Bubba Wallace’s story, star power attracts Vegas sponsor

Bubba Wallace has quickly become one of NASCAR’s breakout stars, and his No. 43 car has another new sponsor this week: The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

The trendy casino hotel in heart of the Strip initially had planned to skip sponsoring a car this year after appearing on Daniel Hemric’s Xfinity Series car last year. A different marketing strategy for 2018, which focused on its recent room remodeling, wasn’t going to include NASCAR.

But after being presented with a chance to sponsor Wallace and researching his story, the rookie driver’s appeal changed their minds, Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas chief marketing officer Tom Evans said via phone.

“We started seeing what Bubba was doing and the opportunity he had out there,” Evans said. “… We thought, ‘This is such a unique opportunity with such a unique person. How can we make this happen?’”

The Cosmopolitan views itself as somewhat of an underdog because it’s surrounded by mega casinos and is “the small kid fight that has to fight a little harder to get our share of the market,” Evans said.

“We thought, ‘If we were going to do this, his story and our story and how we align ourselves with being that underdog really makes a lot of sense,” he added.

Talks were started in late January and a commitment was made right before Wallace’s second-place finish in the Daytona 500 — timing Evans was obviously thrilled about.

“From a marketing standpoint, I couldn’t be any happier,” he said. “If I waited a day, I might have been in trouble.”

Aside from having the logo on the car and getting exposure for the resort that way, Evans said the Cosmopolitan was happy to “have access to Bubba and be able to meet him and talk to him.” In addition, it gives the resort’s 5,000 employees someone to root for.

“Whenever I’ve shown someone that logo painted with the 43 on the car, there’s such a pride that goes along with it,” he said.