Posts Tagged Sponsorship

Melling Performance extends successful partnership with Erica Enders and Elite Motorsports

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – Following a very successful five-race stint as title sponsor of two-time Pro Stock world champion Erica Enders and her Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro, Melling Performance announced a contract extension through the end of the 2017 season with the most acclaimed female driver in Pro Stock history.

Melling Performance initiated its involvement in the world’s quickest and fastest motorsport after CEO Mark Melling attended one of the Charlotte drag races in 2016.

“All I knew was NASCAR,” Melling said. “Coming to the drag races really opened my eyes to what a great sport the NHRA has going. If you can’t get excited about all the horsepower going on out there, you’re not a race fan whatsoever.”

The contract extension was announced to employees during a visit Enders and the Elite team made to the company’s headquarters Tuesday in Jackson, Mich.

“We’re extremely excited to keep Melling Performance on board with us for the rest of the season,” Enders said. “It’s a great partnership and we’re going to do our best to get Melling Performance back in the winner’s circle – NHRA style.

“Their facility was incredible and everyone there couldn’t have been nicer to us. They were all pretty stoked to see the actual racecar we run down the quarter-mile every weekend, especially with the Melling logo on the doors.”

The partnership between Enders, Elite and Melling Performance will now continue from this weekend’s 63rd annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals through the entire Countdown to the Championship playoffs, which conclude in in November in Pomona, Calif.

Enders and Richard Freeman’s Elite Motorsports team are currently in sixth place in Mello Yello points and have already locked a position in the Countdown to the Championship, which begins Sept. 15 in Charlotte.

Melling Performance’s brand became wildly popular in NASCAR during the 1980s and 90s when Mark Melling’s father, Harry Melling, supported a Cup Series team with Hall of Fame driver Bill Elliot. The team won 34 races and the 1988 NASCAR championship.

Melling Performance moves to title sponsor position on Erica Enders’ hot rod

WYNNEWOOD, OK — Melling Performance, a longtime associate sponsor of Elite Motorsports and two-time Pro Stock world champion Erica Enders, will become title sponsor of the 22-time national event winner for five national events, beginning with next weekend’s 20th annual Route 66 NHRA Nationals in Chicago and continuing through the 63rd annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals in Indy.

“Everyone at Melling Performance is excited about our association with Erica and Elite Motorsports,” Melling Performance CEO Mark Melling said. “After being at the races, I thought it would be great to see the Melling Performance Decal on the doors of Erica’s RED #9 racecar. It reminds me of the Bill Elliott days in NASCAR.

“Melling has been launching a ton of new performance engine parts, and we are pumped to see our logo on the side of her RED Melling Performance/Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro!”

Melling Performance will adorn the doors of Enders’ racecar at the upcoming NHRA national events in Chicago, Denver, Sonoma, Seattle and Indianapolis.

“Looking over the landscape of Pro Stock, it’s really quite an accomplishment to bring a company the size and caliber of Melling into a title sponsorship role,” team owner Richard Freeman said. “It reflects well on the entire class, the NHRA and our friends at FOX as well. Exposure for our sport and more importantly our sponsors is growing and that’s important to the long-term economic vitality of our race team.”

Enders is one of the top female racers in history. Only Enders, Shirley Muldowney and Angelle Sampey have won world championships in any of the top forms of motorsports and her two championships, 22 national event wins, 18 No. 1 qualifiers and admirable 242-161 race day record place her in elite company.

“I’m so excited to have Melling Performance step up like this,” Enders said. “We recently toured their facility and I was completely blown away. They aren’t state-of-the-art, they are way beyond that. It is like something out of the future. I was so impressed with everything they showed us.

“We’ve become friends with everyone at Melling and they have definitely become part of the Elite family over the past few years. I can’t wait to drive this Melling Performance/Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro into the winner’s circle this weekend.”

Melling is a leading manufacturer of oil pumps and other power train components. Melling serves the global automotive original equipment and aftermarket industries and is noted for its strong engineering, product development and distribution capabilities. Melling operates 10 facilities in North America.

Transportation Impact signs expanded sponsorship of Erica Enders, Jeg Coughlin Jr.

