Last year, the spring NASCAR weekend at Texas Motor Speedway was known as the NRA 500, and all that that entailed only four months after the Newtown tragedy at Sandy Hook.
In 2014, that controversial title sponsor is now gone.
So naturally, the replacement is Duck Commander, the brand of the best-selling duck calls and name of the thriving family-owned company led by the Robertson clan of A&E’s “Duck Dynasty” fame.
So yes, this April 6 at TMS, get your duck whistles and duck faces ready for the Duck Commander 500. And do it for multiple years, since that’s the length of the contract. Or get the duck out of Texas.
TMS president Eddie Gossage, who’s never been short of a quote and is sometimes as outspoken as the cast of “Duck Dynasty,” had this to say of the new title sponsor:
“This is perhaps the most unique sponsorship in professional sports because not only does this come with special branding, it comes with celebrity spokespeople that are followed by tens of millions of people every week,” Gossage said. “Fans will see members of the Robertson Family and cast of Duck Dynasty and all the rest during Duck Commander 500 week here at Texas Motor Speedway and we have produced some awesome merchandise that both race fans and Duck Commander fans will love. This marriage is perfection.”
And the merchandise that this will spawn. Oh, the merchandise.
An extensive line of Duck Commander 500 merchandise will be sold at track and in the Speedway World souvenir store year-round. Meanwhile, Uncle Si’s Tea™ will be introduced and sold at track in single-serve options in both the sweet and unsweetened varieties. Texas Motor Speedway also will look to integrate products such as Duck Commander Family Foods’ BBQ sauce, salsa and beef jerky with the speedway signature concession items.
Here’s how Willie Robertson, the CEO of the company, introduced the announcement on Twitter:
— Willie Robertson (@williebosshog) February 6, 2014
Meanwhile, here’s how Indy Lights driver Kyle O’Gara responded, with a dig at NASCAR’s lack of speed at TMS in comparison to the IndyCar weekend there in June.
— Kyle O’Gara (@kyleogara) February 6, 2014