Why NASCAR needs Danica Patrick

IndyCar driver Danica Patrick

TEXT OF STORY

Steve Chiotakis: Finally, IndyCar driver Danica Patrick is reportedly negotiating a switch of her driving allegiance to NASCAR. It would be a bigger stage for Patrick, and a big coup for stock-car racing. Joel Rose reports.


Joel Rose: Danica Patrick is the first woman to win an IndyCar event. But she's at least as well known for her exploits off the track, like a series of racy commercials for GoDaddy.com:

Man: Ms. Patrick?

Danica Patrick: Yes I've enhanced!

Crowd: Gasp! Ms. Patrick!

Patrick: It's true: I've enhanced my image with a domain name and a web site from GoDaddy.com.

NASCAR officials may be hoping Patrick will enhance their image, too.

Larry DeGaris teaches sports marketing at the University of Indianapolis. He says after a decline in ratings and attendance this year, NASCAR could use Patrick's star power more than ever:

Larry DeGaris: If you can bring more big-name sponsors on board who are gonna put money behind leveraging their relationship with Danica, that's good for the sport on several levels.

Marketing executives say Patrick could bring millions of dollars in new sponsorships.

I'm Joel Rose for Marketplace.

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