blu eCigs Expands Partnership with RLL; Primary Sponsor for No. 15 Car in Brazil and Major Associate at Indy

BROWNSBURG, Ind. (April 26, 2013) – After a successful part­ner­ship in the first three rounds of the IZOD IndyCar Series season, including primary spon­sor­ship for Mike Conway’s entry in Long Beach, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) and blu eCigs are expanding their involve­ment together. blu eCigs, the elec­tronic ciga­rette brand widely known for supe­rior style and quality, will become primary sponsor of the No. 15 entry for Graham Rahal in the Sao Paulo Indy 300 in Brazil and will increase its involve­ment in the 97th Indi­anapolis 500 Mile Race to major asso­ciate sponsor with enhanced branding on the race car.
 
“blu eCigs has been a great addi­tion to our program this season, and has been very well received by the race team as much as the fans – so we are very pleased to be expanding our rela­tion­ship together,” said Bobby Rahal, co-owner of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing with CBS LATE SHOW host David Letterman and Mi-Jack co-owner Mike Lanigan.  “We had the ability to bring on a primary sponsor for Graham’s car in Brazil and are thrilled that blu eCigs has jumped at the oppor­tu­nity, after an active weekend most recently at the Long Beach Grand Prix.”

Since its incep­tion in 2009, blu eCigs has consis­tently led the charge to intro­duce e-cigarettes as a new class of smoking alter­na­tive to the US market and has done so in a prag­matic way — always keeping the customer expe­ri­ence as the central focus. In April 2012, blu eCigs was acquired by Loril­lard, Inc., solid­i­fying blu eCigs as a market trail­blazer and further advancing the tremen­dous growth oppor­tu­nity repre­sented by the e-cigarette cate­gory.  Today, North Carolina-based blu eCigs can be found in over 80,000 retail loca­tions in addi­tion to online and continues to set the stan­dard for product inno­va­tion and respon­sible marketing.

We are very pleased with the posi­tive response by fans at this year’s Long Beach Grand Prix event where blu eCigs had its first ever pres­ence as an IndyCar primary sponsor. We saw the use of e-cigarettes throughout the event, including by our own pit crew, so the IndyCar demo­graphic appears to be the right match for blu,” said Matt Coapman, Vice Pres­i­dent of Marketing at blu eCigs. “We think the upcoming Sao Paulo IndyCar event can amplify both U.S. and inter­na­tional expo­sure and will be a good fit for the sport and our brand.”

Last year in Brazil, RLL’s then-driver Takuma Sato earned his best series finish to date of third place. Graham Rahal’s best finish in the event came in 2011 when he was second to Will Power. He matched that result this past weekend in Long Beach for RLL.   

RLL’s highest start and finish in the Indi­anapolis 500 came in 2004 when Buddy Rice won from pole. In addi­tion, the team has earned a total of four top-three finishes (2nd – Meira 2005; 3rd – Rahal 1994, 1995). The team was in contention to win the race as recent as 2011 when Bertrand Baguette led laps 139 – 140 and laps 189 – 197 of the 200 lap race. Had a caution come our before Baguette was forced to pit for a splash of fuel, he might have been the victor. The race ulti­mately ended under caution when JR Hilde­brand crashed on the front straight while in the lead on the final lap.  In 2012, RLL driver Takuma Sato was along­side even­tual Indy 500 winner Dario Fran­chitti in Turn 1 on the final lap but limited trac­tion and possible tire contact cata­pulted him into a spin and he ulti­mately finished 17th after leading the third most race laps.
 
About blu eCigs Elec­tronic Ciga­rettes
blu eCigs® elec­tronic ciga­rettes offer the look and feel of tradi­tional ciga­rettes – without the tobacco smoke, ash, or smell.  blu eCigs provides a real­istic recre­ational alter­na­tive to smoking – creating a vapor “puff” that evap­o­rates within seconds. The prod­ucts have been featured in the presenter gift bags at the Grammy Awards and other celebrity events, and are used by a number of A-list actors, musi­cians, and athletes.  Avail­able online and at retailers nation­wide, blu eCigs come in conve­nient dispos­ables or recharge­able packs for regular use, with or without nico­tine and in a variety of flavors. blu eCigs provide inno­v­a­tive tech­nology for an improved consumer expe­ri­ence that enhances the social aspect of e-cigarettes.  The company is based in Char­lotte, NC, and blu eCigs’ flavors are made in the USA.  For more, visit www.blucigs.com.
 
About Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, based in Hilliard, Ohio and Browns­burg, Ind., is co-owned by three-time IndyCar Cham­pion and 1986 Indi­anapolis 500 winner Bobby Rahal, CBS LATE SHOW host David Letterman and Mi-Jack co-owner Mike Lanigan.  In 2013 the team will begin their 22nd year of open wheel compe­ti­tion and attempt to add to their 20 wins – including the 2004 Indy 500 from pole with Buddy Rice — their 29 poles and 1992 series cham­pi­onship.  The team also competes in the Amer­ican Le Mans Series as BMW Team RLL where they won both the Manu­fac­turer and Team Cham­pi­onships in the GT cate­gory in 2010 and swept all three GT titles in 2011 — Manu­fac­turer, Team and Driver. In 2012, the team finished second in the Team Cham­pi­onship and third in the Manu­fac­turer Cham­pi­onship.
 

 – RLL -