After 7 years, Bojangles’ bows out as Southern 500’s top sponsor

By Bobby Bryant, Editor,

The Bojangles’ Southern 500 is no longer the Bojangles’ Southern 500.

The fast-food company, which has been the title sponsor of Darlington’s signature NASCAR race since 2012, has ended its sponsorship deal.

The most immediate fallout from Bojangles’ exit can be seen on the Darlington Raceway’s website – the Southern 500 logo featured there no longer displays the name BOJANGLES’.

The logo now simply says Darlington Raceway Southern 500, with no sponsor, at least for now.

In a statement sent to WMBF-TV, Bojangles’ said: “Bojangles’ has enjoyed a long and successful partnership with the team at Darlington Raceway. While we will no longer be the title sponsor for the Southern 500, NASCAR remains an important part of our sports marketing strategy, and we look forward to announcing our plans for 2020 in the near future.”

Raceway President Kerry Tharp told news media in a statement: “We’ve enjoyed a terrific relationship with Bojangles’ since 2012 and we look forward to their continued involvement in NASCAR for many years to come. Like Darlington, they are truly an authentic Southern brand.”

While Bojangles’ has been the race’s main sponsor for the past seven years – a long stretch as sponsorships go – it’s not the only company to pay for the right to have its name attached to the Southern 500. Previous corporate sponsors have included Heinz, Mountain Dew and Pepsi.

Bojangles’ described itself as a “Southern culinary staple” in 2012 when the company announced it had made a deal to be title sponsor of the race. “Just like Bojangles’ famous chicken and biscuits, NASCAR is deeply rooted in the culture of the South,” Bojangles’ president and CEO Randy Kibler said at the time.

How much did Bojangles’ pay for the sponsorship rights? The price apparently was never disclosed, but there was speculation at the time that the company might have spent between $1.5 million and $3 million.

Sept. 6 is the running date for the next Southern 500.

Author: Stephan Drew

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