Shell Oil and Penske Corp. have signed a multi-year partnership around both the latter's racing program and its broader business activities. The new deal gives Shell marketing opportunities for its fuels, products like V-Power motor oil products and its Pennzoil subsidiary.
As part of the alliance, Pennzoil will become the "Official Motor Oil" of Penske Racing in 2011, which includes all of its entries in the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series as well as the IZOD IndyCar Series. The Houston-based Shell Oil Products US, a subsidiary of Shell Oil that has some 6,100 branded gasoline stations in the U.S., gets primary sponsorship of Penske's NASCAR racer Kurt Busch and his the No. 22 car and IndyCar Series vehicles driven by drivers Helio Castroneves, Will Power and Ryan Briscoe.
ExxonMobil, in response to Shell's move, is reportedly ending its sponsorship of Penske's Sam Hornish Jr. and the Mobil 1 brand. The company has also extended its 14-year-old partnership with American LeMans Series team Corvette Racing. The deal makes Mobil 1 "Official Lubricant of Corvette Racing," and involves corporate engineering support to the Corvette Racing team. The multi-year agreement puts Mobil 1 branding on Corvette Racing's cars, uniforms and vehicles.
A Penske spokesperson says Shell's involvement with Penske goes back to 1983 when the oil company sponsored Penske Racing's IndyCar Series teams, and its wins in the 1984 and 1988 Indianapolis 500 Mile Races with driver Rick Mears.
The deal, starting next year, also makes Shell preferred supplier of fuels, lubricants and related products to the Penske organization. Shell and its Pennzoil subsidiary will be "Official Fuel and Motor Oil Supplier" to the Penske organization in the U.S. and the organizations will look to extend their alliance with business development opportunities in several other countries.
Penske Corporation has ties to Chrysler and Ferrari, both part of the Fiat Group. Shell sponsors Ferrari's efforts in Formula 1 racing, plus Ducati in MotoGP and also Hendrick Motorsports in NASCAR. Per the spokesperson, current Penske Racing NASCAR primary sponsors include Verizon Wireless, MillerCoors, ExxonMobil, Discount Tire and Ruby Tuesday.