Last weekend was a big one for racing fans and sponsors of top drivers of NASCAR. Among all the craziness of advertising and branding awareness, champagne and congratulations, one top company got it right.

The NASCAR Nationwide cup series was in Mexico City, Mexico last Sunday for their fourth consecutive year. ESPN spotlighted driver Carl Edwards who drives the 99 car for The Roush-Fenway Racing team – his main sponsor is Office Depot. During their spotlight, Carl Edwards and his crew (pit crew, camera crew and bodyguards) went into an Office Depot Store in Mexico to “pick up some supplies” as Carl put it. To his surprise, the employees didn’t know who he was nor did Office Depot have anything in the store promoting him and their sponsorship. In the end, the store manager threw him and his camera crew out of the store. (I sure hope he got an apology from Office Depot first thing Monday morning!)

Kyle Bush won the NASCAR Nationwide cup race in Mexico City, who drives the 20 car for DEI. His main sponsor is Scotts, a lawn company. Sunday’s win was Kyle’s third consecutive win and a major accomplishment for him personally and for his new team. Going to the Scotts website, you don’t see any mention of Kyle Bush or their partnership. In fact, to get to their “blog” you have to sign up?! Not very welcoming, in my opinion.

One sponsor, however, did get it right – on all counts: After much press surrounding her and after 50 career races, Danica Patrick won her first indy car race in Japan. On Monday morning – or perhaps sooner – there was a large banner on Godaddy’s site that said Congratulations Danica! Finally a company who spends millions for a partnership got it right!

If you are spending money on sponsorships, you need to follow that partnership and announce the good times that both the athlete (or company or whomever your partnership is) and the company have – especially on your website. Otherwise, what good was putting the partnership together in the first place?

Nicole Poole
Palo Alto Software