Chasing DanicaJuly 24, 2012
By Dave Fransen, VP Account Services
We’ve been fortunate to work with some pretty prominent athletes and celebrities over the years, and in most cases, the experiences have been mostly positive. One of the newest additions to that list is Danica Patrick, thanks to a couple of Coke Zero projects we worked on in May and July. With celebrities, you really never know what you’re going to get. They might be nice; they might be tough. They might be agreeable…and they might not. But with Ms. Patrick, the verdict is in: She truly gets it.
Danica lives in a world filled with dudes wearing firesuits working on cars. Conditions in which most people, women or men, might struggle to find their place. Outside the garage, the scrutiny she faces — unfairly, in my opinion — is awfully high. Now in the middle of a pretty solid first full year on the track in NASCAR (Nationwide Series) and 10 Sprint Cup races (with some very respectable performances), this is a woman who is fighting hard to earn some deserved respect.
While she may be fighting on the track, there’s one place she clearly feels right at home. When the lights are on and the cameras are focused, Danica is all business. She a total natural, able to swing in and out of media interviews with ease while simultaneously keeping up on Twitter. One moment taking direction, the next signing dozens of autographs for fans. It’s seamless. And she’s clearly very smart… an effective communicator, great with messaging, and she can put the whole “Danica persona” on display at the drop of a hat. It’s all very impressive.
My favorite part is the fact that after just a few hours with her, it’s clear she has a good — maybe biting — sense of humor. This is a woman who spotted an open fly on a certain friend and colleague and didn’t hesitate to call him out in front of a room filled with clients. Now you HAVE to respect that! (Isn’t that right, Andrew?)
My musings about Danica aside, I thought I’d share a couple of videos we cut with her from the Coke Zero 400 in Daytona earlier this month. In one, she takes fans on a tour behind-the-scenes at the track…a fun little piece that really shows off how natural she is, especially considering we threw her into the shoot totally unscripted.
Already looking forward to our next run-in with Danica, and really hoping she has a win or two under her belt by then. She deserves it.