A controversial “Let’s Go Brandon”-inspired sponsor has found a way to capitalize on a driver’s popularity while abiding by NASCAR’s rules.
The LGBcoin.io cryptocurrency company, whose first three letters reference the viral slogan, announced Saturday morning that it has agreed to a two-year sponsorship and personal endorsement deal with NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Brandon Brown, whose name inspired the chant.
NASCAR previously denied a request by Brown’s Brandonbilt Motorsports team for the company to serve as its primary sponsor for the full 2022 season and appear on Brown’s No. 68 Chevrolet. The team announced a 33-race sponsorship deal with LGBcoin, believing it secured approval, but NASCAR formally denied the request last week, leading to a messy situation for the auto racing series trying to separate itself from a chant that criticizes President Joe Biden.
Now, the company has found a way to work with Brown without violating NASCAR’s sponsorship rules. LGBcoin is a self-described “decentralized meme cryptocurrency” with a website that touts a message of “inspiring positivity and patriotism” by leaning into the “Let’s Go Brandon” chant.
NASCAR president Steve Phelps in November dismissed the “Let’s Go Brandon” chant and NASCAR’s affiliation with it, saying that NASCAR did not want to associate itself with politics, “the left or the right.” A source familiar with the situation previously told The Observer that NASCAR officials informed Brown’s Brandonbilt Motorsports team around that time that use of the slogan would not be approved in any official at-track context, such as for sponsorships.
But the personal endorsement deal is somewhat of a loophole, as NASCAR doesn’t need to approve any away-from-track deals. The new deal with Brown, according to the LGBcoin’s announcement, includes Brown’s “personal participation in publicity events, videos, crypto conferences, racing-related events and more, though won’t include car decals.”
“I’m working to achieve my own American dream,” Brown said in a statement released by LBGcoin. “I’m humbled and thankful for LGBcoin.io’s reaffirmed support for my professional journey and their commitment to maintain a patriotic message. LGBcoin.io has already demonstrated incredible potential and I’m excited to help build this brand through the 2022 season and beyond.”
The viral “Let’s Go Brandon” chant began at a NASCAR race at Talladega last October. An NBC Sports reporter suggested that fans were chanting “Let’s Go Brandon” during a post-race interview with Brown following his first Xfinity win. The crowd was actually chanting “F--- Joe Biden.”
The coded criticism of the sitting president has since become a widely known right-wing rally cry, and one NASCAR’s sanctioning body has tried to separate itself from. Amid the recent controversy, NASCAR’s officials are reportedly reviewing its rules regarding sponsorships, including political sponsorships that have previously been allowed, with updates expected in the coming weeks.