Columbia’s ambassador roster now has a little more star power. Or maybe the word horsepower is more fitting.
The outdoor market standout announced today that it has signed NASCAR Cup Series driver Bubba Wallace to a multiyear sponsorship. Also, Columbia said the deal includes a primary sponsorship of the No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Chevrolet.
“Columbia Sportswear is a perfect fit for my lifestyle away from the track,” the famed driver said in a statement. “I love spending time outdoors — boating, golfing, hiking, photography — just anything to help me decompress from a hectic racing schedule.”
The brand said it will use its new deal with Wallace and the sponsorship of the team to promote its proprietary technologies and latest and greatest products, which includes its acclaimed fishing-focused PFG collection.
“There has always been a strong correlation between NASCAR and Columbia, especially with PFG,” Columbia brand president Joe Boyle said in a statement. “We are excited by the opportunity to work with Bubba and Richard Petty Motorsports to engage our shared fans.”
Wallace, the only Black driver in the NASCAR Cup Series, made headlines in June when a door pull rope in the form of a noose was found in his garage stall at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama. Immediately after it was discovered, the FBI launched an investigation and stated the driver was not the target of a hate crime. “The FBI report concludes, and photographic evidence confirms, that the garage door pull rope fashioned like a noose had been positioned there since as early as last fall. This was obviously well before the 43 team’s arrival and garage assignment,” the NASCAR statement read.
The incident occurred as protests throughout the country ramped up over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed 46-year-old Black man, at the hands of white Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. During this time, Wallace became a prominent voice in the fight for racial equity, specifically for promoting his message of “compassion, love, understanding” and publicly calling for NASCAR to ban the Confederate flag at all events.
Following the garage stall incident, fellow drivers pushed his No. 43 car to the front of the pack at Talladega Superspeedway in solidarity.
Aside from his talent on the track, Columbia said Wallace’s strength and voice also aligned with the company’s values.
“In addition to his racing talent, Bubba is a charismatic and courageous leader,” Boyle said in a statement. “It is his internal fortitude that most aligns with the Columbia brand and our Tested Tough ethos. Bubba is a Tested Tough trailblazer and we are thrilled to be working with him.”
Columbia also announced that the Columbia No. 43 Chevrolet Camaro will make its debut at the NASCAR Cup Series Drydene 311 at the Dover International Speedway in Delaware on Aug. 23.