By Joe Menzer
Dec 1, 2016 at 5:50p ET
One of the buzzwords of the news conference announcing NASCAR’s new Premier Series title sponsor on Thursday in Las Vegas was “fun.”
As in the new sponsor, Monster Energy, is expected to bring more of it to NASCAR’s top national touring series.
“We’re looking forward to having some fun with it,” NASCAR chairman and CEO Brian France said of the new partnership. “By the way, we’re in the fun business. We’re racing cars, we’re crowning champions … this is where people come to have fun, right? What better brand to have associated with us than the people who understand that. So we couldn’t be more excited. ”
In the next instant, Mark Hall, the chief marketing officer of Monster, demonstrated what France was talking about – dropping a quick story about Robby Gordon, the first driver Monster sponsored in NASCAR, that brought a roar of laughter from those in attendance at the announcement.
“We’ve been in NASCAR for a while. I was thinking back on the day we got started. … It’s been nine or 10 years since Robby Gordon was our first foray (into the sport),” Hall said. “I remember it was a great day for me when Robby threw his helmet at some guy – because that was the only time he ever got on camera.
“I actually called him up and said, ‘Robby, can you do that some more?’ “