Desmoines News Desk

Danica Patrick losing GoDaddy sponsorship in 2016

Danica Patrick losing GoDaddy sponsorship in 2016

A season of transition for Danica Patrick has taken on another element of uncertainty. GoDaddy, the Sprint Cup driver’s long-time primary sponsor and benefactor announced Wednesday that it will not return to NASCAR after this season, leaving one of the sport’s most popular drivers and most recognized names without full-time funding as she seeks a new contract with Stewart-Haas Racing.635659083863111932-spts-btfly-Danica-Patrick-07

Patrick, 33, is in the final year of her three-year contract at SHR after transitioning through the Xfinity Series from IndyCar. Both Patrick and SHR officials have expressed hope she will return in 2016 to the four-car organization, which is co-owned by driver Tony Stewart and Gene Haas and also fields cars for three-time Cup champion Stewart, reigning champion Kevin Harvick and 2004 titlist Kurt Busch.

The move comes as GoDaddy, a global online domain registrar serving more than 13 million customers in 37 countries, shifts focus toward small business and international markets. It has been at least an associate sponsor of Patrick since 2007 and became her main backer in the 2010 IndyCar season at Andretti Autosport.

Though the company has been making a methodical shift toward global markets, and took months evaluate its sponsorship options, the move away from NASCAR was decisive. “The process that we took on this, we were very data-driven about it,” Bienert said. “We actually hired a third party to help us evaluate all our sponsorship dollars, the effectiveness of it. What the data showed was that this platform has been great for us, but where we are right now, it’s time to shift.