Robby Gordon hopes his new Speed Energy drink will help fund his single-car team.
But the biggest brand exposure Gordon got Sunday likely didn’t happen when he took Daytona 500 qualifying laps in his self-sponsored car. Speed Energy got a major shot in the arm later that evening on “60 Minutes,” during — of all things — a feature on the freed Chilean miners.
The miner most prominently chronicled in the piece, Victor Zamora, did the entire interview while wearing a SPEED Energy baseball cap. The hat was so new that it still had a sticker on its bill.
Gordon told As the World Turns (Left) Monday that Zamora got the hat last month when he and a number of the miners visited Copiapo during a stage of the Dakar Rally, which Gordon regularly competes in. Gordon met several of the miners, and a member of his crew gave the cap to Zamora.
From a marketing standpoint it was a home run for Gordon. Sunday featured an especially packed episode of “60 Minutes,” as the story on the miners was sandwiched by a feature on how social networking helped take down the Egyptian regime, and a exclusive interview with Lady Gaga leading into CBS’ Grammy telecast.
The “60 Minutes” exposure is a reversal of fortune for Gordon on the business end. In the last year he has been sued by former partner BAM Racing and has sued former sponsor Extenze, with both suits involving disputed payments.
He was also forced to change his Speed Energy logo and had to discard a significant amount of product after Specialized Bicycle Components sued, claiming Gordon’s initial Speed Energy logo too closely resembled theirs.
“We had nothing to do with product placement on the show, but it was definitely cool to have one of the Chilean miners sport a Speed Energy hat during his interview on ’60 Minutes,’ Gordon told As the World Turns (Left). “While I am impressed that he decided to wear his Speed Energy hat during his interview, what is even more cool is their unbelievable story of survival and courage. We just got lucky.”
Ironically, this isn’t the first time a NASCAR team has gotten brand exposure on a CBS prime-time hit. Former Jimmie Johnson developmental crewman Chase Rice wore a Hendrick Motorsports cap throughout his run to a second-place finish on the most recent season of “Survivor.”