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Jack Daniel's to Conclude NASCAR Program

Louisville, KY, September 21, 2009 – Brown-Forman, one of the largest American-owned companies in the wine and spirits business, will conclude its Jack Daniel’s NASCAR program and will not extend its sponsorship with Richard Childress Racing’s No. 07 team.

A change in Brown-Forman’s spending priorities led to the decision to conclude the sponsorship that began in 2005. The Brown-Forman/Jack Daniel’s partnership with RCR will continue for the remainder of the 2009 racing season and the entire team is committed to being competitive on the track each and every race.

“Jack Daniel’s has enjoyed a good five-year run with Richard Childress Racing (RCR) and NASCAR, and we are pleased with the overall performance of our sponsorship program,” said Tim Rutledge, vice president and brand director for Jack Daniel’s. “We have enjoyed building strong relationships with the people in Richard’s organization and throughout NASCAR.  While it is difficult for us to end our formal relationship with RCR, the current economic environment has compelled us to reevaluate our spending and we’ve concluded that other areas in the marketing mix require additional investment.” 

“We want to thank the many friends and fans of the Jack Daniel’s 07 Racing Team, and we can’t say enough about your incredible support over the last five years.  And, as we have since 1866, we will continue to find ways to thank you and keep your loyalty to Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey,” said Rutledge.
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Brown-Forman, Jack Daniel’s, and RCR are particularly pleased to have taken a leadership role in communicating a responsible drinking message throughout its NASCAR sponsorship through its core message of Pace Yourself, Drink Responsibly, featured in all NASCAR promotional materials, including on the race car itself.

“Brown-Forman has been a great partner of RCR for the past five years through its Jack Daniel’s brand,” said Richard Childress, president and CEO of Richard Childress Racing. “They quickly became a NASCAR-industry leader in the promotion of the Jack Daniel’s brand through the Pace Yourself, Drink Responsibly messaging, which our fans have embraced.  We understand the shift in their spending priorities during these tough economic times and the No. 07 Jack Daniel’s Racing program will continue to provide that successful platform for the rest of the 2009 season.  We have built many valuable relationships with the loyal Brown-Forman employees and their distributors during our partnership and look forward to maintaining those relationships in the future.”

The No. 07 Jack Daniel’s Racing program began in 2005. Drivers Dave Blaney (2005), Clint Bowyer (2006-08) and Casey Mears (2009) have combined over 171 races for two pole positions, two victories, 16 top-five and 50 top-10 finishes. Bowyer earned spots in the Chase for the Sprint Cup in 2007 and 2008 and finished those seasons in third and fifth place, respectively.

“Being flexible with our strategic investments has been a consistent theme for us at Brown-Forman and I support the decision to move from sponsoring NASCAR to investments in other areas.” said Paul Varga, chief executive officer of Brown-Forman. “Richard Childress has been a great partner and this decision simply reflects a change in our investment mix, and not any dissatisfaction with RCR or NASCAR.”

About Brown-Forman Corporation
Brown-Forman Corporation is a producer and marketer of fine quality beverage alcohol brands, including Jack Daniel’s, Southern Comfort, Finlandia, Canadian Mist, Fetzer, Korbel, Gentleman Jack, el Jimador, Tequila Herradura, Sonoma-Cutrer, Chambord, Tuaca, Woodford Reserve, and Bonterra.

About Richard Childress Racing
Richard Childress Racing (www.rcrracing.com), celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2009, has earned more than 180 victories and 12 NASCAR championships, including six in the Sprint Cup Series with the legendary Dale Earnhardt. RCR was the first organization to win championships in the Sprint Cup Series, Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series. Its 2009 Sprint Cup Series lineup includes Casey Mears (No. 07 Jack Daniel’s), Kevin Harvick (No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil), Jeff Burton (No. 31 Caterpillar) and Clint Bowyer (No. 33 Cheerios/Hamburger Helper). Its 2009 Nationwide Series lineup includes Bowyer, Burton and Stephen Leicht (No. 29 Holiday Inn) and Austin Dillon and Sean Caisse (No. 2 RCR Chevrolet). Austin Dillon, Ty Dillon and Ryan Gifford are RCR developmental drivers in both asphalt and dirt track racing.

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• deepening or expansion of the global economic downturn or turmoil in financial and equity markets (and related credit and capital market instability and  illiquidity; decreased consumer and trade spending; higher unemployment; supplier, customer or consumer credit or other financial problems; inventory fluctuations at distributors, wholesalers, or retailers; bank failures or governmental nationalizations; etc.)
• competitors’ pricing actions (including price promotions, discounting, couponing or free goods), marketing, product introductions, or other competitive activities aimed at our brands
• trade or consumer reaction to our product line extensions or new marketing initiatives
• prolonged or deeper declines in consumer confidence or spending, whether related to global economic conditions, wars, natural disasters, pandemics (such as swine flu), terrorist attacks or other factors
• changes in tax rates (including excise, sales, corporate, individual income, dividends, capital gains) or related reserves, changes in tax rules (e.g., LIFO, foreign income deferral, U.S. manufacturing deduction) or accounting standards, tariffs,  or other restrictions affecting beverage alcohol, and the unpredictability and suddenness with which they can occur
• trade or consumer resistance to price increases in our products
• tighter governmental restrictions on our ability to produce and market our products, including advertising and promotion
• business disruption, decline or costs related to reductions in workforce or other cost-cutting measures
• lower returns on pension assets, higher interest rates on debt, or significant changes in recent inflation rates (whether up or down)
• fluctuations in the U.S. dollar against foreign currencies, especially the euro, British pound, Australian dollar, or Polish zloty
• continued reduction of bar, restaurant, hotel and other on-premise business; consumer shifts to discount stores to buy our products; consumer shifts away from premium-priced products; decreased travel; or other price-sensitive consumer behavior
• changes in consumer preferences, societal attitudes or cultural trends that result in reduced consumption of our products
• distribution arrangement decisions that affect the timing of our sales or limit our ability to market or sell our products
• adverse impacts resulting from our acquisitions, dispositions, joint ventures, business partnerships, or portfolio strategies
• lower profits, due to factors such as fewer used barrel sales, lower production volumes (either for our own brands or those of third parties), or cost increases in energy or raw materials, such as grapes, grain, agave, wood, glass, plastic, or closures
• climatic changes, agricultural uncertainties, our suppliers’ financial hardships or other factors that reduce the  availability or quality of grapes, agave, grain, glass, closures, plastic, or wood
• negative publicity related to our company, brands, personnel, operations, business performance or prospects
• product counterfeiting, tampering, or contamination and resulting negative effects on our sales, brand equity, or corporate reputation
• adverse developments stemming from state, federal or other governmental investigations of beverage alcohol industry business, trade, or marketing practices by us, our distributors, or retailers
• impairment in the recorded value of inventory, fixed assets, goodwill or other intangibles