Stewart-Haas Racing Media Conference
Topics: Stewart-Haas Racing
November 1, 2011
THE MODERATOR: I'm Mike Arning, director of communication here at Stewart-Haas Racing, and we'll go ahead and get started here. A couple of housekeeping notes, obviously we have a big announcement here to make today. We'll go ahead and unveil these cars and also open it up to a question-and-answer session. Once that's finished we'll do some staged photos here at the cars, take care of our video guys, get some good B-roll out of that and then each one of our speakers here will be available for one-on-ones afterwards.
A couple folks here are very familiar faces, actually all of them should be by watching TV; Tony Stewart, the driver and owner of Stewart-Haas Racing; and then Jay Farner, president and chief marketing officer, Quicken Loans; and finally, Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Chevrolet Impala for Stewart-Haas Racing. I want to introduce Jay Farner to say welcome to Stewart-Haas Racing, welcome to NASCAR, and tell us what you're going to be doing here.
JAY FARNER: I can't tell you how excited we are to be here, first of all, and be part of or joining the Stewart-Haas team. We're going to be participating in a variety of races, nine in particular, in 2012, sponsoring Ryan, the No. 39 car, and we're also going to be the associate sponsor on the races that we're not the primary sponsor, and then we're also going to be the associate sponsor with the No. 14 car with Smoke.
We're very excited about this. I'll tell you, we spent a lot of time trying to figure out the right sponsorship for Quicken Loans, looking inside of NASCAR, looking at other sponsorships, and I want to thank the Quicken Loans team, a variety of folks that are here today that went out and did all this research, trying to determine what was best for our company, for our clients and for our team members, and it kept coming back to Stewart-Haas. It kept coming back to Ryan. There are so many reasons. We pride ourselves on being engineered to amaze, and that's an experience we want to deliver to our clients each and every day when we help them with a mortgage.
I can tell you we just spent a few hours walking through the shop here and really learning about what goes into taking these cars and these amazing drivers and putting them on the track, and I feel even better about the decision that we've made because it truly is amazing what happens here each and every day. So it's a perfect partnership.
We're also really excited to be a part of car 39 and partner with Army. We're one of the largest VA lenders in America, and we feel strongly about our veterans and our service members, and so to be able to do something and partner with the U.S. Army is incredible, so that's got us excited as well. Just happy to be here and excited to get things started.
THE MODERATOR: And Ryan, the tag line for Quicken Loans is "engineered to amaze," so I suppose it's pretty fitting that they aligned themselves with a driver who was an engineering major, but at the same point, backing up what Jay said, more fittingly is your role with the U.S. Army. Talk about that.
RYAN NEWMAN: Well, as most of you know, I've always said it's an honor for me to represent the U.S. Army, and what Quicken Loans does to help the veterans and to be a part of this engineered to amaze and have my engineering degree, I'm very thankful to them for all the things that they do. The Army is just like us and what we do in NASCAR; we're teaming up as a group to go out there and win and be victorious in our battles, and I'm really proud to represent the Army, really proud to have this opportunity with Quicken Loans and Stewart-Haas Racing, and as I always say, each and every week, we'll do our best to represent them and try to get them into victory lane.
THE MODERATOR: And Tony Stewart, driver-owner here at Stewart-Haas Racing. Pretty good couple of days; a win Sunday at Martinsville, a big announcement here today, bringing a brand new sponsor not only to Stewart-Haas Racing but someone new to the sport, as well.
TONY STEWART: Yeah, and it's an honor to be able to do that. We take a lot of pride here at Stewart-Haas racing, and this isn't the first time that we've had a new partner that's new to the sport, so we're very excited about having Quicken Loans with us. Going up and visiting at their offices, it didn't take long to realize this was a perfect fit for us, to have a group that is very outgoing and enthusiastic, and we felt like we were a good fit for them and vice versa. Very, very proud and excited to have them on the car and looking forward to hopefully a lot of great years with them.
THE MODERATOR: Now, it wouldn't be a true press conference if we did not have some cars to unveil, and right now here we've got two cars, but we're going to start with this one right here. Our friends from CommuniCore will unveil this one. Guys, go ahead, take it away. A pretty sharp-looking race car. And finally, let's go ahead and lift the sheets on this one.
Now, Jay, this is the car right here that we will see Ryan Newman pilot in 2012. What's going on with this one?
JAY FARNER: That's a great-looking car. We're really excited about this car here because as you know, we are the title sponsor for the Quicken Loans Carrier Classic, a great basketball game that's going to take place on the USS Carl Vinson on Veterans Day. We've partnered with Morale Entertainment and a few other folks to put on a great show. Michigan State University and the University of North Carolina are going to be playing basketball on an aircraft carrier. We said to ourselves, that's engineered to amaze. We've got to do it.
So the opportunity to create a special car to recognize that event, help us recognize Veterans Day, and again, put some more focus on our servicemen and women and our veterans we thought was important. So to have this car out there is going to be awesome.
THE MODERATOR: And Ryan, of course, is piloting this car this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. The Quicken Loans Carrier Classic will be broadcast live on ESPN on November 11, 2011, 7:00 p.m. eastern, 4:00 p.m. Pacific, and again from the flight deck of the USS Carl Vinson at Naval Base Coronado in the San Diego Harbor. A couple other notes on this, honorary captains are Magic Johnson for his alma mater Michigan State, James Worthy for his alma mater North Carolina, and as if this event needed some more star power, President Barack Obama also attending the Quicken Loans Carrier Classic.
We'll go ahead and open up the floor for questions.
Q. Tony, obviously this thing has been a while in the making, but can you just talk about the recent success you've had and how winning actually helps you bring new people into the sport and get sponsors?
TONY STEWART: Well, I don't think it's any secret that the more you win, the more exposure you're getting, and obviously the better job you're doing being able to help your partners and sponsors get the exposure they're looking for to try to help them grow their businesses. It's a performance-based industry all the way around, and whether you're on the car owner side or the driver side, it's very important to win races and be up front where you can get the partners exposure.
Q. Jay, can you talk about the level at which you're coming into this deal, nine races? Are you hoping to eventually become full-time sponsor, something on that order?
JAY FARNER: You know, we're excited about the nine races. We're excited about some of the races we're doing to close out this year. And we see a ton of synergy between what Stewart-Haas does and what we're doing, and we've been thoroughly impressed with the whole Stewart-Haas team, the marketing team, very creative thinking, a lot of -- they think of a lot of different ways to leverage the relationship in our business, so we're starting with the nine, and we're really excited about a long-term partnership, and we firmly believe that working together with the team we'll be able to make that happen.
Q. Tony, I see U.S. Army and Tornados. Are they both coming back, and can you say where you are sponsorship wise as far as all the races for 2012 for Ryan?
TONY STEWART: They are coming back. They have cut back a couple of their races, and that's where Quicken Loans has obviously come on board and definitely helped us fill a lot of those races. So still excited to have Tornados, just so you know the pronunciation, but the good thing is Quicken Loans can help you fix that problem. But having them and the U.S. Army aboard is something that is very important to us, and obviously with the economy having been rough the last couple years, finding the level of participation that they're comfortable with is important to us. We don't want to lose partners, and we've always, I felt like, at Stewart-Haas Racing, always been good about trying to make sure that we do everything we can to accommodate what their needs are. It's not just about writing a check, it's about making sure that we're accomplishing their goals, too. For those guys to have to cut back a few races opened up an opportunity for us to get Quicken on board, and really proud of that.
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