First NASCAR, now the world!


Jeff Gordon has announced that he will keep racing for an undetermined period of time – at least another five or six years. Gordon, 38, is NASCAR’s most successful active driver with four championships and 82 wins to his credit.


He has been racing Sprint Cup cars for 18 years, finishing in the top 10 in the points in all but two seasons and winning more than US$109 million in prize money. Last year he was third in the championship behind team-mates Jimmie Johnson and Mark Martin.

A few years ago Gordon signed a lifetime contract with Rick Hendrick and Hendrick Motorsports, and he is currently negotiating a new contract with primary sponsor DuPont. Gordon is a partner in Hendrick Motorsports and part owner of defending NASCAR champion Johnson’s car.

“I’m a highly competitive person and whether I’m driving or not I want to be involved in racing,” Gordon told USA Today last week. “As we go further down the road these conversations will get more serious with Rick and Hendrick Motorsports about what my role will be.”


Gordon has been represented by IMG over the past 10 years but he’s moved this year to Just Marketing International. IMG has clients in many major sports, including golf star Tiger Woods, top NFL quarterback Peyton Manning and tennis diva Maria Sharapova, but Gordon was attracted to Just Marketing because the company is focused on motor racing. It was founded by Zak Brown and is based in Zionsville, Indiana with six offices in four countries.


The company manages and represents more than US$300m in annual sponsorships in Formula 1, NASCAR, the ALMS and IRL, and CEO Brown says he will be looking at global business ventures for Gordon to be involved in, not just sponsorship endorsements.

“Jeff’s the most recognisable [NASCAR] name internationally and he likes the global side of the business – and that’s a big strength of ours,” said Brown. “That’s the fastest-growing part of our business because it’s better to fish from a world economy, especially right now with the domestic economy not so good.”

Meanwhile, Gordon is focused on fighting team-mate and friend Johnson for this year’s NASCAR championship. Both are hoping to win their fifth titles. “To me, every year is about winning races and championships, and at this point winning five or however many championships isn’t really going to change my legacy,” says Gordon. “I want that legacy to be that I was a hard-charging driver who went out there and got the job done as good as anybody.”


Gordon led most of Sunday’s race at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway but was beaten by Johnson, who scored his second win in a row. Johnson took the lead with 15 laps to go, while Gordon was beaten to second by current points leader Kevin Harvick.

Gordon and Johnson may not be the fans’ favourites, but their records have pushed them into a class of their own among today’s drivers. They are cool customers with analytical minds who are interested in all forms of racing, and they are emerging as the greatest American drivers of the modern era.

With his new management deal, Gordon now plans to establish himself as one of motor racing’s most recognisable global brands.

You may also like