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.