PHOENIX, Friday, March 16, 2001 - Walker Racing owner Derrick Walker announced March 16 that The Kroger Co., the largest retail food company in the U.S., in association with Procter & Gamble, will be sponsors on the car driven by Sarah Fisher...
PHOENIX, Friday, March 16, 2001 - Walker Racing owner Derrick Walker announced March 16 that The Kroger Co., the largest retail food company in the U.S., in association with Procter & Gamble, will be sponsors on the car driven by Sarah Fisher during the 2001 Indy Racing Northern Light Series season.
Procter & Gamble, a longtime auto racing sponsor, will receive recognition on Fisher's car for several brands: Bounty Paper Towels, Crest Oral Care, Folgers Coffee, Gain Laundry Detergent, Iams Pet Food, Olay Beauty Products, Pantene Hair Care and Always Feminine Care Products.
"We're very excited and encouraged to be entering a partnership with two great companies like Kroger and Procter & Gamble as we embark on our second season with Sarah in the Indy Racing Northern Light Series," Walker said. "Part of the success of every race team is surrounding yourself with eminent associates, and I'm looking forward to a rewarding season with great corporate partners like these.
"When Sarah and I decided to go racing in the IRL, we knew then that much of our success would come from providing a racing program that very well-regarded companies like Kroger and Procter & Gamble would see value in. These kinds of relationships are critical to the success of a race team, and it's very encouraging that in just over a year we've been able to partner ourselves with such esteemed corporations.
"As part of our 2001 racing program, we're also pleased to announce that another division of the Mead Corporation will be returning for their second season with us. Mead Consumer & Office Products will be the brand on Sarah's car this year and is yet another positive building block on our road to a strong racing program with our sponsor partners."
Fisher made history in her inaugural season with Walker Racing in 2000 by becoming the youngest woman to ever drive in the Indianapolis 500 at the age of 19, and also the third-youngest person to ever compete in the world's greatest race. She made another mark in the history books on Aug. 27, 2000, by becoming the youngest woman to stand on a podium in an Indy Racing event with her third-place finish at Kentucky Speedway. As part of the sponsorship agreement, Fisher will be featured in advertising and promotion that directs consumers to Kroger and highlights P & G brands. She will also make appearances at Kroger stores across the country.
"To be associated with Kroger and Procter & Gamble is a real thrill," Fisher said. "When I joined Derrick's team last year, I didn't know much about the business aspects of a race team and the importance of having great corporate sponsor partners. With Mead coming back on board, and the addition of sponsorship by Kroger and Procter & Gamble, we are on our way to building our race team into being the one to beat.
"This partnership with Kroger and Procter & Gamble is a great fit for me. I already shop at Kroger, and I use several of the brands that will be on my car everyday, like Pantene shampoo and conditioner, Iams pet food for my dog and cat, and I drink Folgers coffee every morning before my college classes."
The #15 Walker Racing/Kroger Special car will carry region-specific Kroger-operated store logos in each race market. For the Phoenix race, Fry's, a supermarket chain based in Arizona, will be highlighted on the car. Kroger operates approximately 2,289 grocery stores under more than a dozen banners in 31 states and primary banners include; Kroger, Ralphs, Food 4 Less, Fred Meyer, Smiths, Dillons, King Sooper, City Markets and Fry's. "Sarah Fisher has already demonstrated that she is a breakthrough talent on the racetrack," said Terry Donovan, Proctor & Gamble vice president, Kroger Team. "We believe she is also a role model off the track who will make an important connection with our brands' consumers. Since our research illustrates that auto racing has a great deal of appeal in the communities that Kroger serves, we anticipate developing a series of promotions across our participating brands that will resonate with the Kroger customer." Kroger's food stores account for 93 percent of total company sales. The company also operates convenience stores, fine jewelry stores and food-processing plants.