Smithfield Foods, Inc. (NYSE:SFD) and Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) announced today that the consumer packaged foods company headquartered in Smithfield, Virginia has entered into a multiyear, integrated partnership with the legendary Richard Petty Motorsports NASCAR team starting in 2012.
As part of its agreement with Richard Petty Motorsports, Smithfield will be utilizing a number of its core brands as well as unique and engaging promotional initiatives throughout this racing season to communicate with existing customers and introduce others to the company’s many fine products. In addition, NASCAR fans will see a variety of Smithfield brands adorning the legendary No. 43 Ford Fusion as primary sponsor in fifteen NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events in 2012, including the first event of the season, February’s Daytona 500. Smithfield brands include Farmland®, Eckrich® and Curly’s®, among others, as well as Helping Hungry Homes™, one of Smithfield’s premier community-outreach brands.
Smithfield® and Helping Hungry Homes™ will be Smithfield’s featured brands for the Daytona 500. Helping Hungry Homes™ is Smithfield’s initiative focused on alleviating hunger across America. The initiative provided more than eight million servings of protein last year through food banks, school nutrition programs, disaster relief, and community outreach programs. “Making a positive impact on our communities is one of our core values at Smithfield,” said C. Larry Pope, Smithfield’s president and chief executive officer.
For Smithfield Foods, partnering now with the Petty organization is a natural fit. “We had been in discussions internally about entering NASCAR with the Petty’s as so many of our customers are true blue fans of the sport and of the Petty’s,” stated Mr. Pope. “However, with the recent events that have affected the Petty organization, we felt it was only right to step up our efforts now to support them, as well as dedicate time and resources to bring some exciting initiatives with our brands to NASCAR fans,” said Pope. “In the coming months, we will be announcing plans and programs both on and off the track to reach and engage our customers and local communities that are so important to us,” added Pope.
“This partnership with Smithfield Foods is part of the beginning of a new chapter for the No. 43 team,” commented Petty. “We appreciate that they saw something special in the Petty family and in Richard Petty Motorsports as a whole and made the decision to take the partnership to a higher level right out of the box. The folks at Smithfield have a solid plan in place to utilize their sponsorship in some very exciting ways and we’re looking forward to working with them in 2012 and beyond.”
Aric Almirola was recently named as the driver of the famed No. 43 Ford and will make his debut in the Richard Petty Motorsports owned entry at Daytona International Speedway.
“I’m looking forward to representing the Smithfield brands,” said Almirola. “They have some great things planned and I am happy to be a part of it.”