In 2012 UPS is going to begin a new chapter in our longest standing corporate sports sponsorship program – NASCAR. Today we announced that while we’re coming back next year as an official NASCAR partner, for the first time in 12 racing seasons we won’t be a primary team sponsor.
For me, first and foremost, this means that David Ragan, driver of the No. 6 UPS Ford Fusion for the last three Sprint Cup Series seasons, won’t be a part of our racing program. And while I understand the business reasons behind the change, it still will be difficult to say goodbye to someone who has endeared himself to countless UPS employees and customers during his tenure as UPS Racing’s brand ambassador.
Over the last three years I’ve had the good fortune to spend some time with David watching him race at tracks around the country, meeting and greeting UPS customers and employees at company hospitality events and on a few occasions, just shooting the breeze with him whenever the opportunity allowed. From those experiences, I learned a great deal about David.
David’s drive to be the best that he can be both on and off the track is always evident, as is his integrity and his devotion to his friends, family and team. I’m very grateful my professional responsibilities gave me the chance to get to know this fine young man.
When a company like UPS signs a sponsorship agreement with an athlete or celebrity, the hope is that the individual will demonstrate the kind of character, professional values and attributes that will reflect positively on the company’s brand and reputation. Without hesitation, I can tell you that David Ragan was the perfect fit for UPS.
UPS’s decision to reconfigure our racing program was based solely on the ever-increasing need to find new ways to generate the greatest return on our sponsorship investments. While we experienced a lot of great success over the years as a primary sponsor, we felt it was time to take a different approach so we can further expand the reach of the UPS brand in new ways and in new markets all around the world. At the end of the day that’s what sponsorships are supposed to do, even if it means sometimes having to part ways with really good people.
No one knows what the future holds, but I predict that David Ragan’s will be filled with tremendous success. And without question, he will always have my support and admiration. Thank you, David, for everything.