NASCAR has rejected driver Brandon Brown’s sponsorship with “Let’s Go Brandon”-inspired cryptocurrency meme coin LGBcoin, since the popular saying is a slight against President Joe Biden.
According to The Washington Post, a NASCAR official said the organization “made clear during a November discussion about the potential sponsorship that it would not allow any reference or imagery based on the chant.”
The chant, notably, is a knock against Biden and the media. “Let’s go Brandon” went viral last year after Brown won a race and a reporter claimed fans were cheering “Let’s go Brandon,” though they were clearly chanting “F*** Joe Biden.”
“NASCAR on Tuesday decided against approving a sponsorship based on the anti-President Biden slogan ‘Let’s go, Brandon,’ according to a NASCAR official with direct knowledge of the deliberations,” the Post report said.
The official told the Post that “NASCAR’s formal decision was not a reversal … but the governing body’s first and final word on the matter.”
“The misunderstanding over the sponsorship thrust NASCAR into an unwelcome political spotlight for several days,” the Post report said. “While segments of stock-car racing fans relished the prospect of cheering a car emblazoned with an insult of the president, such messaging would have run counter to NASCAR’s efforts to prevent stock-car racing from being used as a backdrop for partisan politics and divisive imagery.”
Notably, NASCAR President Steve Phelps said the organization’s association with the “Let’s go Brandon” is “unfortunate.”
Brown’s spokesman Maxwell Marcucci said Brandonbilt Motorsports received explicit approval of the LGBcoin sponsorship on December 26.
“We received written approval on the sponsors from a NASCAR Racing Operations official on December 26, 2021,” Marcucci said in a statement. “The team subsequently moved forward with an announcement only after being provided with this approval.”
“The sponsor approval was unambiguous — the first four words of the email from NASCAR state, ‘The sponsors are approved,’” the statement read. “The only feedback offered was related to minor graphic design changes to ensure legibility on the track at 170mph.”
NASCAR’s position now is that Brown was given approval by an employee who did not have authorization to do so. The Post reported:
[T]he announcement was premature, apparently based on an okay granted over the Christmas holidays by a NASCAR employee who was not authorized to sign off on the relationship.
The news is no doubt another hit to Brown, who revealed last week that it has been difficult for him to find sponsorship, due to the political nature of the chant associated with his name.
“It got extremely difficult for us,” the driver told Sports Business Journal. “If you’re a national corporation, that means you sell to all consumers … and unfortunately, when you get dragged into the political arena, people want you to take a side I’ve never been put in a position where it’s, ‘OK, what side are you on? Left or right?’ So it’s hard for a brand to want to attach to somebody who might be kind of divisive in their consumer base.”
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