Story courtesy of Hunter Thomas/TheFourthTurn.com
Rick Ware Racing will run a Clemson University scheme during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway this weekend and at Darlington Raceway in September.
During the Axalta Presents the Pocono 400, the hood of Cody Ware's orange and purple No. 51 Chevrolet, will feature the logo celebrating Clemson's 2016 NCAA College Football Playoff National Championship, while white tiger paws will adorn the sides of the car. Absolutely no funding of Rick Ware Racing's efforts at Pocono or Darlington are coming from Clemson or its Athletic Department.
"Funding will come from advertisers that want to be a part of this exciting opportunity and from individuals that just want to have their name on the car," Rick Ware Racing marketing representative, Bryan Clodfelter said. "For $100 individuals can get their name on the car and will have an opportunity to win merchandise and also All-Access NASCAR Hot Pit Passes for Darlington."
The scheme that the team will compete with at Pocono Raceway this weekend isn't the first time that there has been a Clemson-themed car run in the series, but it's the first scheme in NASCAR to completely feature Clemson's 2016 NCAA College Football Playoff National Championship. Darlington Raceway's Bojangles Southern 500 weekend in September, is The Official Throwback Weekend of NASCAR, and although the scheme has yet to be designed, Rick Ware Racing would like to possibly run a throwback tying in the Clemson Tigers' 1981 National Championship.
"Darlington is a throwback race," Clodfelter said. "At Pocono we are celebrating Clemson's 2016 Football National Championship. I think it is too good an opportunity to not also do a throwback design for the 1981 National Champion Team as well. That is something we will discuss with the Clemson Athletic Department over the next few weeks."
Fans of NASCAR, Rick Ware Racing and Clemson University will be able to purchase apparel at Tiger Town Graphics located in Downtown Clemson. Apparel will also be available online at TigerTownGraphics.com.
"Clemson is doing a great job designing merchandise for this venture with RWR," Clodfelter said. "The merchandise will be sold through Clemson outlets. So not only does it not cost Clemson any money, they will actually make money. I'm excited to see the merchandise myself!"
The overall marketing campaign that was developed by Rick Ware Racing allows colleges and their fans to get involved with NASCAR while celebrating school pride. So far, there are six colleges from throughout the country that are participating in the team's campaign. In fact, this past weekend at Dover International Speedway, Ware's Chevrolet was wrapped in the purple and gold colors of East Carolina University.
"RWR has developed a marketing plan that allows universities, their fans, and supporters an opportunity to experience NASCAR and the marketing reach of NASCAR," Clodfelter said. "The universities involved in this program will receive millions of dollars worth of exposure, at no cost to the universities or their athletic departments. At the present time, we have six universities involved and in discussions with several more. Each university will have a limited amount of NASCAR races in which to participate. This keeps excitement high and allows a lot of colleges the opportunity to enjoy this."