The crypto is a play on the viral “Let’s go Brandon” chant, which of course was started after Brown’s first career victory at Talladega this year when a crowd was chanting “F*ck Joe Biden” and reporter Kelli Stavast tried to cover it up by claiming they were cheering “Let’s go Brandon.”
Since the phrase took off as a thinly-veiled insult towards the President, Brown had said that he was having a hard time finding sponsorship for his ride for next season, despite the fact that he really didn’t have anything to do with the phrase’s birth.
At the time, it was reported that NASCAR had approved the paint scheme and sponsor – but it turns out that was premature.
Later that day, a NASCAR spokesman said that the sport’s sanctioning body had NOT yet approved LBGcoin’s entry into the sport, and that the sponsor would need to be reviewed.
UPDATE: Late Thursday afternoon, a #NASCAR spokesperson confirmed to @Motorsport that the LGBcoin sponsorship for Brown has not been approved and the team "jumped the gun" in publicizing its announcement Thursday morning. https://t.co/BcNnfwiTRU
The decision from the sanctioning body isn’t all that surprising after NASCAR last year tried to distance itself from the sport’s role in the “Let’s Go Brandon” chant, with NASCAR President Steve Phelps saying that they weren’t happy that it all started with NASCAR and that the sport didn’t want to associate itself with politics from either side, left or right.
However, NASCAR’s denial of LGBcoin comes after the founder of the cryptocurrency, James Koutoulas, shared screenshots of an email with NASCAR Senior Manager of Racing Operations Dale Howell seemingly letting the team know that the sponsor was approved.
According to the emails shared by Koutoulas, the paint scheme and sponsor were submitted via email to NASCAR, with Howell responding back that the “sponsors are approved” but requesting some minor changes to the details and coloring of the paint scheme.
However, it appears that NASCAR’s position is that Brown’s team failed to submit the sponsorship and paint scheme for the approval through the proper channels.
Additionally, the team was reportedly told in November of last year that NASCAR would not approve anything with the “Let’s Go Brandon” phrase on it, although he was free to capitalize on the notariety away from the track.
In a meeting with NASCAR back in November, team was told that anything in this regard was not going to be approved. However, Brown and company were told could lean into it away from the track but it would not be approved for car, track advertising, etc.
But as messy as the story already seems, it sounds like it’s even worse: It’s also being reported that the proper channel to seek approval for a sponsor and paint scheme, an online portal, wasn’t up and running when Brown’s team sought approval for the sponsorship.
One issue in Brandon Brown sponsor saga is online portal to submit 2022 paint schemes wasn’t live as of couple weeks ago (I have no idea why not). So teams are sending emails to get OKs. My guess is could impact who sees requests (b/c possibly more people notified if thru portal)
The team also mentioned this in the email to Howell shared by Koutoulas, which informs Howell that they attempted to submit the design through the online portal but there were no available races listed to choose from.
So it’s not a great look for NASCAR to have a high-ranking official approving the sponsor and then turning around and denying it after the announcement was made, but it seems that the sanctioning body had already informed the team that it wouldn’t be approving any “Let’s Go Brandon” sponsors or paint schemes before they tried to get LGBcoin approved.
Either way, it’s definitely not going to make it any easier for Brown to find a new sponsor, especially this late in the game.