The Sporting News reports that Walmart is "deep into negotiations" with Hendrick Motorsports over sponsorship of Jeff Gordon's No. 24 Chevrolet next season. The retail giant has been discussing entering NASCAR with Hendrick since the spring, over prospects for replacing longtime Gordon sponsor DuPont.
Walmart's entrance into to NASCAR would be a welcome counter to the trend of sponsors going the other way since the onset of the recession.
"It's very significant," Mark Dyer, senior vice president at IMG and formerly chief of the licensing division at NASCAR until 2007, told The Sporting News
. "We tried for years to get Walmart's attention when I was at NASCAR and we made some inroads. If they truly decide to take a position in the sport, that's a big deal to get a company that should have been in that space all along."
The paper reports that six of NASCAR's official consumer packaged goods partners met earlier this month to discuss a retail strategy for Walmart. Those sponsors were Coca-Cola, Kraft, Mars, MillerCoors, Procter & Gamble and Unilever.