If Allmendinger is the Best Buy Guy, Why is he Driving that Green Insignia Car?
Chartreuse. Avocado. Lime green. Eye-catching. Just plain ugly. I’ve heard the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford Fusion described as all of these things over the last couple of weeks. Ever since the Insignia paint scheme made its 2010 debut at Atlanta Motor Speedway, people have been talking about it.
From the broadcasters in the booth to NASCAR fans on message boards and Twitter, everyone wants to know exactly what color green AJ Allmendinger's car is. The answer to that question is simple – the color of the #43 car is INSIGNIA Green, of course! And you better get used to it, because love it or hate it, it’s sticking around for awhile.
Of course the next question on the tips of everyone’s fingers seems to be – what exactly is Insignia anyway? According to http://insigniaproducts.com/, Insignia is a Best Buy Exclusive Brand designed to provide customers with affordable, well-designed technology. The Insignia line features a wide range of consumer electronics including televisions, Blu-ray disc players, home theater solutions, audio products and more.
The comparison that NASCAR fans should be familiar with is the relationship between the #48 Hendrick Motorsports sponsor Lowe’s and Kobalt Tools. Lowe’s is the retail chain store that is normally on the hood of Jimmie Johnson’s car, and Kobalt Tools is a product line that is sold through Lowe’s, and which makes occasional appearances on the car. Likewise, Best Buy sells many different brand name items, but the Insignia line is their “house” brand. In past years Best Buy was a regular fixture on the hood of Elliott Sadler’s #19 car, and the Insignia scheme was brought out for limited occasions.
So why is Best Buy reducing the amount of advertising coverage for their stores by changing from the familiar blue and yellow Best Buy scheme to the green Insignia scheme for the majority of the 2010 season? The answer lies in a prior paragraph – the fact that thousands of race fans are wondering what Insignia is. Everyone has heard of Best Buy, but even as a regular shopper in their store, I was unaware of exactly what Insignia was until I did a little research.
According to Paul Zindrick, motorsports director for Best Buy Racing, the company has modified how they want to use their racing program and their sponsorship with RPM. The main reason that Insignia will be on the hood of the #43 for the majority of their sponsored races is to focus on promoting brand awareness for that particular product, rather than for Best Buy as a whole, which virtually everyone is already familiar with.
That explanation makes good business sense to me, and while it took me a little while to get used to the color, I have come to love it. It is a shade of green that no one else is sporting, and it is very easy to pick AJ out in the crowd of cars. Best Buy was even nice enough to add a little Petty blue to their paint scheme to go along with the car number that the King, Richard Petty, made so famous.
Hold on – wait a minute. Isn't a green car supposed to be bad luck in racing? Yes, so the superstition goes. I think Darrell Waltrip would argue with that old wives’ tale though, considering he had numerous wins in his green Mt. Dew ride in the early 80’s. Besides, when all is said and done it doesn't matter what color your car is, as long as it is fast!
So INSIGNIA Green it is. Whether you like it or not, you can't miss seeing it on the track. Hopefully we'll be seeing it towards the front of the field when it makes a return to AJ's car after a few weeks off, and someday see it in Victory Lane. Until then, you can always visit your nearest Best Buy store to view their Insignia products and support one of the sponsors that make NASCAR possible.
Photo courtesy Paul Zindrick with Best Buy Racing