Jeff Gordon Signs JMI Deal after 10 Years with IMG Agency
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According to a report issued by NASCAR's official site, the 38-year old 5-time winner of the Sprint Cup Series proceeded to this change in order to seek “deeper selection of business opportunities within motorsports that extend beyond endorsements.” The Hendrick Motorsports driver has been with IMG for the past decade, but the change in priorities for the twilight of his career in stock car racing demanded a change in marketing image also.
Consequently, Gordon will try to look for opportunities as team owner inside the series or even track design. His sponsorship endorsement with DuPont, National Guard, Pepsi and Chevrolet will however remain the same for the season to come.
“I think Jeff is past the point of looking for the traditional deal that gets you a patch on his sleeve. What we're looking for is more integrated business opportunities that will position Jeff post-racing. To think about going into a project with the marketing support of JMI behind you, it became crystal clear that this was the direction to go,” said John Bickford, Gordon's stepfather, chief business adviser and general manager of Jeff Gordon Inc, according to the aforementioned source.
Although losing Gordon prior to the 2010 season, the guys at IMG don't seem too worried for their future deals in motorsports, especially since they've recently signed Danica Patrick and NASCAR Sprint Cup organization Joe Gibbs Racing to their programme.
As far as JMI is concerned, the company admitted they signed Gordon for the huge name he represents in the worldwide motor racing, but insisted they will not focus their business on motorsport figures in the future.
“We're not looking to get into the driver representation business. But we do want to get into the Jeff Gordon business. We're not going to have a roster of drivers, but Jeff is the biggest name in the sport, especially internationally, and we think he provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said JMI's CEO and founder Zak Brown, who also revealed a participation of their newly-signed race driver in the Le Mans 24 Hours race is something that he'll be pushing in the future.
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