At the 64th running of the Daytona 500, Busch Light will announce the launch of the Busch Light Accelerate Her Program, a three-year, $10M commitment that takes aim at the inequity of resources available to women drivers, including to provide more funding, track time, media exposure and training to every 21+ woman driver in NASCAR.
This first-of-its-kind program is focused on addressing the one number that needs the most attention in NASCAR — zero women drivers are currently competing at the sport’s highest level. As one of the only large-scale sports organizations where women and men compete directly, accelerating gender equality in NASCAR presents a major and immediate opportunity to advance diversity in sports, both today and for future generations.
“Busch Light has been an iconic sponsor in NASCAR for decades and we’ve been lucky to witness some of the greatest women drivers in history, but it can’t be argued that the NASCAR Cups Series field is dominated by male drivers,” said Krystyn Stowe, Senior Brand Director, Busch Family of Brands at Anheuser-Busch. “Through our sponsorship rights and our platform, we’re seizing the opportunity to make historic progress toward gender inclusivity and while the immediate program goals may start here, we hope the sentiment will carry far beyond that, encouraging the broadest level of inclusivity across all sports.”
Busch Light is proud to play a part in the larger cultural movement toward equity in sport, and the program will help build the next generation of women drivers by elevating those who currently pave the path. The inaugural sponsorship recipients of the Busch Light Accelerate Her program are Toni Breidinger, Natalie Decker, Amber Balcaen, Jennifer Jo Cobb, Brittney Zamora, Stephanie Moyer and Melissa Fifield. Additionally, with an eye toward the future, a portion of the $10M commitment will also be reserved as a standing sponsorship fund for up-and-coming talent.
“I know firsthand that women drivers in NASCAR face obstacles in advancing to the highest levels of the sport,” said Toni Breidinger, Busch Light Race Team. “But the track doesn’t know gender, the car doesn’t know gender, so gender is irrelevant. At the end of the day, we’re all drivers on the same track racing towards the same goal. I’m proud to take part in the Busch Light Accelerate Her program alongside other women drivers because it’s not only an incredible new stream of direct support, but it’s the first real step toward spotlighting the gender imbalance.”
As these drivers attest, sponsorship plays a vital role in climbing the ranks and can be the deciding factor for a talented athlete on the verge of cup series stardom. This program will invest directly in every 21+ women driver and put in place a program to track their development, improve their access to the sport and celebrate their success. These drivers help attract new fans and increase the relevance of the sport with women, gen Z and other emerging audiences. This increased relevance attracts fresh sponsorship, widens the popularity of the sport and ultimately opens more opportunities for current and future talent.
“Busch Light is a leading sponsor who’s paving the way for women drivers to accomplish their dreams of competing at the highest levels of our sport.“ said Michelle Byron, Vice President, Partnership Marketing, NASCAR. “The Accelerate Her program will provide tremendous exposure and support as they rise through the ranks in our developmental and national series. Alongside our sponsorship partner, NASCAR is equally committed to creating an inclusive sport where the most talented drivers, regardless of gender, have the opportunity to compete on the biggest stage.”
The Busch Light Accelerate Her program is the next step in a proud, 40-year partnership between Busch Light and NASCAR that has propelled the sport forward, bringing fans closer to the action and expanding NASCAR throughout the U.S. The official launch of the Busch Light Accelerate Her Program will officially launch with a nationally broadcast advertisement, live to the country on NASCAR’s biggest day, the Daytona 500 on Sunday, February 20th.
Busch Light asks that fans show their support by heading to Busch.com/accelerateher where they can learn more about the Accelerate Her Program and the inaugural drivers being sponsored. To help further support these drivers, Busch Light asks fans to follow them on social media to help support them on their journey this season. Fans can also follow @Buschbeer on Twitter and Facebook, @Buschbeer on Instagram to see updates on how this program will continue to propel these drivers throughout the season and endeavor to build a more equal playing field for generations of drivers to come.
— Anheuser-Busch —