Panasonic North America has expanded its relationship with Hendrick Motorsports with a new multi-year agreement that includes primary sponsorship of the No. 24 team of four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion and current points leader Jeff Gordon. Panasonic will be featured as a primary sponsor of the No. 24 team in two Sprint Cup races annually and as an associate-level partner in all other events. It will mark the first on-car branding for Panasonic since joining Hendrick Motorsports as a technology partner in 2007. The agreement covers the 2014, 2015 and 2016 NASCAR seasons.
Gordon's No. 24 Panasonic Chevrolet SS debuted on June 22nd at California's Sonoma Raceway and will again appear Aug. 31 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Panasonic's Toughbook brand will be featured on the car's quarter panels at Sonoma.
"To maximize the value of a NASCAR sponsorship, you need to partner with proven teams and drivers that exemplify your brand," said Rance Poehler, president, Panasonic System Communications Company of North America. "Hendrick Motorsports and Jeff Gordon have a record of excellence that is a perfect fit for Panasonic and its Toughbook brand. We've been a technology partner of Hendrick Motorsports for many years, and as our business evolves to solutions and deeper partnerships with our customers, it is an excellent time to extend our relationship from behind the scenes to the car on the track."
- Toughbook at NASCAR
Panasonic Toughbook computers play a key role in racing operations. "Once we brought the Panasonic Toughbooks into our business, the crew chief and the engineers right away said, we love this product," said Chris Newsome, Infrastructure Manager IT & Facilities, Hendrick Motorsports. "We depend on Panasonic," added Newsome. Hendrick Motorsports also currently utilizes Panasonic technology throughout its Concord facility, including professional camcorders, professional flat panel displays, televisions, digital signage and projection units. The team also uses Panasonic's professional video products to support its in-house video production capabilities. Panasonic will leverage the partnership to promote technology solutions and products for business.
- Panasonic Solar at Sonoma
Panasonic has already helped Sonoma Raceway, where the Panasonic Chevrolet SS made its debut, to reduce its environmental impact by installing a Solar Power Generating System that supplies approximately 40% of the circuit's power needs.
"Panasonic has a combination of world-class people and products," said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. "We use their technology across the organization, and it provides the best possible tools in every area, from competition to marketing to IT. To have them see more opportunities for their business and want to grow the relationship sends a very positive message."
Gordon, 42, who grew up in nearby Vallejo, California, is one of the most accomplished drivers in NASCAR history, posting a record five Sprint Cup wins at Sonoma Raceway. He is a four-time Sprint Cup champion, and his 89 victories rank third on the all-time wins list. In 15 races this season, he has posted one victory, five top-five finishes and a series-best 11 top-10 finishes. "We're looking forward to working with Panasonic in a new way, and I can't think of a better place for their debut with the No. 24 team," said Gordon before the race in Sonoma. "This is the next step in what's already been a successful partnership, and it's going to be fun to take it to another level. We hope to kick it off with a win this weekend for Panasonic and Toughbook."