Tonight in Unpacks: You won’t find the longest-lived sports sponsorship in MLB or college football. It exists in Western sports, thanks to Wrangler’s decades-old partnerships. SBJ’s David Broughton details the history behind the brand’s dealings in rodeo along with some of the other longstanding pacts in sports for this week’s cover story.
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Phillips 66-USA Swimming deal hits 50 years
Harman’s win in Liverpool big for unconventional sponsor
Ticketmaster launches custom app platform
Sources: FaZe Clan eyeing two acquisition offers
Sports gambling has different effects on different sports
Longhorns, Sodexo add more self-checkout kiosks
In this morning's Buzzcast, SBJ’s Abe Madkour has Messi and more on his mind:
Disney’s search for minority investors for ESPN
ACC hires Wasserman just in time for college football season
Kliavkoff says time is on Pac-12's side for a new media rights deal
Harris already impressing Commanders fans
Messi’s Miami debut delivers for MLS
NWSL’s Bay FC will call PayPal Park its temporary home
Premier League opens business office in U.S.
Warren’s leadership style is already impressing the Bears
How Wrangler won with the West
In a world where brand managers seek authenticity, relevance and fan engagement, and less mainstream sports properties struggle to attract and retain nonendemic sponsors, Wrangler’s marketing within the “Western sports” niche continues to grow after more than 75 years of official sponsorship under its belt buckle with the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and Professional Bull Riders.
The PBR and Wrangler kicked off their 30th season together on Jan. 6 by ringing the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange. The two have been joined at the hip, so to speak, since the league debuted in 1994. And the PRCA-Wrangler partnership is the longest tenured in Sports Business Journal’s ranking of league sponsor relationships.
In this week’s magazine cover story, SBJ’s David Broughton reports on the decades-long relationships Wrangler has within the Western sports industry and how these compare to the longest-lived deals in other leagues.
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LONG POND, Penn. – Brad Keselowski knows about life on the NASCAR playoff bubble and when a driver can feel good and when a driver should feel nervous.
"The only way I am going to feel comfortable is if we have a 100-point lead and a one-car cushion going into Daytona," Keselowski said, exaggerating only a little about how much points cushion he would need.
Keselowski and the rest of the drivers on the bubble can feel good about one thing — there have been 11 full-time Cup drivers win races in the first 21 races this year. Unless five different drivers win the final five regular-season events, there will be spots available to drivers on points.
The NASCAR playoff field consists of the regular-season champion plus another 15 drivers based on number of wins with ties broken by points. That typically leads to at least a few drivers — last year, it was only one — to get in on points.
It likely will be more this year. There has only been one new full-time driver winner in the last eight races.
"At the end of the race ... you look up and realize that it is a repeat winner [and] in a way, it does help you get that little bit of a sigh that you're not in a different kind of hole as we head into these last handful of races," said Keselowski teammate Chris Buescher.
"It's inevitable. We're going to have some new winners before we get to the playoffs. We just have to make sure that one or two of them is us."
That's easier said than done. After 21 races, these drivers have clinched spots in the playoffs thanks to their wins: William Byron, Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Kyle Larson, Christopher Bell, Ross Chastain, Ryan Blaney, Joey Logano, Tyler Reddick and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
With five spots currently available on points, there appears to be 12 drivers who have a shot to get in on points.
NASCAR will review Austin Dillon's throwing his helmet at Tyler Reddick's car to determine whether to penalize Dillon.
Dillon did take a few steps up the track but nothing egregious as far as approaching the cars that were running under caution.
And, yes, throwing a helmet has an element of danger but it is one of those expressions of emotion that NASCAR should allow. Now if it impacts the results of the race (damaging the car that it was thrown at), then maybe there needs to be a penalty.
But in this situation, no harm (except to maybe Reddick's helmet), no foul.
They Said It
“They can boo my rock out here in a few years.” – Denny Hamlin on fans booing and his expected “rock” at the track, a statute of sorts for the most accomplished drivers at Pocono as he has seven Cup wins at the track.