U.S. Marine Honored as Brickyard Sprint Cup Series Race Namesake for Selfless
Actions Stateside and Abroad
Crown Royal Awards Gunnery Sergeant Samuel Deeds Race Naming Rights through
Annual "Your Hero's Name Here" Program
ERLANGER, Ky., June 27, 2013
ERLANGER, Ky., June 27, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- While deployed in Iraq, Gunnery
Sergeant Samuel Deeds, a diehard NASCAR fan, dreamed of working in the sport
after completing his service. In 2005, those dreams took a back seat when
Deeds placed himself in harm's way to save the lives of his fellow Marines.
This summer Deeds will travel to one of the country's most historic tracks,
Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS), not as a fan or employee, but as the race
(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130627/NY39974LOGO-c )
Today in his hometown of Erlanger, Ky., Deeds was recognized as the winner of
Crown Royal's "Your Hero's Name Here" program, which awards one deserving
individual naming rights to the July 28^th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at
IMS. Surrounded by friends, family and Marines, Deeds cemented his place in
the NASCAR record books by laying the final brick, engraved with the official
race logo, in a ceremonial "Yard of Bricks" at Flagship Park in Erlanger.
While deployed in Iraq, Deeds came across an improvised explosive device (IED)
while setting up a vehicle checkpoint. Upon seeing fellow Marines approaching,
he exposed himself to the device, risking his own life to save others. He was
severely injured and underwent more than 30 surgeries and procedures following
the blast. Three years later, while still recovering, Deeds' heroic instincts
took charge once again when he saved the lives of three individuals caught in
a rip tide off the coast of North Carolina.
In addition to Deeds' friends and family, special representatives from Crown
Royal, Big Machine Label Group (BMLG), and IMS attended the ceremony and spoke
of Deeds' many accomplishments. NASCAR driver Kurt Busch surprised Deeds
during the ceremony, appearing on behalf of the Armed Forces Foundation (AFF),
alongside AFF President and Executive Director Patricia Driscoll. Country
music star Justin Moore debuted a special song titled "Heroes," which was
penned specifically for the "Your Hero's Name Here" program. Consumers 21 and
over can visit CrownHeroesSong.com to download "Heroes" for free. For every
download redeemed between now and the Samuel Deeds 400 on July 28^th, Crown
Royal will donate one dollar to AFF.
"I was so fortunate to be part of this program last summer," said Moore. "That
experience and the brave men and women I met along the way served as
inspiration for this new song. The opportunity to debut 'Heroes' in front of a
true hero like Samuel, his friends, family and community, is incredibly
special to me as well as all of the folks at BMLG."
This will mark the seventh time Crown Royal has awarded race naming rights to
an adult fan. After receiving thousands of entries during the nomination
period, five heroes were chosen as finalists and adult fans had the
opportunity to cast their votes for the person they felt was most deserving of
the honor. As the winner of the program, Deeds will participate in a VIP race
weekend experience, riding in the pre-race pace car, delivering the trophy
bearing his name to the race winner in Victory Lane, and participating in the
"kissing the bricks" ceremony following the race.
"I've been a NASCAR fan for as long as I can remember, so the reality of
having my name on a track with such rich history and meaning is beyond words,"
said Deeds. "I am so grateful to all of those who took the time to hear my
story and vote for me. I can't wait to attend the race and dedicate that
special weekend to all fellow servicemen and women who put their lives on the
line every day."
Deeds, now retired from his service in the Marines, is a husband and father of
two boys. His wife, April, nominated him for the program for his unwavering
commitment to his country.
"We could not be more honored to announce Gunnery Sergeant Samuel Deeds as the
2013 'Your Hero's Name Here' winner," said Abby Wise, Brand Director for Crown
Royal. "His sacrifice and continued acts of heroism serve as an inspiration to
all of us at Crown Royal and we are proud to provide him with the ultimate
race experience at the Brickyard next month."
