Minter: Carl Edwards Enjoys Making Scents
By Rick Minter | Senior Writer
Concord, N.C. – There was no doorbell ringing, but Avon came calling on Wednesday in the media center at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Actually it was Carl Edwards, on behalf of Avon.
While some in the room wondered what some of the sport’s tough old birds like the late Curtis Turner and Joe Weatherly might have thought of the idea of a NASCAR driver peddling products for a cosmetics company, Edwards handled it like a pro.
“It’s truly an honor for them to approach me and to even begin to talk about it,” he said of the cologne called Turn 4XT that he’s endorsing. “There are guys in other sports that have been able to do these fragrance deals and make them work really well.”
But he did admit is was a little different than representing a more masculine-type sponsor.
“It was definitely a different photo shoot,” he said. “You guys have seen some of the marketing materials and it’s a different way of presenting myself to my fans, but, to me, it’s fun.”
And he said he’s doesn’t mind stepping out of the box sometimes, as he did in an earlier deal promoting Harlequin romance novels.
“I’m comfortable doing a lot of different things,” he said. “I like doing stuff that’s new and I like trying new things. This was something that throughout the whole process it was something I hadn’t really ever thought of doing and it was interesting.”
Really interesting, at times, he said.
“There were parts where I thought, ‘Boy, that’s a little bit of a racy photo,’ but it really came together well and I’m proud that I did it.”
As the interview rolled along, many in the room, Edwards included, thought of “Stroker Ace” the 1980s racing comedy in which the main character, played by Burt Reynolds, had to dress in a feathery chicken suit for his sponsor.
And Edwards indicated that for him, he’d draw the line on what he’d do somewhere between Avon and a chicken suit.
“We all know Stroker Ace dressing in the chicken suit and doing all that stuff,” he said. “There are lines you have to draw, but I’ve not approached that line.”
He said his decisions on which sponsors to take and which to reject are based mostly on his own personal values, just as some of the sport’s pioneering families like the Pettys and the Woods have rejected beer sponsorships in the past.
“For instance, there are some consumable items that I’ve said I’d rather not participate with,” he said, adding that he did lots of thinking before endorsing Kellogg’s products.
“When we first talked to them, they came and gave me a whole presentation about what they do with marketing towards children and the way they evaluate if a food is too sugary to market in children’s programming and things like that, and I was really impressed with that,” he said. “Some of the drinks like Vitamin Water, for example, only use real sugar. There’s not the corn syrup or high fructose corn syrup, so that made it a fit for me.
“I do take all of that into account and, so far, I’ve been very fortunate to not have to endorse something that I personally wouldn’t use.”
And he even offered a strong endorsement of an old movie that’s still pretty relevant in today’s NASCAR world:
“I love Stroker Ace,” he said. “That’s a real good one.”
– Rick Minter can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.orgOne Comment