Midwest-based retail store chain Meijer announced Wednesday that it will join Team Penske as a sponsor of its three-car IZOD IndyCar Series program, beginning with the 2011 season. Meijer, which operates nearly 200 retail stores in the Midwest, will be a major associate sponsor on the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske IndyCar driven by Will Power next season. Coca-Cola will also play an integrated role in this sponsorship, as the company is a key supplier to Meijer and a sponsor with Penske Racing.
Meijer was associated last year with Andretti Autosport, appearing on Marco Andretti's car for a limited slate of races, but the Penske deal is wider ranging. Meijer will also serve as an associate sponsor on the cars of three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves and Ryan Briscoe, while Meijer and the Penske Corporation (both of which are based in Michigan) "will now work together for future success on the racetrack and on the retail floor," the companies claimed in announcing the program.
"Meijer is thrilled to work with Team Penske, the most successful team in the history of IndyCar racing," said Hank Meijer, Co-Chairman and CEO of Meijer. "We hope to be a part of many race wins and championships with Will, Helio and Ryan; and we know they and the Penske team will be great ambassadors for Meijer and all of our associates."
"Meijer is a terrific company and we are proud to represent such a premier organization," said Roger Penske. "We are excited to develop this new relationship and we believe Meijer will be a key partner for Team Penske, beginning in 2011."