The industry of CBD is booming and continues to pave new paths allowing companies to build on the mainstream acceptance at the yearly Indy 500 later this month. A New Mexico-base CBD product maker Craft 1861 will sponsor the Carlin Race Team in one of the first deals of its kind for professional sports.
According to the new deal, the companies name and logo will be displayed on the Carlins cars during the intense race, building a new partnership that initially started during off-season test runs at the beginning of this year. The company is known for selling different hemp-based CBD products ranging from massage lotions and creams, which are aimed to help athletes.
“We saw an audience that aligned with our consumer profile, and we knew we could deliver a product line and experience that IndyCar fans would love,” announced Eric Lujan, co-founder and principal at Craft 1861, emphasizing that 65 percent of IndyCar’s 57 million U.S.-based fans fall into the market segment as new marijuana product consumers.
The compound known as CBD is short for cannabidiol, a hemp-derived compound without the psychoactive effects correlated with cannabis use. Since the legalization of Hemp, CBD-infused products have skyrocketed in popularity, becoming the modern medicines of Americans. The U.S. consumer is hooked on the idea and claims that the hemp-based products produce health benefits and medicinal reward. The market has gained such momentum that the CBD alone could be worth $20 billion by the year 2020, claims a report by the Brightfield Group.
Marijuana products have remained silent in professional sports marketing and sponsorships due to the controversial stigma, with the vast majority of them banning their use. Earlier this year the NFL rejected a planned Super Bowl commercial for a medical cannabis company, Acreage Holdings, who released their commercial despite the rejection.
The approval on Craft 1861’s sponsorship deal with Carlin came after a painstaking review process with IndyCar, which made the deal to subject strict rules and regulations to ensure that any advertisement complies with the laws at every level.
“As the CBD category continues to evolve for sponsorship opportunities across various platforms rapidly, IndyCar has developed a stringent set of guidelines that must be met to allow such sponsorship in our industry,” IndyCar noted in a statement. “These guidelines were developed with direction from legal representatives and IndyCar will continue to monitor this space as we move forward.” According to Lujan, the Craft 1861 co-founder, the company is striving to increase to a season-long partnership with an “IndyCar team for the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series.”
“We are extremely proud to be able to work with a new brand to IndyCar,” announced Trevor Carlin, team principal of Carlin. “As a young team to the NTT IndyCar Series, we are learning and expanding quickly. To have the backing of Craft 1861, also expanding quickly in a developing industry is very exciting. Hopefully, this is the start of a long relationship with Craft 1861.”
Reports claim that the 2019 Indy 500 will feature possibly one other CBD sponsorship debut. Just last week, Defy a CBD-based sports drink, signed a deal to sponger Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports’ drivers at the event.
The race is set to begin on Sunday, May 26, on NBC.