Prediction Market at Work?

Today, GoDaddy signed a new long-term sponsorship deal with Danica Patrick, Indy car driver most famous for, uh, having ovaries.  The article says that this new deal was signed well ahead of the expiration of the old deal later this year.

I am struck by the fact that this deal was inked just days before the Indy 500, the winning of which would greatly increase Patrick's value.  I wonder if this is based on some kind of insider knowledge by GoDaddy of Patrick's chances of winning this weekend.


  1. delurking:

    Not winning wouldn't decrease her value much, so why risk it?

  2. delurking:

    Not winning wouldn't decrease her value much, so why risk it?

  3. Bob Smith:

    She's rather like Anna Kournikova in that. It certainly is true that a similarly unsuccessful man would not be getting these lucrative endorsement opportunities.

  4. jon:

    I think the Anna Kournikova comparison is a little bit unfair. While I agree with you that much of her sponsorship earnings are a result of her being a woman, she is, in fact, in at least the top half of IRL drivers and inching her way closer to the top. Kournikova was never much of a threat on the tennis circuit. Danica may end up being the next Kournikova, but it's a little early to say.

    I suppose the real question is whether or not GoDaddy has some inside knowledge of when she'll make the jump to NASCAR, which, if she can be even marginally successful, would dramatically raise her earnings potential.

  5. Highway:

    Well, she has won a race now, which puts her ahead of MOST racing drivers in history. And while I tire of coverage of her, because she's not nearly as good as the coverage she gets would merit, she's certainly not even in the bottom half of talent in the IRL.

    And I think delurking is right: yes, her value after the race if she wins goes way up from now. But it goes down from now if she doesn't win, which is more likely.

  6. David Zetland:

    I think that they renewed because they got the "renewal notice" 120 days ahead of the expiration date -- typical practice :)

  7. Speedmaster:

    She's quite pleasant to look at. ;-)

  8. Dr. T:

    I haven't seen Danika Patrick, so I don't know about her visual appeal. Anna Kournikova got her endorsement contracts because she was a beautiful woman and model who played tennis, not because she was a top tennis player who looked OK.

  9. Solar Lad:

    The comments about Anna Kournikova being "unsuccessful", "not much of a threat" and "not a top tennis player" are ignorant.

    Anna has beaten Monica Seles, Conchita Martinez, Lindsay Davenport, and Martina Hingis, among many others, was once ranked #8 in singles play, #1 in doubles play, and has won literally dozens of doubles titles and tourneys.

  10. happyjuggler0:

    Danica Patrick finished 4th in her first Indy 500. Her next year she was 8th, and then 8th the next year too. That was in 2007. You need skill to do that, hell you need skill to even qualify.

    Sports illustrated Photos from 2008 here. I wouldn't kick her off the beach.

  11. Bob Smith:

    Danica Patrick finished 4th in her first Indy 500. Her next year she was 8th, and then 8th the next year too. That was in 2007. You need skill to do that, hell you need skill to even qualify.

    The point was never that she has no skill. The point was that the size and number of endorsement contracts offered to her are in great disproportion to her success on the track. Complaints about sexism and unearned privilege that emanate from the usual suspects are deafening in their absence.

  12. MFH:

    Um... normally I'm in agreement with things like this. In most cases, I would have said she's getting these agreements because she's female, yes...

    Yahoo! Top News Search today:
    Danica Patrick.

    Hrm... seems a little self-explanatory as to why a company might want to associate itself with this person. It might be a bit of self-feeding mechanism (she's popular because she's female, which bolsters companies to her, which increases her popularity), but it still seems like a valid reason to back her.

    Besides, since when was endorsement a validation of skill?

  13. David Zetland:

    from AP (

    Patrick didn't win Sunday's Indianapolis 500. Didn't even come close, really. But she certainly managed to remain the center of attention after a pit road accident left her strutting menacingly toward a rival driver's pit stall.

    "It's probably a better idea that I didn't make it all the way down there anyway," Patrick said. "Because, well, as you guys know, I'm a little emotional."

    After a late-race run-in with Ryan Briscoe on pit road, Patrick climbed out of her car and seemed to be on her way to a confrontation with Briscoe's pit crew. Patrick's gloves literally had come off by the time track security managed to talk her out of it.

    Scott Dixon went on to win, but Patrick's outburst instantly became the most memorable moment from Sunday's race — and the latest chapter in a cult of personality that is developing around the IndyCar series' hottest commodity.

  14. Scott Wiggins:

    While the guys win the races, the Danica Patrick endorsement millions just continue to roll in...Bad for the sport and the individual I would say. The endorsements traditionally go to the champions, not the also rans. You couldn't get thru Atlanta Heartsfield on Friday without tripping over a Danica poster. Crock of %$$#!

  15. Solar Lad:

    GOOD for the sport, I'd say. After all, the public doesn't know any of the names of "the guys who win races" in the IRL.

    They do know Danica.

  16. ParatrooperJJ:

    I can't wait to see her in a GoDaddy t-shirt!

  17. Scott Wiggins:

    I'll take my sports without the psychodrama...Plenty of eye-candy around in other venues.