Richard Petty Motorsports announced today that Smithfield Foods will be on board with RPM and the No. 43 car driven by Aric Almirola through 2016 with the new contract extension.
Larry Pope, CEO of Smithfield Foods, made the announced this afternoon, stating that the data he has seen shows that NASCAR sponsorship supports reaching their customers.
“We’re very pleased with the success we’re achieving at retail and food service as a result of that, and as a result we’re increasing our commitment,” he commented. “We think we’re with the best team in Motorsports, clearly the best team in NASCAR with the icon of the industry for 50 years plus, with a terrific driver behind the wheel and a wonderful young man who interacts with our customers and improves our brand image off the track.”
Pope adds that being able to work with Almirola and also Richard Petty puts his company in the forefront.
“Richard does a terrific job by being available off-track to visit with our customers and to be part of interaction with the fans and the supporters of the sport who also buy our product,” Pope explained. “So Richard has made his time more available because he’s got the time, and Aric has limited availability, so it’s the combination of those two that we’re trying to, at Smithfield Foods — we’re migrating ourselves from a commodity-oriented company to a consumer packaged goods company, and we’re learning it.”
Brian Moffit, CEO of Richard Petty Motorsports, is excited about the announcement and added that it will allow RPM to invest money into the organization for more Research and Development.
“We’ve hired what I would call human capital, some great employees in Scott McDougall and Trent Owens coming aboard, as well as some others. We have re-signed Aric for an extension to match what we’re doing with Smithfield,” Moffit explained. “So a lot of things that we have dealt with in the past we’re now looking to the future, and the future prosperity of Richard Petty Motorsports and actually winning on the track and competing for the Chase and competing for a championship in the near future.”
For driver Aric Almirola, it’s a confidence boost.
“It gives me a lot of confidence knowing that I have Richard Petty Motorsports behind me, and then obviously Smithfield Foods behind me and that they’re committed to me and they support me,” he said. “We’ve had a lot of success already off the racetrack and some on the racetrack, and we look to continue to increase the success on the racetrack as well as off the racetrack.”
Last season, Almirola finished 18th in points with a top five and six top 10s.