WYNNEWOOD, OK — Praising the successes of their first year together, Elite Motorsports team owner Richard Freeman and Transportation Impact Co-Founder Keith Byrd made a bullish announcement of an expanded sponsorship package for multi-time champion drivers Erica Enders and Jeg Coughlin Jr.

“This may be the best sponsorship deal in motorsports,” Freeman said. “You always want the fans and your fellow racers to support the sponsors that fund our sport, and in the case of Transportation Impact, it literally doesn’t cost you a penny to do just that. In fact, I can flat-out guarantee you’ll save money by enlisting their services.”

The privately-held logistics company specializes in helping companies drastically reduce their shipping costs. Transportation Impact, an Inc. 5000 company based in North Carolina, has earned a reputation as one of the top small package and freight negotiation and auditing firms in the shipping industry. They also are a leading provider of real-time transportation management system solutions; one of the only companies to offer a TMS with API connectivity.

“Our partnership with Elite has been great for our organization,” Byrd said. “We have been welcomed by Richard, Erica, Jeg and team, and have also been embraced by the other sponsors in the sport. We’ve had a chance to get to know some really great people, which has spawned some great business deals, but more importantly great friendships.”

The partnership between the two organizations stretches beyond the track and into the boardroom. Elite is a TI client, making for a relationship that both sides agree is mutually beneficial.

“We ship quite a lot, both with my regular business and with the race team, and we just figured out Transportation Impact saved us 43 percent on shipping costs last year,” Freeman said. “That’s money in our pocket right there. Everyone at the track that asked for their help will tell you a similar story. It’s pretty incredible what they do.

“And like I said, we only have to pay them a portion of what we save in the deal, which means we aren’t paying anything out of pocket.”

Byrd echoed Freeman’s thoughts: “One of our primary goals with this partnership is to deliver significant savings to as many teams, sponsors and suppliers as possible,” he said. “We appreciate the fact Elite has not only trusted us as a sponsor, but also with their business. When a company does that, then aligns you with other companies that you can help, too, then it makes you want to get behind them and support their team even more, so that’s what we’re here to do.”

Elite Motorsports and Mopar to part ways in 2017

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WYNNEWOOD, OK – Elite Motorsports and Mopar have announced that they will end their partnership at the end of the 2016 racing season.

“I want to thank everyone at Mopar and Dodge, from the top executives to the engineers on to the people helping us at the races for their hard work and dedication,” said Elite Motorsports team owner Richard Freeman. “My guys should be commended. They basically worked around the clock with pretty much zero days off for the entire season, busting their butts to try and give Erica and Jeggy competitive racecars. We look forward to a fresh start into 2017.”

“We thank the entire Elite Motorsports team, including owner Richard Freeman and drivers Erica Enders and Jeg Coughlin Jr. for serving as superb ambassadors of our brand,” said Pietro Gorlier, Head of Parts and Service (Mopar), FCA – Global. “The drivers and team handled themselves with professionalism and class, constantly working hard to break into the winner’s circle. We commend them for their dedication and never-quit attitude, and wish the team, Erica and Jeg nothing but success in their future endeavors.

“For 2017, we will continue our relationship with Don Schumacher Racing in both NHRA Funny Car, which has culminated in four championships in six years, and also in Top Fuel, and we will expand our presence in the NHRA Sportsman ranks.”

Elite Motorsports drivers and multi-time world champions Jeg Coughlin Jr. and Erica Enders both competed with Mopar-backed Dodge Darts in 2016.

“We really wanted to light up the scoreboards this year with our Magneti Marelli offered by Mopar/JEGS.com Dodge Dart but we couldn’t quite get it running where it needed to be,” Coughlin said. “Like Richard, I salute everyone at Mopar and thank them for the effort. We wish them well in 2017 and beyond.”

Enders shared her teammate’s sentiments. “Mopar has been wonderful to work with,” she said. “It seems we were chasing it all year and never really got the cars where we could challenge for wins. Hopefully, we can start writing a new chapter and everyone will move forward into a better situation, including Team Mopar. We wish them nothing but the best because they’ve been great partners.”

