Monster Energy's first race as title sponsor of NASCAR's top circuit turned in a monster result as its sponsored driver, Kurt Busch, ended up in Victory Lane.
Monster agreed to spend $20 million a year to take over for Sprint as title sponsor, and the victory for Busch was worth an estimated $22.2 million in media value to the company, said Eric Smallwood of Apex Marketing, a sponsorship evaluation firm.
"The fact that we won in our first race as title sponsor is beyond crazy," said Mitch Covington, Monster's vice president of sports marketing. "We brought in Rob Gronkowski (who has his own branded drink with the company) and our CEO flew in at the last minute, and we had 20 Monster girls in Victory Lane."
It was a sponsor's dream come true. Busch popped out of his car, which has the Monster Energy logo on the back portion of the car, in a helmet with the Monster logo on it.
He then chugged a can of the energy drink with the nation's eyes on him.
That doesn't even count the fans wearing Monster logos. A NASCAR official told ESPN.com that the top-selling item at the trackside superstore in Daytona last weekend was a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series T-shirt.
Busch has been sponsored by Monster for five years.