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Bad Business or Missed Opportunity?

When the IZOD Trophy Girl posted a link on Twitter to Playboy.com informing everyone about her latest photo shoot for Playboy, the first thing that I thought was, “Great news, now there’s the possibility that Ryan Hunter-Reay gets a full-time sponsor for next year.” He deserves it and could really use a full-time sponsor like Playboy. Playboy is huge worldwide, and they do have many fans worldwide that would support the series both financially by going to races and by buying merchandise that goes with being a fan. On Twitter, Playboy has over 81,000 followers. If even half of those followers decided to buy an IndyCar ticket, that would be huge financially. Other sponsors that haven’t made up their mind yet to take the IndyCar plunge would definitely take notice. More than that, think about the TV ratings boost. Many followers of Playboy might just change the channel to watch a race, and if the race is a great one, we get more fans.

The Playboy Foundation has donated over $20 million to different organizations and also has hosted many benefits for cancer, amongst other causes. Do a quick search and use the words ‘Playboy Charities’ and see for yourself. I believe they have a charity golf tournament every year if I’m not mistaken.

Michael Andretti, owner of Andretti Autosport, is married to Jodi Ann Paterson, the 2000 Playboy Playmate of the year, so there is a connection between IZOD, Playboy, and Andretti Autosport. Many other celebrities are connected to Playboy in one way or another. Many world-famous people have done interviews in Playboy including Lance Armstrong, Hank Aaron, Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky, and Martin Luther King to name a few.

Kim Kardashian, who endorses Quick Trim, is connected also. She has hosted charity events at the Playboy Mansion. Playboy getting involved might just sway Quick Trim to stay on board with sponsoring Graham Rahal.

I totally understand the negative reactions. But please research everything about Playboy. It’s not only about the women that pose in the magazine. Playboy does contribute to the community more than people think.

I haven’t heard any men complain about Tony Kanaan’s photo layout saying that he’s being exploited, even though I have whimpered to myself, “Why can’t my body look like that?” How about all the IZOD commercials and ads with shirtless drivers? It’s equal rights isn’t it?

Playboy has been involved with motorsports for decades, including IndyCar. If they join the series as a sponsor, more power to them. It might not ever happen, but I don’t want to see a huge sponsor turned away because of the negative reactions. If you’re a parent, I would hope you don’t stop going to races because of it. IndyCar can still be family friendly with Playboy as a sponsor. I really don’t expect women running around in their nighties during a race having a pillow fight. Give them a chance to prove themselves. The Playboy Corporation is a lot more classy than a lot of people think.

There’s a poll up on the home page referring to Playboy and IndyCar, would like for race fans to please take the time and vote.

Posted on Tuesday, August 24th, 2010 at 7:55 pm by Matt Archuleta

4 Comments

Susan Rae says: August 25, 2010 at 10:51 am

I don’t think your argument about Tony Kanaan or other drivers posing without their shirts is one that really holds up. There isn’t a history of men being sexually exploited as there is of women being so. Also a woman
without a shirt if much different than a man without a shirt – otherwise I could call the police when old fat guys mow their lawns shirtless, couldn’t I? Oh how I wish…

No matter how much charity work Playboy does, or how many interviews other sports personalities appear in their pages, there is still the fact that Playboy’s main source of income is the exploitation of women. I don’t care how much money they could bring to the sport, exploitation is exploitation and it shouldn’t be rewarded.

And lastly, Hefner is creep.. I don’t want him in the flag stand anytime soon.


Reply
Paul says: August 25, 2010 at 1:19 pm

I think the Rabbit Head is a pretty recognizable and acceptable logo on an INDYCar. Kevin Cogan had them on his 2nd place car in 1986. I’d hope were as open minded now as we were then. I’ve seen lots of Playmates at the INDY 500, usually associated with beer or liquor sponsors, but promoting Playboy none the less. The IZOD INDYCar series is an excellent platform for Playboy to invest in.


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Adam says: August 27, 2010 at 9:23 am

Susan, I’m all for calling the police on fat, shirtless guys mowing the grass. ;)


Reply
Marcie @ Izod Boutique says: November 2, 2010 at 3:43 pm

Hello there, just stopped by doing some research for my Izod site. Can’t believe the amount of information out there. Wasn’t what I was looking for, but very nice site. Have a great day.


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