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NASCAR driver Brandon Brown: If I’m going to divide Coca-Cola, why would they want to talk to me? 

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Brandon Brown, 28, of Woodbridge, Virginia, United States won the 2021 Sparks 300 at Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, Alabama, USA on October 2, 2021. It was the first National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) Xfinity Series race he won.

While NBC reporter Kelli Stavast was interviewing Brown, some in the crowd can be heard chanting “F–k Joe Biden.” But in her broadcast, she said, “You can hear the chants from the crowd, ‘Let’s go, Brandon!’”

Since then, “Let’s go, Brandon!” has been used as a political slogan against the 46th U.S. president. On October 4, 2021, the first trademark for a variation of the phrase was filed.

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As of December 22, 2021, there were more than 12,000 listings for “Let’s go, Brandon!” merchandise on eBay. As of December 23, 2021, there are 23 trademark filings for some variation of the phrase, none of which belong to Brown.

The notoriety of the phrase did not only overshadow Brown’s first NASCAR Xfinity Series win. It also made it difficult for his Brandonbilt Motorsports team to acquire sponsorship.

“Our whole navigation is, you want to appeal to everybody, because, all in all, everybody is a consumer,” Brown told The New York Times. “I have zero desire to be involved in politics.”

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Originally, Brown did not want to comment on the phrase and pick a side although he is a Republican. However, he started to worry about his silence being interpreted as support for what the phrase is being used for politically.

The Woodbridge native has yet to reveal his 2022 sponsors. His 2021 sponsors included The Original Larry’s Hard Lemonade and the Trade The Train crypto company.

“If I’m going to divide Coca-Cola, why would they want to talk to me?” Brown told Sports Business Journal. “So the short answer is it’s been tough to connect with partnerships just because it’s kind of viewed as a ticking time bomb.”

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Coca-Cola was invented by pharmacist John Stith Pemberton in 1886. The product at the time was made with coca leaves and kola nuts.

In 1889, Pemberton sold the Coca-Cola formula and brand to businessman Asa Griggs Candler. On January 29, 1892, the latter founded The Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

Since 1998, The Coca-Cola Company has been the official sparkling beverage of NASCAR. The partnership runs through the 2023 season.

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