December 01, 2009 // Franchising.com // DALLAS – 7-Eleven Inc. today announces a new associate sponsorship of Danica Patrick and her No. 7 GoDaddy.com team. This is in addition to its long-time primary sponsorship of popular Andretti Autosport driver Tony Kanaan and his No. 11 Team 7-Eleven® IZOD IndyCar Series entry.
7-Eleven and Andretti Autosport have enjoyed a long and storied relationship which dates back to 2003 and includes a championship run with Team 7-Eleven driver Tony Kanaan in 2004. Throughout its time with the team, 7-Eleven also has supported many of the other Andretti Autosport entries as an associate sponsor and tasted victory with the team in the 2005 and 2007 Indianapolis 500 races.
"Now 7-Eleven will have a presence on the No. 7 entry to go along with Tony and our winning No. 11," said Rita Bargerhuff, 7-Eleven's vice president and chief marketing officer. "Tony and Danica will certainly provide a one-two punch for 7-Eleven, both visibly on the track and in promotions throughout the season."
The two sponsorships are part of a multi-year agreement with Andretti Autosport. As part of Patrick's associate sponsorship, the 7-Eleven logo will appear on Patrick's driver's suit and No. 7 GoDaddy.com car.
"7-Eleven is a big part of the foundation of our racing program and has been since 2003," said Andretti Autosport chairman, president and chief executive officer, Michael Andretti.
"7-Eleven is always a very active marketer of our team and drivers, and we're excited about its promotional plans for the 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series season." The upcoming 2010 racing season is 7-Eleven's eighth season as Kanaan's primary sponsor. Kanaan won the IZOD IndyCar Series championship in 2004 breaking several IRL records: as the first driver to complete all 3,305 laps during the series; lead the most laps ever; and finish in the top five in 15 consecutive races. He finished second in the 2005 IndyCar Series championship and third in both 2007 and 2008.
Patrick is one of the most-popular female athletes in the world, a distinction fueled by her accomplishments in the IZOD IndyCar Series. In 2005, Patrick qualified and finished fourth in the Indianapolis 500 while becoming the first and only woman ever to lead the historic race. Patrick joined Andretti Autosport prior to the 2007 season and then became the first woman ever to win a series event when she took the checkered at the Japan Indy 300 on April 20, 2008.
"This is a great opportunity to build upon the strong platform we have established with Andretti Autosport, Tony Kanaan and the Team 7-Eleven program," said Bargerhuff. "We have had the pleasure of working with Danica since she joined the Andretti team three years ago, and we look forward to this expanded relationship."
7-Eleven, Inc. is the premier name and largest chain in the convenience retailing industry. Based in Dallas, Texas, 7-Eleven operates, franchises or licenses some 7,900 7-Eleven® stores in North America. Globally, 7-Eleven operates, franchises or licenses more than 36,900 stores in 15 countries. During 2008, 7-Eleven stores worldwide generated total sales of more than $53.7 billion. 7-Eleven has been honored by a number of companies and organizations recently. Accolades include: #3 in Forbes magazine's Top 20 Franchises to Start, #3 among Top 100 Global Franchises by Franchise Direct, #3 in Store Growth by Convenience Store News, #2 in Franchise Times Top 200 Franchise Companies and #29 among Top 100 Chains in Food Service. In addition, Hispanic Magazine's named 7-Eleven in its Hispanic Corporate Top 100 Companies that provide the most opportunities to Hispanics. 7-Eleven is franchising its stores in the U.S., and is expanding through organic growth, acquisitions, and its Business Conversion Program.
Based in Indianapolis, Ind., Andretti Autosport is owned by racing legend Michael Andretti. Andretti Autosport stands as the winningest team in Indy Racing League history and fields a series-high four full-time entries in the IZOD IndyCar Series and two Firestone Indy Lights cars. Andretti Autosport boasts three IndyCar Series championships (2004, 2005 and 2007), two Firestone Indy Lights titles (2008 and 2009) and has won the Indianapolis 500 twice (2005 and 2007).