Bo Time At Darlington Raceway Is Growing Bojangles’ Brandby Hunter Thomas September 1, 2018 0 comments
DARLINGTON, S.C. – Bojangles’ sponsorship of the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway is paying off and helping grow its brand.
This weekend’s running of the Southern 500 is the 69th in NASCAR’s 70-year history. In 2012, Bojangles’ that is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina jumped onboard and began sponsoring the prestigious event. Darlington Raceway generates more than $64 million for the state’s economy, and the Bojangles’ Southern 500 is its largest event. Bojangles’ is also seeing the positive impact through the growth of its brand and expansion of its fanbase, particularly in NASCAR.
“We’ve been a partner with Darlington now since 2012,” said Randy Poindexter, Senior VP of Marketing for Bojangles’. “It has been a great partnership, It’s really good for Bojangles’. The folks here at the speedway treat us like family. It’s just one of the best partnerships we have. We also feel like it’s a great partnership because of how well Florence, Myrtle Beach and the entire state of South Carolina have embraced the event.”
On Thursday night during the Darlington Car Hauler Parade presented by Raldex Hospitality, Bojangles’ had several vehicles throwing out t-shirts and freebies to fans who lined the streets and highway between Florence and Darlington. Fans’ eyes lit up when the fully wrapped Bojangles’ hummer came into view, because folks in the region have passion for the brand. Bojangles’ believes that by connecting with the customers in its already solidified regions, the passion displayed will help bring awareness to newcomers who weren’t previously exposed to the restaurant chain’s brand.
Poindexter said, “It’s just like last night driving in the (Darlington Car) Hauler Parade, you know, we weren’t getting people shouting at us as we were driving by saying ‘where’s my chicken’, they were saying ‘thank you Bojangles’ for being a sponsor’, so we know that the community here is very appreciative, but for Bojangles’, not only is it a great regional sponsorship for us, because we’re a regional chain, but we get brand exposure on a national basis, and we’re creating an awareness for potential new customers as we grow.”
Bojangles’ operates restaurants in 11 states throughout the Southeast, and thanks to the partnership it has with Darlington Raceway, the restaurant chain is able to reach even further through the national attention from the live television broadcast, media and of course, social media. This national coverage is bringing Bojangles’ brand to individuals who may not have a Bojangles’ in their town or state. Bojangles’ believes that the Southern 500 sponsorship will bring in not only new customers, which it already has but also new franchise owners too.
“Anytime you generate more awareness outside of your core area, it attracts business leaders and investors looking for opportunities,” Poindexter said. “This on a national level, people that are not in our current markets might see Bojangles’ name and say that might be a good investment for an investment for a state that they live in, so yea, that certainly helps.”
The Bojangles’ Southern 500 is almost like a prelude to the restaurant chain’s NFL marketing efforts for the Carolina Panthers’ upcoming season. Following the Bojangles’ Southern 500 weekend, the Carolina Panthers kick-off for their first regular season game on September 9.
“You got out into the parking lots here outside of Darlington, and you see fans tailgating,” Poindexter said. “You go to a Carolina Panthers game, you see Bojangles’ big Bo Boxes everywhere.”
As a result of its sponsorship of the Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway, Bojangles’ is definitely seeing NASCAR fans embrace its brand. Whether its fans wearing the Bojangles’ Racing hats, tailgating with a big Bo Box or visiting the chain’s restaurant location on Highway 52, its brand is reaching individuals that it may not otherwise, and that’s just locally. On a national scale, the Bojangles’ Southern 500 reach is in the millions.
“One of the things that we really like about this event and our sponsorship is how it engages our customers,” Poindexter said. “We’re engaging with them now on a more emotional level. NASCAR fans are some of the most loyal fans in the world. It’s a proven fact that NASCAR fans support the brands that are sponsors, whether they’re sponsors on cars or whether they’re sponsors of an event. We know that the fans are appreciative, and we do think that because of the sponsorship, more NASCAR fans are coming to Bojangles’.”