Popular Figure Has His Own Figurines —Cagle

MONEY WELL SPENT?: Seeing NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin qualify for the Race for the Chase, a spot in that sport’s “playoff” drive for the Nextel Cup championship last month, made me wonder about something. How much value does FedEx/Kinko’s derive from that relationship?

According to Crain’s Chicago Business, primary sponsorship of a car in NASCAR’s top racing division is in the $15 million to $20 million neighborhood. Hamlin is in his rookie campaign, so we could presume—right or wrong—that his price tag was at the low end. However, FedEx/Kinko’s augmented its sponsorship with an aggressive, comprehensive television ad campaign. So the unofficial king of quickies (printing and overnight delivery, that is) did not get by cheap.

Now that Hamlin is vying for the title, FedEx/Kinko’s should start to see some return on its investment. NASCAR fans are notorious for allegiance toward their favorite driver’s sponsors, to the point of buying every product that supports their driver. Maybe the greater printing industry can back racers that readily identified with the company, geographically or culturally. Perhaps Quebecor World or Transcontinental could support Canadian driver Ron Fellows. Or maybe Bob Burton and Cenveo could sponsor someone who represents Burton’s relentless, hard-charging tactics; a driver who is accused of being ruthless and doing whatever it takes to win, which he does frequently.

Unfortunately for Burton, Home Depot sponsors Tony Stewart.

ON THE ROAD AGAIN: Speaking of aggressive driving, so help me, if one more delivery truck cuts me off on the Ben Franklin Bridge (which connects Camden, NJ, and Philadelphia) I’m going to find that old black and battered 1978 Ford Granada that I owned in college, paint a yellow smiley face on its hood, and then drive into work with reckless impunity. But before I ‘trade paint,’ I’ll make sure to have the name of a certain supplier stenciled on the doors. I won’t name names, but let’s just say there are some Xs involved.

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