Phil Parsons’ Dogecoin Deal – Crowdsourcing a Cup Team

Phil Parsons’ Dogecoin Deal – Crowdsourcing a Cup Team

by March 25, 2014 0 comments

Underfunded NASCAR teams, Shiba Inus, strangers on the internet, crypto-currencies – no, these aren’t Jeopardy categories, but are all details of an interesting sponsorship deal that came about at the Sprint Cup level.

Phil Parsons Racing and driver Josh Wise have been struggling with securing sponsorship for each of their races this season; the team has only had sponsorship on their car in Las Vegas and in Fontana thus far this year. As of the time of this posting, the team’s No. 98 Chevrolet SS does not yet have a sponsor for this weekend’s STP 500 in Martinsville.

The internet community Reddit and its NASCAR sub-reddit hatched an idea to raise money to sponsor PPR’s operation for a single race this year. The community would raise funds through Dogecoin, an open-source cryptocurrency that is traded digitally – a more well known cryptocurrency in circulation on the web is Bitcoin.

Digital fundraising has existed for some time now, with projects such as video games, music albums, and even major motion-pictures being funded through it. NASCAR sponsorships, however, are an uncommon venture for this method of fundraising. This is not the first instance of a car being funded by the fans though, Kenny Wallace offered fans the chance to sponsor his car in the Nationwide Series several years ago.

To sponsor the entire vehicle, $55,000 would need to have been raised by Redditors through Dogecoin donations. $55,000 in the cryptocurrency would be valued at 67,500,000 Dogecoins.

Initially, the funds were being raised at a pace that had various community members thinking they could only secure an associate sponsorship on the No. 98 car. The movement began to pick up steam throughout the week as more and more individuals began to contribute to the effort. On Monday, two wealthy benefactors each pledged over 20,000,000 Dogecoins ($13,200) to the cause; on Tuesday, the NASCAR and Dogecoin sub-reddits reached their goal as the funds pledged eclipsed the 67.5 million mark.

Fundraising organizer, Kevin Dusenberry, announced that the Reddit sponsorship would be featured on the No. 98 car in the Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway in the first week of May.

When you think of the wacky paint schemes that have been featured on the Sprint Cup cars at Talladega in recent history, the proposed paint scheme would blend right in. We’ve had Kurt Busch run Ricky Bobby-inspired schemes with a Wonder Bread car and a ‘self-sponsored’ Me car with a cougar emblazoned on the hood. This year, a different animal will be featured on a race car as Dogecoin’s mascot, a Shiba Inu (the face of the popular ‘doge’ meme,) will be displayed on the hood of the No. 98 car.

With Reddit and Phil Parsons Racing coming together for a sponsorship deal with this unique format of fundraising, one has to wonder – could this be a regular method in the future for underfunded race teams to gain sponsorship? Could we see a Kickstarter car in the field soon?

With NASCAR embracing the digital age with applications such as live race timing on smartphones and encouraging drivers to embrace social media, it was only a matter of time for sponsorship deals to jump into the new age as well.

Kyle Pokrefky
Follow Kyle Pokrefky on Twitter at @KPokrefky

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