Is this the end of her driving career?
News broke earlier this week that Danica Patrick, driver of the №10 Stewart-Haas Ford Fusion will not return to the team in 2018. Patrick, a vineyard proprietor, clothing line owner and author has other options and markets to satisfy if racing is over.
“I’ve been on the good end of sponsorship and money for a very long time, basically my whole career,” said Patrick, who has also raced in the IndyCar Series.
Patrick began her NASCAR career in the Xfinity Series in 2010, transitioning to the Monster Energy Cup Series in 2013. According to Forbes, in 2016, Patrick was the seventh highest paid driver in the sport at $13.4 million, with $5.5 million coming from endorsements and sponsors.
That is not the only legacy she leaves behind.
Although she has not won a race, Patrick has made the most celebrity Super Bowl commercial appearances with former nine-year sponsor GoDaddy and held claim to the biggest endorsement portfolio in NASCAR in 2015, with 15 companies.
Outside of racing, Patrick is already a successful businesswoman.
Earlier this year, she launched her clothing brand, ‘Warrior by Danica’ with undying passion and a determined sense behind it.
“I was so frustrated with merchandise sales in NASCAR, because they’re horrible, as in for the drivers,” said Patrick. “We just make no money off of them.”
What better way to counter that than to develop a new brand and wear? Patrick’s athletic line sells female athletic leisure wear in sizes from XS to XXXL.
Warrior by Danica and HSN were Patrick’s primary sponsors for last Saturday’s Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond Raceway.
Patrick, who claims to have relished a love for fashion since she was a kid, knew it was the right time when HSN and G-III came into the picture to collaborate.
Not new to breaking barriers, Patrick enjoys the challenges that come with going against the grain.
“It’s my project, it’s my name, it’s my vision — so I follow up and do the work.”
Patrick, is also an author.
In her newest publication, ‘Pretty Intense’, she chronicles how to calm your mind, sculpt your body and achieve your goals in 90 days.
“I worked very hard. Anyone can be lean and muscular if they want to…..but you have to put in the work and learn how to eat right. It’s all possible, believe in yourself.”
Patrick, now as a proprietor is also learning how to market wine and promote the brand along with her name. “ It’s not about selling your own wine,” said Patrick to NASCAR, “it’s about selling Napa Valley.” She compared the art of driving a race car to the art of wine — “Setting a goal and achieving it, the feel of the car, the rhythm of the lap; nailing it.”
Whether she knows it or not, Patrick’s words and actions have the power to motivate and bring the best out of others.
No, Danica Patrick is not the first athlete to write a book, or venture a little outside of sports, but as a woman in a male-dominated sport, her influence continues to spread into popular new realms beyond the racetrack.
This piece has been presented to you by SMU’s Master of Science in Sport Management.
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