By Jared Turner
Buoyed by a new multi-year partnership with Nature’s Bakery – a new sponsor to the world of NASCAR – Patrick is poised to broaden her enormous appeal even further.
“I feel like our brands align so perfectly, it’s kind of amazing,” Patrick said. “I think that journey is going to be really fun. I think there’s going to be lots of exciting things that we can do together.”
The Nature’s Bakery/Patrick marriage is a win-win for both parties, as well as Stewart-Haas Racing, the championship-winning organization for which Patrick has spent her entire NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career to date.
“Aside from Danica being one of NASCAR’s biggest stars, sponsoring Danica just felt like a natural fit for our brand,” said Andrew Strolin, vice president of marketing at Nature’s Bakery. “Her approachable personality, love for the outdoors, and healthy active lifestyle align nicely and authentically with what we value as a brand. At Nature’s Bakery our philosophy is to keep it simple, have fun and achieve balance in life through nature, activity, nutrition and community.”
Not surprisingly, Nature’s Bakery has been going all out in its efforts to ramp up for this NASCAR season, when the company and its signature tagline -“Energy for Life’s Great Journeys” – will adorn Patrick’s No. 10 Chevrolet as the primary sponsor for 28 races.
Nature’s Bakery has taken an active role in the redesign and launch of Patrick’s personal website,DanicaPatrick.com, in addition to introducing a major campaign that kicked off at the beginning of the year called, “Choose your Journey with Danica.”
The campaign allows fans to select two of six “journeys” to participate with Patrick at the U.S. White-water Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. The lucky fans will receive accommodations, a tour of Stewart-Haas Racing, a VIP race experience and a supply of Nature’s Bakery delicious, on-the-go snacks crafted with thoughtful ingredients to fuel their journey.
On top of all that, starting at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March and continuing throughout the year, Nature’s Bakery is hosting a “Fantern” experience at each race where the company serves as Patrick’s primary sponsor. Whether a die-hard fan or merely curious about the experience, anyone can apply to be a “Fantern.” The winning “Fantern” will earn a one-day internship with Patrick’s team.
As part of the immersive program, fans help set up Patrick’s pit box, tour the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage, meet Patrick and watch a race from pit road.
“It’s an honor to represent Nature’s Bakery and also a great deal of responsibility,” Patrick said. “They have ambitious goals and they’re going to rely on me and everyone at Stewart-Haas Racing to deliver. I have ambitious goals, too. It’s why I came to NASCAR and, specifically, to Stewart-Haas Racing. There’s still a lot I want to achieve in this sport, and I’m looking to continue my professional journey with a brand as determined as I am.”
Patrick is motorsports’ most recognizable athlete and the most marketable personality in NASCAR, according to Repucom’s 2015 Davie Brown Index. Her success on the race track, which includes a Daytona 500 pole in her rookie Sprint Cup Series season of 2013, transcends her into the main-stream. To understand the influence Patrick wields, look no further than a 2014 Harris Poll that named her the second-most recognized female athlete in the United States.
“All you need to say is ‘Danica’ and people know exactly who you’re talking about,” Nature’s Bakery co-founder Dave Marson said. “She has immersed herself and succeeded in a very intense sport and been recognized for her efforts. By offering convenient, easy-to-find and affordable products that people can feel better about eating, we’ve carved a niche for Nature’s Bakery in the fast-growing, packaged snack-food industry.”
Patrick is ecstatic to have a sponsor with values and priorities that align more closely with her own.
“I really feel like all you have to do is look at my social media,” said Patrick, who frequently shares photos and video of herself engaged in high-intense yoga regimens. “I’ve always used that as a way to get to know me off the track. It’s the things outside of the car that you would not necessarily know about me. I think all you have to do is look at that, and that is what lines up perfectly with Nature’s Bakery. It’s about being active and enjoying life’s great journeys. It’s going out on a hike with Dallas [Patrick’s pet dog], doing Yoga at home, doing CrossFit and needing energy for that.
“I’m also always on the road. I always need things that are quick and handy. It’s using lifestyle to get the product out there and letting them know what it stands for, right? I’m excited about that.”
NATURE’S BAKERY: A GLOBAL BRAND
Reno, Nevada, Nature’s Bakery was founded in 2010 by a father and son – Dave and Sam Marson – with a mission of making delicious, convenient, on-the-go snacks that complement health-conscious living and active, everyday lifestyles.
The Marsons’ lineage in the food industry dates back to the 1960s when Dave’s father, Richard, opened a family bakery. Growing up around the family business, Dave passed his passion and skills along to his son, Sam, whereupon the two combined their knowledge and entrepreneurial spirit to form Nature’s Bakery.
Now with nearly 500 employees and two plants, Nature’s Bakery is a rapidly expanding enterprise with products sold in more than 20 countries and all 50 U.S. states.
“We are a global brand,” Dave Marson said. “We have some very big plans to grow this brand.”
Teaming with Danica Patrick and Stewart-Haas Racing should only further enhance the company’s steadily expanding reach.
“We’re taking and leveraging this opportunity with NASCAR, the NASCAR fan base, to look at our products and to grow,” Dave Marson said.