GoDaddy eyes Danica Patrick move
INDIANAPOLIS -- Bob Parsons, CEO and founder of Danica Patrick sponsor GoDaddy.com, said Sunday he expects her to make the move full-time to NASCAR next season.
"She hasn't told me she will, but I believe she will and we'll be ready," Parsons said. "Here's the fact: She loves [NASCAR], it's much more exciting than IndyCar, with all due respect, and the TV audience for NASCAR is off the hook."
Parsons was at Indianapolis Motor Speedway Sunday to watch Patrick compete in the event. Patrick is working on a plan to race full-time in the Nationwide Series is 2012 and move to Sprint Cup in 2013, sources confirmed earlier this week.
"She came up to me right after she did her first NASCAR race [the 2010 Nationwide race at Daytona]," Parson said. "She said to me, 'I absolutely loved it. This is what I was born to do.' "
Parsons emphasized he is behind her whatever decision she makes.
"As long as I can stroke the check," he said. "I tell you what, she doesn't exactly work for minimum wage. I usually don't get into that too much until the decision's been made. But I've told her I would sponsor her if she started ice skating."
Parsons said a move to NASCAR full-time by Patrick would benefit GoDaddy.com.
"It would be good for us," he said. "The races she's in now in Nationwide, whether in front or in the back, it's still fantastic for us. I've had people tell me, 'I'm going to start watching NASCAR to see Danica.' She is the one person that America roots for. America loves her."
Parsons said GoDaddy.com's market share has tripled from $300 million to $1.1 billion in sales since his company started backing Patrick in 2005.
"And we've done a lot to help her become a household name,'' Parsons said. "They see her in our commercials and on the website. Over a million people come to our site every day.
"She's edgy like we are, and a little inappropriate like we are. But you notice whenever we do a commercial, she's always the hero. She's never the brunt of the joke. And her recognition is off the hook. She's perfect for GoDaddy."
Parsons was asked if he needs Patrick to make an announcement soon.
"It matters, but not in terms of whether I will sponsor her or not," he said. "She stuck by us and I'm definitely going to stick by her."
Along with Patrick's IndyCar ride at Andretti Autosport and her Nationwide car at JR Motorsports, GoDaddy also sponsors Mark Martin's Cup car at Hendrick Motorsports.
Martin is leaving after this season and Kasey Kahne is taking over in that car. Will GoDaddy sponsor Kahne in 2012?
"We're working on that," Parsons said. "I can tell you Mr. [Rick] Hendrick runs an awfully good team and he's been a great business partner for us."
Parsons also was asked whether he would sponsor Patrick if she tries to continue to run the Indy 500 while competing full-time in NASCAR.
"I think you know the answer to that," Parsons said. "Sure we will."
Terry Blount is a senior writer for ESPN.com.
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