Mello Yello Replaces Full Throttle as NHRA Title Sponsor

By Community | August 29, 2012

The National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) have agreed a six-year agreement for Mello Yello to replace Full Throttle as its title sponsor, starting in 2013.

The deal through 2018 will extend Coca-Cola’s title-sponsor partnership with the NHRA Drag Racing Series to 17 years. The series carried Coke-owned Powerade in its name from 2002 to ’08 before Full Throttle’s four-year stint.

Mello Yello gives the NHRA cachet as a more identifiable brand than Full Throttle (which will remain the NHRA’s official energy drink) and has motor sports roots spanning two decades. Mello Yello was famously featured on Cole Trickle’s car hood in the 1990 movie Days of Thunder and sponsored Kyle Petty in NASCAR from 1991 to ’94.

“It’s going to be a shot in the arm for this sport in general,” NHRA President Tom Compton said. “Mello Yello, candidly, is a larger brand and will have more resources to activate” such as point-of-sale promotions at major retailers.

Sharon Byers, Coca-Cola’s senior vice president for sports and entertainment, said the move to reintroduce Mello Yello to motor sports wasn’t motivated by rival Diet Mountain Dew’s sponsorship of popular NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt Jr. 

“(Mello Yello) is about good times and carefree living but also about high energy and excitement,” Byers said. “It just made sense.

“It’s not that we’re competing with anybody.”