The uncertainty over Danica Patrick's sponsorship is now over with the expansion of Aspen Dental's commitment as her sponsor for the 2017 season of Monster Energy Cup Series. The dental practice management corporation picked up additional races on Patrick's car for the new season of NASCAR.
Patrick's sponsorship woes started when Nature's Bakery cut ties with her. The snack food company accused the professional stock car racing champion of breach of contract for promoting various food and health items on her Instagram account.
Nature's Bakery has a three-year contract to sponsor Patrick's races. It informed Stewart-Haas Racing last month that it will discontinue its commitment. SHR filed a lawsuit against the company, seeking more than $31 million in damages.
According to Bob Fontana, chief executive officer of Aspen Dental Management Inc., Danica fits the role of an advocate for the company's brand. He highlights their four-year relationship with Patrick and their long-term work with SHR. Aspen's increased support will help address the funding gap facing the motorsports superstar.
Another sponsor, Ford Performance, pledged support for Danica Patrick in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series this season despite her lack of funding. The automotive parts supplier will have four full-time teams including Patrick and the No. 10.
Patrick is one of NASCAR's most popular drivers and is known worldwide. She started in IndyCar before coming to professional stock car racing. While her accomplishments pale in comparison with other NASCAR superstars, Danica commands the attention of motor racing fans that NASCAR craves including millennials, women, and children.
The 2005 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year had several high-profile endorsements under her belt. She appeared in commercials for Secret deodorant in 2005 and 2006. She was also part of ESPN's "This Is SportsCenter" commercial. She was also tapped by GoDaddy.com to be in its 2009 Superbowl ad.