Enders won the 2014 and 2015 Pro Stock titles with Elite Motorsports, while Coughlin finished top of the class in 2000, 2002, 2007, 2008 and 2013, prior to his time with Elite Motorsports.

Following successful test run, Transportation Impact continues support for Erica Enders, Elite Motorsports

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EMERALD ISLE, NC — After enjoying the fruits of increased recognition accompanying its six-race, title-winning test run with Elite Motorsports and superstar driver Erica Enders last year, the logistics experts at Transportation Impact have announced a new major associate deal with the back-to-back world champions for 2016.

“Erica and the Elite Motorsports team have been an asset to our business from day one,” Transportation Impact Co-founder Keith Byrd said. “More important than the team’s success on the track is its commitment to our partnership. We work hard to deliver for our customers, and Erica and Elite Motorsports have worked hard to deliver for us. We also understand how important it is to build trust and loyalty with our customers, partners, affiliates, and staff. Our teams see eye-to-eye on all those fronts, so we felt it made sense to take our relationship to the next level. We are thrilled to be along for the ride.”

Transportation Impact, an Inc. 5000 company based in North Carolina that was founded eight years ago by Byrd and Travis Burt, first signed on with Elite Motorsports in 2015 at the second Charlotte race, the start of the Countdown to the Championship. With the privately held logistics company’s logo emblazoned across her hood, Enders raced to three victories in four final-round appearances and clinched her second title with a race to spare.

“We are so honored to have Transportation Impact back and to continue this great relationship,” Enders said. “They were obviously good luck for our team last year, and the NHRA family in turn showed them a lot of love back by taking their business to TI. It was a win-win situation and we all feel like we’re just getting started. The best is yet to come.”

Byrd, Burt, and their staff at Transportation Impact specialize in helping some of the largest companies in the world drastically reduce their shipping costs through small package, less-than-truckload (LTL) and truckload (TL) negotiation, parcel audit, freight audit, and freight pay services. TI also boasts one of the most sophisticated and cost-effective transportation management systems (TMS) in the supply chain industry.

“Everyone in our world, from Sportsman racers on up to the pros, should check these guys out and use their services, not just with their racing business but whatever they do back home,” Elite Motorsports team owner Richard Freeman said. “We had a chance to meet a lot of their customers, and everyone raved about how professional and positive Transportation Impact is and also how much money and time they saved using their services. They are the best in the business.”

Moving forward into a new era of Pro Stock, Transportation Impact will maintain its position on the hood of Enders’ new Mopar Dodge Dart.

In 2016, Enders will try to join Shirley Muldowney and Angelle Sampey as three-time champions of the sport. The three women are the only female pro champions in the sport’s 64-year history. Last season, Enders ran her national event win total to 21, passing Muldowney’s mark of 18. Enders now only trails Sampey’s all-time mark of 41 wins.

Enders and Coughlin to carry Mopar NHRA Pro Stock banner in 2016

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From NHRA.com

A pair of champions will team up and carry the Mopar banner in 2016, as back-to-back NHRA Pro Stock champ Erica Enders and five-time overall Pro Stock title winner Jeg Coughlin Jr. will lead the charge for the brand in the popular factory hot rod class. The combination of Elite Motorsports teammates Enders and Coughlin steering fuel-injected, Hemi-powered Dodge Dart cars puts winners of the past three NHRA Pro Stock world championships under the Mopar banner.

In the NHRA Funny Car class, Mopar and Don Schumacher Racing will extend one of the most successful and longest-running partnerships in the sport. Two-time NHRA Funny Car champion Matt Hagan will once again pilot the flagship Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car.

“The Mopar brand is excited to announce that two proven champions, Erica Enders and Jeg Coughlin Jr., will fly the Mopar colors in the NHRA Pro Stock class next season,” said Pietro Gorlier, Head of Parts and Service (Mopar), FCA – Global. “We couldn’t ask for greater competitors or brand ambassadors to represent us at the drag strip. We’re also very proud to once again partner with Don Schumacher Racing and work together to bring home a fourth NHRA Funny Car crown in six years.”

Defending and two-time champ Enders, who competed in a Mopar-powered car in 2006-2007, will chase a third consecutive title behind the wheel of her new Mopar Performance Dodge Dart GT NHRA Pro Stock car for Elite Motorsports.

