Danica Patrick Talks GoDaddy, Pepsi


– Kenneth Hein

Since becoming the fourth woman to compete in the Indy 500 nearly five years ago, Danica Patrick has become almost as well known for appearing in ads as she has for competing in races. She has signed marketing deals with Honda, Secret, Boost Mobile and others. However, her most high-profile role has been starring in risqué Super Bowl spots for the Internet domain name registrar GoDaddy.com. This year, Patrick will be back as GoDaddy has purchased two 30-second spots, created in-house, during Super Bowl XLIV on Feb. 7. Today, she announced a three-year deal with Andretti Autosport to remain with GoDaddy.com through 2012. In a question-and-answer session with AdweekMedia's Kenneth Hein, Patrick talked about the new deal and her desire to win the Indy 500 as well as to appear in a Pepsi commercial.

Kenneth Hein: Why is GoDaddy a fit for you?

Danica Patrick: They have given me an opportunity to do what I love and I wouldn’t be in this position without them. It’s cool that they stepped up and have taken over [branding of] the whole car. I know it’s been a dream of [GoDaddy.com CEO] Bob’s [Parsons] to do that and I know he wants to win the Indy 500. Hopefully we can do that.

You’ve been in a number of ads. How do you choose which companies to link up with?

It’s a marriage. It’s a choice on both parts. It’s a program that works for [GoDaddy]. They obviously know how to drive their business and make it successful. They’ve been growing since day one. On my side of things, they do a good job of activating the program and really using me in marketing and advertising so I get exposure. They get exposure for their brand as well, so like I said, it’s like a marriage.

What are some other brands you’ve worked with and why did you pick them?

Two of them that have been around since my first year in IndyCar are Peak Motor Oil and Tissot watches. They’ve both been around since 2005 and I have to say they have been great partners. There has been a snowball effect. It works for them and it also works for me going beyond, too. Those are the people who have been around the longest. There’s lots of little ones — helmets and suits and all that stuff that have been around as well — but [Peak and Tissot] are the biggest ones. We’ve also got some really cool stuff moving forward, too.

Is there a dream company you’d love to partner with?

You look at the famous ads in the past, like being a Pepsi girl or something, being in those advertisements. There are some very, very well-known brands, so many. But I think Pepsi would be cool.

Are there any companies you wouldn’t partner with?

You just have to take them as they come and understand the program and direction the company wants to go in. It might not always be what you think. You definitely hear them all out.

Did you catch any flak for doing those raunchy GoDaddy commercials?

Like I said, they are incredibly successful and are growing every year. They definitely know how to direct traffic to the Web site and drive their business. I’m excited to be part of a successful company.