The April 6, 2014 Sprint Cup race at the Texas Motor Speedway will officially be known as the Duck Commander 500. The Robertson family has signed a sponsorship deal with the Speedway, giving them rights to name the event. Speedway president, Eddie Gossage said, “This is perhaps the most unique sponsorship in professional sports because not only does this come with special branding, it comes with celebrity spokespeople that are followed by tens of millions of people every week”.
Willie Robertson, the CEO of Duck Commander said, “We are all big fans of NASCAR and have been all our lives. It’s especially exciting to see our brand join to make it an awesome experience for the fan base, and we can’t think of a better place than our neighbor at the Texas Motor Speedway.”
The Robertsons will be at the Speedway during the week of the event, performing such important roles as grand marshal and honorary starter. They will also be selling “Uncle Si’s Tea”, Duck Commander Family Foods’ barbecue sauce, salsa, and beef jerky.
Last year, the National Rifle Association sponsored the event, raising some eyebrows among those who find the organization too controversial. This year’s sponsorship from the Duck Dynasty family is also controversial because of Phil Robertson’s comments in December that were offensive to gays and blacks. The Speedway’s governing body apparently doesn’t think Duck Dynasty is too controversial. In a statement, they said that they “will disapprove a prospective entitlement sponsor only if such prospective entitlement sponsor’s brand has been tarnished by controversy, crisis or circumstances such that its association with the event would damage the NASCAR brand or the image of the sports or .. would damage the (broadcaster) network’s ability to sell advertising.”