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CONCORD, N.C. (Oct. 27, 2010) – Hendrick Motorsports and four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon have teamed with AARP and AARP Foundation on the Drive To End Hunger, an unprecedented three-year initiative to address the growing problem of hunger among older Americans, including 6 million over the age of 60.
Drive to End Hunger will be the majority sponsor of Gordon's No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports team in 2011, 2012 and 2013, with primary paint schemes in 22 Sprint Cup races annually. The No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet, which will be unveiled at a later date, will race in the next three Daytona 500 events.
Since 1992 DuPont has served as the main sponsor of the No. 24, but the company is planning to cut back its investment in 2011. DuPont and Pepsi will return as primary sponsors for select races.
The deal marks the first time a nonprofit has signed on for a primary sponsorship in NASCAR. AARP Foundation President Jo Ann Jenkins said the foundation is planning to find corporate co-sponsors to share the car for all its races.
"This is a truly unique opportunity to help people, and it's a completely new, cause-driven approach to sponsorship," said Gordon, 39, winner of 82 career Sprint Cup races. "Every single day, millions of older Americans are forced to make a choice between food, medicine and utilities. It's going to be a team effort, and it's not going to be easy, but we can solve this problem."
With Gordon as its spokesperson, Drive to End Hunger will help the millions of older Americans who are facing hunger across the United States. The effort will engage the NASCAR fan base, corporations and charitable organizations via a text-to-donate program; activation at racetracks across the country; further research on the causes and consequences of hunger in older Americans; and an innovative national grant program that will provide resources to address the problem at a local level.
Donations from Drive to End Hunger will benefit the hunger programs of AARP Foundation.
"Hunger is a hidden problem that millions of older Americans are battling silently. In fact, between 2006 and 2008, the percentage of seniors struggling with hunger more than doubled," said Jenkins. "NASCAR fans are among the most charitable, community-minded sports fans in the country, and they have a track record of commitment. With the help of Jeff and the Hendrick team, we will make the most of this unprecedented opportunity to end the struggle that so many older Americans have with hunger."
Drive to End Hunger will build on the hunger initiative launched earlier this year by AARP Foundation, including volunteer-led food drives, individual and corporate fundraising campaigns, and online hunger resources at www.aarp.org/hunger.
"It's exciting to see a new organization engage with our sport and our fans through such an innovative approach," said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. "Having seen firsthand what the NASCAR community is capable of accomplishing, I know the program will help a lot of people in our country who desperately need it. Success ultimately will be measured by how many lives we can impact, and that's a truly unique and special opportunity for everyone involved."
For more information, please visit www.DriveToEndHunger.org.
To see what Jeff Gordon has to say about the new initiative, read his blog here.
- Release courtesy of Hendrick Motorsports