One of the original GoDaddy girls is back. Danica Patrick will be donning GoDaddy green for what is, apparently, her farewell to professional racing. While Patrick planned to run in both the Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500, she didn’t have a primary sponsor. Now, that’s no longer an issue.
Patrick said finishing her racing career how she started is a great way to go out, telling the Associated Press: “There’s this great story: I left IndyCar with GoDaddy on my car, I started NASCAR with GoDaddy on my car, I’m most recognized as the GoDaddy green car and driver, and so to finish up my career that way feels appropriate…”
It’s also worth noting that it was the big race in Indy that made Patrick a household name, so it’s a fitting denouement. For more than a decade, Patrick was the face of the racy and irreverent GoDaddy web hosting company. Patrick appeared in at least 13 Super Bowl commercials and ran with green on her racing machine for much of her career.
While GoDaddy appreciates the press that comes with this endorsement, they are also looking ahead, as is Patrick. Danica is officially done with racing as soon as she crosses the finish line in Indianapolis, and she already has her focus set on her next career as a serial entrepreneur. The soon-to-be former racer has a clothing line, a wine label and a book to promote, so, yes, she has a lot of reasons to want to be in the spotlight.
GoDaddy is hoping to connect with that energy and get some of the positive PR as well. Barb Rechterman, chief marketing officer of GoDaddy, told the AP, her company’s goals were “well aligned” with Patrick’s ambitions. “She’s passionate, tenacious and creative just like so many of our customers who are also looking to leverage the power of the internet and turn their ‘side hustle’ into a full-time business. Danica absolutely epitomizes the heart of our GoDaddy customers.”
Side hustle? Not exactly the most flattering description of the goals Patrick has for the next stage of her career, but consumers will likely hear the term a lot from GoDaddy in coming months. That’s likely due to GoDaddy working to rebrand itself from “just” a web hosting company to a leader in the promotion of small online businesses. That new mission certainly makes Patrick a good match. She’s everything they would look for in a picture of their vision: smart, successful, diversified and interesting. But, before all that, they still have to race.
Ronn Torossian is the Founder and CEO of the New York based public relations firm 5WPR: one of the 20 largest PR Firms in the United States.