The official race title, Crown Royal Presents the Samuel Deeds 400 at the
Brickyard Powered by BigMachineRecords.com, will be incorporated into race
memorabilia as well as the winner's trophy. Various events and celebrations
will take place leading up to and throughout race weekend to honor Deeds,
during which Crown Royal would like to remind adult consumers to please drink
"It is our privilege to participate in this program with Crown Royal for the
second year at IMS," said Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation COO Doug
Boles. "We've been introduced to so many deserving American heroes, and we
look forward to rolling out the red carpet for Samuel and all other heroes in
attendance at this year's race."
Through a partnership with Crown Royal and IMS, country music artists from Big
Machine Label Group including Justin Moore, Cadillac Three, Cassadee Pope and
Dustin Lynch, will perform special concerts throughout the race weekend.
About Crown Royal
Crown Royal Canadian whisky is the number one selling Canadian whisky brand in
the US by value and has a tradition as long and distinctive as its taste.
Specially blended to commemorate a grand tour of Canada made by King George VI
and Queen Elizabeth of Great Britain in 1939, Crown Royal Canadian whisky's
smooth, elegant style reflects its aristocratic origins and is considered the
epitome of Canadian whisky. For more information visit www.crownroyal.com.
Crown Royal encourages all race fans to please drink responsibly.
Diageo is the world's leading premium drinks business with an outstanding
collection of beverage alcohol brands across spirits, beer and wine. These
brands include Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, J&B, Windsor, Buchanan's and
Bushmills whiskies, Smirnoff, Ciroc and Ketel One vodkas, Baileys, Captain
Morgan, Tanqueray and Guinness.
Diageo is a global company, with its products sold in more than 180 countries
around the world. The company is listed on both the New York Stock Exchange
(DEO) and the London Stock Exchange (DGE). For more information about Diageo,
its people, brands, and performance, visit us at www.diageo.com. For our
global resource that promotes responsible drinking through the sharing of best
practice tools, information and initiatives, visit DRINKiQ.com.
Celebrating life, every day, everywhere.
About Big Machine Label Group
At the helm of the independent Big Machine Label Group is industry veteran
Scott Borchetta, who serves as President and CEO. The conglomerate encompasses
Big Machine Records (founded in 2005), The Valory Music Co. (founded in 2007)
and Republic Nashville (a partnership with Universal Republic founded in 2009
with Jimmy Harnen serving as President).The Big Machine Label Group's current
artist roster includes Multi-Platinum superstars Taylor Swift, Rascal Flatts,
Tim McGraw and Reba; Platinum sensations The Band Perry and Florida Georgia
Line; Legendary group The Mavericks; Gold-selling artist Brantley Gilbert &
Justin Moore; Chart-topping act Eli Young Band as well as Hot newcomers Thomas
Rhett, Cassadee Pope, Greg Bates, and RaeLynn. BMLGartists have received
multiple GRAMMY, CMA, ACM, American Music Awards, CMT Music Awards, Teen
Choice Awards, MTV Video Music Award and People's Choice Award accolades as
well as Brit Award and JUNO Award nominations. In 2012 BMLG rejuvenated its
publishing arm with Big Machine Music, which has created a joint venture with
Lukasz"Dr. Luke" Gottwald'sPrescription Songs, allowing the two companies to
co-publish songwriters and artists whose unique talents translate across
genres. The label group has also forayed into the racing world, sponsoring the
Brickyard 400 as well as back-to-back Indy500 drivers.
About Indianapolis Motor Speedway
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway has been the worldwide leader in motorsports
entertainment since it opened in 1909. The facility has hosted the
Indianapolis 500, the world's largest single-day annual sporting event, since
1911 and also is the site of the Crown Royal Presents the "Your Hero's Name
Here" 400 at the Brickyard and the Red Bull Indianapolis GP. The NASCAR
Nationwide Series and GRAND-AM Road Racing also will race for the second
consecutive year at IMS in 2013.
IMS is the world's largest spectator sporting facility and is the only venue
to stage annual races in the IZOD IndyCar Series, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series,
NASCAR Nationwide Series, GRAND-AM Road Racing and MotoGP.
Kelly Greenawalt Mike DaRe
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