Enders didn’t lose a step after breaking through for six wins and her first Pro Stock crown in 2014, stringing together one of the most impressive seasons in Pro Stock history with nine victories, 11 final-round appearances and six No. 1 qualifier spots on her road to the 2015 overall title.

The nine wins by Enders, a 32-year-old from Houston, Texas, who now lives in New Orleans with her husband, fellow Pro Stock driver Richie Stevens, broke the single-season mark of victories by a female racer, set by Angelle Sampey in 2001 with seven wins. Enders’ total of 21 career victories ranks 39th on the NHRA all-time win list and just second among women, trailing only Sampey’s 41 wins.

“We’re entering a new era of Pro Stock and it’s going to be awesome to take a new Mopar-powered Dodge Dart into 2016 and beyond,” said Enders, who began her career at age eight racing half-scale Jr. Dragsters, with her childhood racing story featured in the 2003 Disney Channel movie Right on Track. “We won the last two championships with carburetors and now the goal is to win the first one with fuel injection. The Dart Pro Stock cars look awesome and I’m already very familiar with Mopar because I’ve driven for them in the past. It’s an honor and a privilege to represent them moving forward, along with my teammate Jeg Coughlin Jr.”

Teaming up with Enders in the new Pro Stock era of fuel injection and scoop-free hoods is a driver who has already placed himself among the legends of the sport and who is also no stranger to the Mopar brand. Coughlin clinched his most recent of five Pro Stock championships driving a Mopar-powered Dodge Dart in 2013.

Coughlin will man the Magneti Marelli Offered by Mopar Elite Motorsports Dodge Dart GT NHRA Pro Stock car in 2016, looking to add even more milestones to a Hall of Fame career that includes 76 victories, with 58 in Pro Stock, good enough for fourth all-time in the class.

Coughlin is the first and only driver to score wins in seven NHRA classes (Pro Stock, Comp, Top Dragster, Super Gas, Super Stock, Stock and Super Comp), the only driver in NHRA history to win in four different classes in the same season (1997, Pro Stock, Super Stock, Super Gas, and Comp) and the only driver in the pro ranks to win from every qualifying position, No. 1 to No. 16.

“The 2016 season is a turning point for the NHRA and the Pro Stock class,” said Coughlin, a Delaware, Ohio, native who raced a Mopar-powered Pro Stocker in 2005 and 2012-2014. “We’re really looking forward to the upcoming challenges. We are fortunate to have great partners with Mopar and the Magneti Marelli brands, Elite Motorsports, JEGS, and Stockseth Racing. It will be a great next chapter in our careers.

“Also, I am looking forward to working beside one of the greatest drivers in the NHRA, Erica Enders, and the greatest crew, including Rick and Rickie Jones, Mark Ingersoll and Brian ‘Lump’ Self, all talented and championship-proven crew chiefs. It will be a great year for the entire Elite Motorsports team.”

UNOH to sponsor NHRA champions Jeg Coughlin Jr., Erica Enders

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LIMA, OH — Multi-time Pro Stock champions Jeg Coughlin Jr. and Erica Enders will help spread the message of the University of Northwestern Ohio (UNOH) in 2016 as part of a new partnership between the school and Elite Motorsports’ multi-car Mopar program.

“The University of Northwestern Ohio is thrilled to partner with Elite Motorsports and NHRA Pro Stock champions Erica Enders and Jeg Coughlin Jr., who have combined for eight NHRA titles and 98 national event victories,” UNOH President Dr. Jeffrey A. Jarvis said. “Everyone at UNOH is extremely excited about the upcoming season with the 2016 UNOH power team of Erica, Jeg Jr., and Top Fuel driver Clay Millican.”

The University of Northwestern Ohio is an entrepreneurial, not-for-profit university founded in 1920 and based in Lima. There are five colleges within the university — Applied Technologies, Business, Health Professions, Occupational Professions, and the Graduate College — offering more than 60 different fields of study, including masters, baccalaureate, associate, and diploma programs. UNOH also offers a variety of athletic entities, including six co-ed motorsports teams.

