Photo Credit: Racer.com
After 27 seasons in the sport, Target will no longer be sponsoring race cars for Chip Ganassi Racing in the Verizon IndyCar Series following the conclusion of the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series championship.
Since Chip Ganassi Racing’s founding in 1990, the team used Target as a sponsor and won a combined 101 races, 11 series championships, and 4 Indianapolis 500s. Target was the longest-running sponsor in the series.
It has not been announced how the team will be funded in 2017 and beyond, but team owner Chip Ganassi expects that those details will be determined within the next month or two. Most of the team’s non-Target sponsors, such as Energizer, Coca-Cola, and Cottonelle, are Target’s partners that Target occasionally will offer car liveries to, so it unknown if those sponsors will be back, and it is unknown just how much Target has invested in Chip Ganassi Racing this season.
In articles about Target’s departure, it has yet to be mentioned, but Target has lost a lot of stock value due to the many, many boycotts they’ve experienced resulting from their implementation of the transgender bathroom policy. In fact, just a few months ago (May 1st, 2016), I had a discussion with a man on Instagram after I posted a comment about the policy on Chip Ganassi Racing’s Instagram page. He told me Target would NEVER leave, and Ganassi would never let them, seeing as how they give so much money to the team, regardless of what happens with the company outside of the sport.
Well, when you lose all kinds of money, there are sacrifices you have to make, whether you want to or not. Whether their money losses from the substantial amount of boycotts had a huge impact on this decision is unknown, but to say that it had absolutely NOTHING to do with their decision would be naive, and everybody knows it, whether you like it or not.
The team’s current drivers include Scott Dixon, who has been with the team since 2002, Tony Kanaan, who has been with the team since 2014, Charlie Kimball, who has been with the team since 2011, and Max Chilton, who has been with the team for this season only.