IZOD joins Team Penske

Series sponsor becomes associate backer for Helio, Power and Briscoe

For the third time in less than a week, Team Penske has made another sponsorship splash.

After spending time on Ryan Hunter-Reay’s No. 37 Andretti Autosport machine since the 2008 season, IZOD has announced that it will become an associate sponsor for the three Penske programs of drivers Helio Castroneves, Will Power and Ryan Briscoe. Briscoe will also enjoy primary backing from IZOD at the Indianapolis 500 and selected other events in the 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series championship, including the yet-to-be-announced season finale.

It’s another major coup for Team Penske, who announced last week that supermarket chain Meijer and Shell-Pennzoil will be joining their team next season. Both companies will serve as associate sponsors, with Shell-Pennzoil becoming the main backer for Castroneves at the Indianapolis 500.

Meanwhile, it’s another tough sponsorship loss for Andretti Autosport, as Meijer and IZOD were part of their operation for several seasons as well.

But to Phillips-Van Heusen executive VP of marketing Mike Kelly — who’s served as IZOD’s main guy for their IndyCar efforts — his brand’s move to Team Penske was about “building brand equity” in the series. IZOD took over as IndyCar’s title sponsor last season.

“We intend to leverage this partnership to expand the reach of our brand not only through the relationship with Team Penske but also through cross-promotional activities with Team Penske’s other sponsors,” said Kelly in a press statement.

Team owner Roger Penske has high hopes for the new alliance with IZOD/PVH.

“Team Penske is excited to build this new relationship with Phillips-Van Heusen,” he said in the same release. “As we saw in 2010, they have put the full strength of their IZOD brand behind growing the sport of IndyCar racing and we believe they will be a terrific partner with our team and our drivers for years to come.”