Alvin Kamara, NFL All-Pro running back for the New Orleans Saints, partnered with JD Motorsports with Gary Keller to sponsor the No. 6 NASCAR Xfinity Series Chevrolet driven by Ryan Vargas in Saturday’s Super Start Batteries 188 at Daytona Presented by O’Reilly at the Daytona International Speedway Road Course.
The Big Squeezy, Kamara’s chain of juice bars in Louisiana, served as the primary sponsor for Vargas’ car.
2020 wasn’t particularly kind to NASCAR.
In the midst of a racial reckoning in this country, the sport’s only African-American driver, Bubba Wallace, finds a noose in his garage (which was later reported by the FBI to simply be a rope that had been there for years to keep the garage door shut).
The entire NASCAR community stood in support of Wallace, but the damage had already been done. However, the way Kamara’s sponsorship transpired, once again, exhibits the power, efficiency and speed of the internet. As well as the way the medium can bridge cultures and bring people together.
The deal was consummated over social media in approximately 48 hours. On Monday, Vargas went to Twitter to solicit potential sponsorship support for the Daytona race and Kamara, who did a little research on the driver and the team (JD Motorsports), tweeted back at Vargas to say he was in for a one-race deal.
The NFL All-Pro became a NASCAR fan last season, has attended multiple races, but this was the first time as a sponsor. Vargas, a NASCAR Drive for Diversity alum, has one top 10 in 13 starts in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.
Vargas finished 37th out of 40 drivers, but this could be the beginning of Kamara’s full-time entrance into the world of NASCAR. He definitely enjoyed the experience and is breaking new ground and diversifying NASCAR sponsorship, while flexing his entrepreneurial grit and open-mindedness.
Also, could this also be a new trend in NASCAR, where drivers get different sponsors each week instead of committing to one or two for the season?