NEW YORK — Smithfield Foods, Inc. has extended its sponsorship of Richard Petty Motorsports for three years.
The company and its family of brands, including Eckrich, Farmland, Gwaltney, Nathan’s and Smithfield, will return as primary sponsors of the legendary No. 43 Ford Fusion driven by Aric Almirola in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
The agreement increases support from 15 events in 2012 and 25 in 2013 to 29 events in 2014-2016.
“I believe in the power of NASCAR and Richard Petty Motorsports. My challenge to RPM was to help Smithfield connect our brands with the sport’s 80-plus million fans,” said Larry Pope, president and CEO of Smithfield Foods. “Our results completely validate our participation.
“I also expect that our increased investment will yield significant infrastructure steps that lead to our shared vision of Petty Rising to be realized.”
As identified by Mr. Pope, this long-term commitment from Smithfield Foods will help support Richard Petty Motorsports’ aggressive investment in competition, including the immediate development of a research and development group led by veteran NASCAR team engineer Scott McDougall.
“We are proud to see the goals of our partnership with Smithfield Foods exceed everyone’s expectations,” explained Richard Petty, co-owner of Richard Petty Motorsports. “During our first meeting with Smithfield, Larry was very candid in his belief that the NASCAR platform was perfectly aligned with their customer, but the only way he would invest in the sport was for us to prove the sport could produce growth for his brands.
“This expanded partnership is evidence the platform has worked and continues to work,” continued Petty. “We have worked very hard the past two seasons to position our team as business and marketing leaders in the NASCAR landscape. Smithfield’s continued commitment with us for years to come will allow us to focus on winning on the track while still working with Smithfield Foods to expand their business.”
Almirola scored one top-five and six top-10 finishes while ending up 18th in the standings last year.
“Having Smithfield expand their program each year is proof the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series platform and this partnership with RPM is exceeding the business goals of Smithfield and their brands,” Almirola said. “I see the excitement at our appearances at retail. We see it during the charity initiatives we are a part of with Smithfield’s Helping Hungry Homes, Eckrich’s Operation Inspiration and Farmland’s support of Harvesters Food Bank. I’m proud to be a small part of Smithfield Foods and what they do to give back to local communities as part of our race program. More importantly, I’m proud to be an ambassador for their brands and am thankful for their commitment to allow us to compete for wins on the track.”