and Mario Lopez, and music, including Dave Navarro and his band Camp Freddy, aimed at driving visibility of the series within pop culture and mainstream audiences. Events were hosted in New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Toronto and Indianapolis during the 2010 season that were aimed at exposing the sport to new fans and reviving interest in fans from the past. The IZOD brand and the IZOD Indy Car Series were also featured in the “Race to the Party” advertising campaign. It also served as a primary sponsor of Ryan Hunter-Reay's Andretti Autosport car.
“I am really looking forward to driving under the IZOD brand, beginning next season,” said Briscoe, who has earned six wins and 10 poles over the last three seasons competing for Team Penske. “The team behind the IZOD brand clearly has a passion for IndyCar racing and Team Penske will be working hard to bring them a victory in the Indianapolis 500 and, hopefully, a series championship in 2011.”
The IZOD announcement is the third new sponsorship program announced by Penske in the past week, following associate sponsorship deals with Meijer stores and Shell-Pennzoil, which will be the primary sponsor of Helio Castroneves' No. 3 car at the Indianapolis 500. Will Power's No. 12 entry will continue to carry primary sponsorship from Verizon Wireless.