Updated at: 11/09/2012 11:35 AM
By JOHN MARSHALL
(AP) SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - Danica Patrick is still Go Daddy’s choice for the Super Bowl.
Quelling speculation that the NASCAR star would have less of a role in in the company’s advertising, Go Daddy executive chairman and founder Bob Parsons announced Thursday that Patrick will appear in both of the website domain provider’s commercials during the Super Bowl.
"It was always fairly understood that Danica _ she’s our spokesperson, has been in our successful Super Bowl advertising for the past (seven)," Parsons said.
"Go Daddy and Danica are a team and we’ve been a team for a long time. It would be difficult to figure out who has benefited the most from our relationship. I would think Go Daddy would have a little more. It’s been a true partnership, and I don’t see that ending any time soon."
Patrick has been featured in the Super Bowl spots since partnering with Go Daddy in 2007. Patrick’s 10 Super Bowl ads are more than any other celebrity, and she’s done 22 commercials for Go Daddy since 2007.
But her familiar place on Super Bowl Sunday came into doubt on Oct. 18, when Go Daddy announced it had signed New York agency Deutsch Inc. to produce its two 30-second Super Bowl spots. The company had done its Super Bowl ads itself since 2005, but teamed with Deutsch to do spots for the Feb. 3 game after working together in an ad campaign that debuted during the summer Olympics.
Though Patrick is still one of the most recognizable drivers in auto racing even after switching from IndyCar to NASCAR, her spot in last year’s Super Bowl was ranked last out of 55 commercials by consumers in an online ad meter conducted by USA TODAY and Facebook. Go Daddy’s other ad, which did not feature Patrick, ranked 52nd.
After announcing the deal with Deutsch, Go Daddy chief marketing officer Barb Rechterman said she hoped the company would be able to come up with some fresh ideas, leading to the speculation that use of Patrick would be geared back.
While Parsons said there was never a doubt in his mind that Go Daddy would again use Patrick in its Super Bowl ads, Rechterman told The Associated Press last month that no decisions had been made. Patrick also said last month while testing at Kansas that she wasn’t sure if she would be in the ads since the company was using an outside ad agency for the first time.
Parsons’ statement contradicting his CMO and Patrick raises questions, that either someone wasn’t telling the full truth or this was part of some ruse to create interest in Patrick’s involvement.
Whether she’s back or never left, Patrick is thrilled to be a part of Super Bowl Sunday for the ninth straight year.
"I’ve always felt so honored to appear in the commercials," Patrick said. "I feel we’ve made a lot of people laugh, we’ve made a lot of people smile, we’ve had a lot of fun with them. I’m excited to do them and I’m going to start doing sit-ups right now."
Patrick and Go Daddy first teamed up when the company became an associate sponsor for her IndyCar in 2007. Go Daddy became the primary IndyCar sponsor in 2010, along with a partial NASCAR schedule, and followed her for the full Nationwide Series and limited Sprint Cup schedules this year.
Go Daddy has committed to sponsor the Cup schedule next season, when Patrick moves up to NASCAR’s top level on a full-time basis, and both have shown interest in running the Indianapolis 500 next season.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)