“I think it’s really exciting to have an institute of higher education offer programs for young people interested in the motorsports industry,” said Coughlin, a five-time Pro Stock champion who also scored a title in Super Gas. “Being from Ohio, we are very familiar with UNOH and the great work they do educating the next generation of professionals, and we hope to continue to expand the UNOH brand from coast to coast.

“Meeting with UNOH VP of Corporate Development Steve Farmer and hearing the curriculum they offer students interested in the racing industry left me very impressed. I’m looking forward to meeting many of these young men and women throughout the drag racing season.”

Back-to-back series champion Enders, who attended Texas A&M University and studied marketing before dedicating herself to racing full-time, said UNOH is the perfect place for young people to begin their pursuit of a career in motorsports.

“We’re really happy to add UNOH to our family of sponsors,” Enders said. “I certainly understand the passion these students have for motorsports because I grew up the same way, knowing this is what I wanted to do for a career.

“Motorsports is a huge business and we need PR and marketing people, team managers, engineers, financial experts, and designers just as much as we need drivers and mechanics. UNOH helps people on every level.”

UNOH logos will be featured prominently on Enders’ Mopar Dodge Dart and Coughlin’s Magneti Marelli Dodge Dart.

Transportation Impact announces support of surging Pro Stock champ Erica Enders

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EMERALD ISLE, NC — Just one day after kicking off the 2015 Countdown to the Championship with a convincing victory at the NHRA Carolina Nationals, reigning Pro Stock world champion and points leader Erica Enders and her Elite Motorsports race team have announced a major associate sponsorship deal with Transportation Impact.

The privately-held logistics company specializes in helping some of the largest companies in the world drastically reduce their shipping costs. Transportation Impact, an Inc. 5000 company based in North Carolina, was founded in 2008 by Keith Byrd and Travis Burt and has quickly earned a reputation as one of the top small-package negotiation and parcel-auditing firms in the shipping industry.

“We are excited to team up with Erica and the Elite Motorsports team,” Transportation Impact Co-Founder Travis Burt said. “Both our team and theirs have a championship mentality. We both work hard each day to be better than we were yesterday, and we at Transportation Impact have little doubt that this partnership will help both sides reach new heights.”

Elite Motorsports owner Richard Freeman, who spearheaded Enders’ ascension to becoming the first female champion in Pro Stock history, is thrilled to sign a long-term deal with Transportation Impact that he believes will help his team achieve its future objectives.

“I’m humbled and grateful that everyone at Transportation Impact thought enough of what we’re doing to come on board and give us some tremendous support,” Freeman said. “Since Erica joined us a year and a half ago, we’ve won the championship, we’ve won 13 national events, including the last three in a row, been No. 1 qualifier 11 times, and put up an 89-28 race day record. That’s better than anyone in the sport and we’re proud of what we’ve accomplished.

“At the same time, we feel like we want to do so much more, and having companies like Transportation Impact lend support will help us reach all of our long-range goals. We are firing this deal up right now so they can ride with us to what we hope will be a successful championship defense.”

Enders admits she’s riding high at the moment, and having a new sponsor recognize the team’s potential adds a lot to her current situation, on many levels.

“It’s been an incredible month and having Transportation Impact come on board today just makes it that much better,” she said. “We scored a really big win in Brainerd (Minn.), and that kind of set up this run we’re on. Then we get to Indy, the biggest race in our sport, and we get another win that ties me with my No. 1 idol, Shirley Muldowney, with 18 career wins. Now we come to North Carolina and get another win to kick off the playoffs and sign an incredible new marketing partner. I need to pinch myself.

“I’m so blessed to be driving this car and to have such an awesome group of people behind me making it happen, and that now includes everyone at Transportation Impact. We spent some time at their facility, and I told everyone we met we’re going to do everything we can to get them a championship this year.”

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Standing, from left, are Berkley Stafford, Vice President of Sales; John Howard, Vice President of Operations; Travis Burt, Principal Partner/Co-Founder; Doug Starcke, Managing Partner; and Pete Merkel, Inertia Sports Marketing. Seated, from left, are Keith Byrd, Principal Partner/Co-Founder; Richard Freeman, Owner, Elite Motorsports; Erica Enders; and Harper Lee, Corporate Sales.

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