As Busch and NASCAR premier series driver Kevin Harvick chase another championship, the beer brand today announced it will be back on the hood of Harvick's No. 4 car for the next three years. Busch will serve as the primary sponsor of the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) team for select races throughout the 2017 NASCAR premier series season, beginning with The Unlimited Feb. 18 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.
Busch, Busch Light and other special-edition Busch paint schemes will be featured on Harvick's No. 4 car for a total of 16 races throughout 2017, an increase from 12 races last season. Busch returned to racing prior to the 2016 premier series season, reigniting its storied history in the sport which dates back to 1978.
"While we expected a warm welcome back into the sport of racing, we were ultimately blown away by the reception we received from race fans across the country," said Chelsea Phillips, Senior Director of Value Brands, Anheuser-Busch. "We had a blast connecting with Busch drinkers and race fans alike throughout the 2016 season, and we're looking forward to a continued relationship with these passionate fans through our extended partnership with Kevin and SHR."
The partnership between Harvick and Busch has proven to be a winning combination. Harvick and the No. 4 team have made four trips to victory lane this season, most notably when he took the checkered flag in August at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway with the Busch logo on the hood. Busch and the No. 4 car have made headlines all season long with at-track activations and eye-catching paint schemes that tie back to Busch brand initiatives, including an iconic throwback look at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway, a fishing theme at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway and a blaze-orange hunting car at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.
"From the retro look at Darlington to the blaze-orange hunting scheme at Charlotte, there's been buzz every time one of the Busch paint schemes hits the track," Harvick added. "The fans let us know how thrilled they were to have Busch back in the sport last year, and I'm looking forward to getting back to victory lane with the Busch logo on the hood in 2017 and beyond."
Busch will leverage its racing platform all year long, employing a comprehensive marketing approach to engage with racing enthusiasts and loyal Busch consumers through on-track, experiential, in-market and retail activations during the 2017 premier series season.
Friends of Harvick, Busch beer and members of the SHR team celebrated the renewed partnership in a fitting manner – by raising a glass (or a can of Busch) and sending their congratulations. Harvick received videos from SHR co-owner Tony Stewart, crew chief Rodney Childers and members of the No. 4 pit crew, seven-time angler of the year Kevin Van Dam, country artist Matt Stillwell, pro golfer Jason Gore, MMA fighters Miesha Tate and Cowboy Cerrone and sports broadcaster Shannon Spake. A video compiling the congratulatory messages was shared by SHR on Twitter and can be viewed on YouTube.
Busch first became involved in racing in 1978 when it sponsored the Busch Pole Award, which was awarded to the pole winner of each NASCAR premier series race. The brand has been engrained in the sport ever since, including introducing the Busch Clash in 1979, serving as the title sponsor of NASCAR's stepping-stone division to the premier series – currently known as the XFINITY Series – from 1984 through 2007, as well as being the "Official Beer of NASCAR" from 1988 through 1997. Busch also sponsored racing legend Cale Yarborough's No. 11 car throughout the 1979 and 1980 premier series seasons, where he racked up 10 wins and 38 top-five finishes with the Busch logo on the hood during a 62-race span.