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Voices From the Heartland · Jeff Meyer · Wednesday May 17, 2006
The big talk in NASCAR (National Association for Sponsored Car Auto Racing) these days is whether or not UPS will stay with Robert Yates Racing or follow Dale Jarrett to the Toyota camp of Michael Waltrip.
It is not a very tough question from where I stand, but then again, I never did attend college long enough to have all my common sense removed. The Big Brown Truck WILL go precisely where the driver, in this case DJ, wants it to go, which is a good thing, seeing as how they spent so much time and money teaching DJ how to drive it.
Look at it strictly from a common sense point of view.
UPS has spent millions over the last few years building their entire product recognition campaign around Dale Jarrett. Every single NASCAR fan—- along with several million non-fan’s first thought when the see the familiar brown and yellow shield—- is Dale Jarrett…not Robert Yates. That is the whole purpose of sponsorship, especially in NASCAR.
When you see or hear "DuPont", do you think of paint, chemicals, eccentric rich family members, Hendrick Motorsports… or Jeff Gordon? How about Home Depot, STP, Miller Lite, Interstate Batteries, or NAPA just to name a few other examples? Don’t lie! You thought of Tony Stewart, Richard Petty, Rusty Wallace, Bobby Labonte and Michael Waltrip, and in that order.
Don’t worry, that is what you are supposed to do! Never mind the fact that 3 of those mentioned sponsors are no longer associated with the drivers you thought of, you did exactly what they programmed you to do. I don’t recall anyone ever saying"¦”We want Robert Yates to drive the truck.”
By following Dale Jarrett to Michael Waltrip Racing, UPS would firmly be in the position to ask, "What can you do for Brown?", monetarily speaking of course. Not only would UPS save untold millions by not trying to reprogram 75 million fans, they would gain arguably the best promoter since Ron Popiel in Michael Waltrip. I know in my heart that in the future, you will see Dale Jarrett come screeching to a halt in front of Michael to deliver a critical part for his Camry, having tracked him down even though he was originally at the wrong track. UPS is that good!
What does RYR have to offer UPS? A promise of having to scrap years of advertising is all I can see.
Look at the situation like this if you will. Robert is married to Ford. Robert fixes up his good friend Dale with this really hot chick named UPS. Dale and UPS grow and grow and eventually tie the knot, moving into the apartment next door to Robert and Ford. Although the two couples have been inseparable for many years, Dale finds a fancier apartment across town. Robert hates to see Dale move because, let’s face it, UPS is one hot chick and Robert just loves to watch her cut the grass"¦but there’s nothing he can do about it.
Will UPS leave Dale and devote herself to Robert and Ford? Will Dale be able to lure his long-time partner to fancier digs? Will Jeff Meyer resume taking his medication?
For the answer to these, and many more pressing questions, tune in next week for another exciting episode of National Association for Sponsored Car Auto Racing! Real answers to real questions, coming soon…or so we hope.
Stay off the wall,
©2000 - 2008 Jeff Meyer and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
Though what you write makes sense, there is another side to it.
Ok… Jarrett and UPS tied the knot, but UPS could be looking for a Sugar Daddy and may be a little fond of Yates.
Maybe things haven’t been going so well between Jarrett and UPS because Jarrett can’t get it on like he use to.
Maybe UPS can see a split coming in the next two years anyway… sooooo just maybe they will just decide to make a clean break of it now.
Again, maybe UPS doesn’t want a younger inexperienced companion, I mean after all they have to figure out what you want in the first place and in two years they have to figure it out all over again.
UPS is looking at four or five years before they can be satisfied.
That’s a long time in this instant-gradification world we live in.
On the other hand, if UPS goes with the Sugar Daddy(Yates), then they can start working on the new relationship early and be ahead of the game.
Why would DJ leave an established organization like RYR? Sure they’ve been struggling, but look at the turnaround RCR has made lately—a 3rd Yates team with the right people could catapult RYR back to its past glory. It’s got to be the $5,000,000 per year that’s lured DJ to an unproven team that—have they even built a car yet? Hell, do they even have a SHOP yet??
One thing’s for sure, at least DJ will have a spot in each race next year, which is more than I can say for his teammate/car owner.
I’m hoping the 88 has its best season in years in ‘07.
Has Ward been ask to fill the slot for RYR?
Michael, think about what you’re saying…
“have they even built a car yet…do they even built a shop yet?”
C’mon man. You know as well as I do how much money Toyota’s throwing at MWR. Of course they are going to have a shop. And cars. And a team.
It’s clear you have prejudice towards RYR and the 88, there’s nothing wrong with that, just have a little faith in what DJ has done.
Strange, but when you mentioned Interstate Batteries, I flashed back to a green Pontiac driven by Dale going up against a black Chevy driven by Dale. I do believe DJ has loved ‘em and left ‘em before. Or have I just had my brain addled from too many years of sniffing high octane?
RW? Rusty, is that you!? Not many other people would remember DJ in the Interstate Batteries car! Has to be a Wallace!
Most UPS trucks as I understand it are Ford so I don’t see them following Dale. Unless someone out there knows diffrently about the trucks.
I feel for the DJ and Ford fans i was and still a Ford man but when my driver was left out in the cold by Ford and Dodge took him i felt all of his fans got a second chance to see how a great a driver he really was and his, my driver is Bill Elliott. May be he will replace DJ next year at Yates it sure would fit in to his schedule only time wil tell. As far as UPS i think they will stay with Yates and hope to build a new relationship with the new driver
if talk is what you need to start a winning team michael will be good. if not toyota will get the job done.
TO J. Meyer.. Not many others would remember DJ in the interstate car????? I beg to differ. Any self respecting fan would. LOL… But..how many noticed that as soon as DJ left.. Gibbs painted it a different shade of green…a darker green. not so much the lime colour.. I can remember the Portalube car.. the Pet milk car… WAY before the Interstate car.. That’s how far back I go… 1978.. before he ever thought of the Cup series…
All good points. I still buy Citgo gas as well. (Who’s that make you think of, hmmm?)
Point being that things change, but the branding still wears on in our mind. UPS has done an incredible job with branding itself with DJ. People see UPS, and they’re still going to think Dale.
However what’s to say, other than Yates, that UPS couldn’t be the primary on the #88, and an associate on Dale’s new ride? Coke does it with multiple stables and every manufacturer. UPS could then have their cake and eat it too. Branding with the new #88 driver, but also being able to provide some closure on their whole DJ campaign. Even if it’s only to some extent. While it’s not a likely scenario, stranger things have happened.
Recent articles from Jeff Meyer:
Voices From The Cheap Seats: The Tale Of Two Tires
BSNews! Bruton’s Plans Extend Beyond Bristol’s Track
Top Ten Reasons Fans Failed To Show Up At Bristol Sunday
BSNews! NASCAR CEO Given "Special" Award Amidst Lavish Fanfare
Fan Coun-ci-What? Just What Is It That NASCAR Wants To Study?
Want to know more about Jeff Meyer or view his complete article archives? Then hop on over to his archive and bio page.