DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.—Goodyear will debut a television commercial during Fox Broadcasting's coverage of the 2018 Daytona 500 that is aimed at reaching die-hard NASCAR fans and sports fans in general.
The 30-second spot, called "Make a Name," weaves together the legacy of Dale Earnhardt Sr. and Dale Earnhardt Jr., two NASCAR legends, as the younger Earnhardt grows into a driver who strives to honor his father's name.
The commercial will air for the first time nationally Feb. 18 on the 17th anniversary of the death of the elder Earnhardt, who was killed instantly in a collision during the final lap of the 2001 Daytona 500. Earnhardt won seven NASCAR cup championships and 76 cup races during his career, including the 1998 Daytona 500.
Earnhardt Jr. retired in 2017 at age 43 after winning 26 races, including the Daytona 500 in 2004 and 2014. During his 17-year career, fans voted him NASCAR's Most Popular Driver 15 times.
He will be the grand marshal of this year's Daytona 500, the race's 60th running.
The commercial was previewed for 1,550 dealers during the Goodyear Customer Conference, held Jan. 25-27 in Nashville, Tenn. The 60-second version of the commercial, which is being played on digital and social media, can be viewed on YouTube.
Earnhardt Jr. has been a spokesman for Goodyear for three years.
"Goodyear has always been part of my family, and I'm proud to partner with them on this 'Make a Name' spot," Earnhardt Jr. said, "which is a reflection of one's legacy, values and drive. It tells a very personal story about me growing up, but it also hits home with where I am today, both personally and professionally."
Goodyear said the commercial, which chronicles Goodyear's history with the Earnhardt family, "underscores the power of a name." That is particularly appropriate since the commercial features Jim Croce's "I Got a Name" song, which was released in 1973 on the album of the same name.
The song also was the title track of the film "The Last American Hero," about the life of another legendary NASCAR driver, Junior Johnson.
Debuting during the FOX broadcast of the Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 18, Goodyear's new TV commercial, "Make a Name," features Goodyear's history with the Earnhardt family and celebrates Dale Jr.'s drive to honor his father.
"It's been an honor to represent my family name and bring my father's song to life with Goodyear," said A.J. Croce, Jim Croce's only son.
The commercial was filmed in Charlotte in September at multiple locations, taking a few days to complete.
To draw attention to the commercial, Goodyear temporarily will replace "Goodyear" on Wingfoot One, its Florida-based blimp, with "#MakeAName."
Seth Klugherz, Goodyear's director of North America marketing, said the tire maker is "excited to debut the commercial during on of the most legendary races.
"Dale Jr.'s story underscores Goodyear's commitment to hard work, determination and drive, and we are proud to stand by his side," Klughertz said.
The Daytona 500 airs at 2:30 p.m. Eastern time on Feb. 18 on Fox channels across the U.S.