If Danica Moves to NASCAR, Buckle Up
Marketers say she could up viewership, sponsorship
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jun 10, 2009 11:30 AM CDT
Danica Patrick, center, poses for a picture with other Indy 500 drivers in New York, Monday, May 18, 2009. Patrick is in the 10th position for the Indianapolis 500, which will be on May 24, 2009.   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
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(Newser) – If Danica Patrick switches gears from open-wheel racing to NASCAR, she could provide a much-needed boost to the recession-scarred circuit, experts tell Advertising Age. “Every TV rating for every race will increase” if Patrick makes the shift, says a sports marketing exec. Track attendance would rise, and women’s interest in the sport would “skyrocket,” he says. Not to mention $50 million in new sponsorship funding.

Patrick was the first woman to win an IndyCar race and has savvily built up her brand. “She is a star. Danica's star power would be great for the sport,” notes another expert. Her Indy Racing contract expires this year, and she has seemed open to a switch. As a leading driver, she says, “you want to jump from one top to another top.”