UPDATE (1/5): NASCAR has rejected a planned sponsorship between Brandon Brown and LGBCoin, The Washington Post reports. Brown and his team, Brandonbilt Motorsports, publicized the partnership at the end of December, but the sponsorship was reportedly approved by a NASCAR employee who wasn’t authorized to do so. It wasn’t until Tuesday, Jan. 4, that NASCAR executives officially reviewed the sponsorship, ruled against it, and informed Brandonbilt Motorsports. A NASCAR official also claimed that during a November discussion about the potential sponsorship between NASCAR and Brown’s team, the governing body told Brandonbilt it wouldn’t allow any references to the anti-Biden “Let’s Go Brandon” chant.
Reps for Brandonbilt Motorsports and NASCAR did not immediately return requests for comment.
Racecar driver Brandon Brown, who played an inadvertent role in the creation of the anti-Joe Biden chant, “Let’s Go Brandon,” has picked up the most appropriate possible sponsor for his car in these stupid times we live in: a “Let’s Go Brandon”-inspired cryptocurrency.
Brown announced that LGBCoin would serve as the primary sponsor on his No. 68 Chevrolet Camaro for the 2022 NASCAR Xfinity Series season (the Xfinity Series is like NASCAR’s minor league). The announcement comes just over a week after Brown insisted he wanted nothing to do with politics after his name became central to the lamest political insult since John Oliver’s “Drumpf.”
I’m excited to welcome @LGBcoin_io aboard my No. 68 Chevrolet Camaro as our 2022 NASCAR Xfinity Series full season primary partner!
— Brandon Brown (@brandonbrown_68) December 30, 2021
“Let’s Go Brandon” came to the fore back in October after Brown won the Sparks 300 race at the Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama. During an interview with NBC Sports reporter Kelli Stavast, the crowd was loudly chanting “Fuck Joe Biden,” and Stavast — either mishearing or trying to cover up the profanity — said, “You can hear the chants from the crowd, ‘Let’s go, Brandon!’”
The meme quickly, and inevitably, snowballed from there, LGBCoin being a perfect encapsulation of its spread. The meme coin arrived in early November and within a month conservative figures like Candace Owens and Ryan Fournier were shilling for it.
A press release announcing the partnership with Brown claimed LGBCoin had “achieved a market capitalization of more than $300 million in less than six months.” It added that the purpose of the coin is to “inspire positivity and unity, grounded in a strong belief of the American dream” (to be fair, fast cars and let’s-call-them “curious” money-making endeavors are outrageously American).
Brown, for his part, initially seemed put off about being thrust into the middle of political grandstanding. Well before “Let’s Go Brandon,” during a tough part of his 2021 Xfinity Series season, he was struggling to attract sponsors; while his big win at the Sparks 300 race in Talladega could’ve helped solve that problem, as he told The New York Times, he felt the chant derailed any possible opportunities.
“This whole Talladega race win was supposed to be a celebration, and then it was supposed to be something that I was able to use to move up, and I really wanted to capitalize on that,” Brown said. “But with this meme going viral, it was more of, I had to stay more silent, because everybody wanted it to go on to the political side. I’m about the racing side.”
He added, “Our whole navigation is, you want to appeal to everybody, because, all in all, everybody is a consumer. I have zero desire to be involved in politics.”
With the LGBCoin sponsorship, Brown appears to have changed his tune at least a little. “Having the financial support of LGBcoin is incredible, especially at such a pivotal time in our team’s growth as we work to build to the next level of competition,” Brown said in a statement. “From wondering if we would have the financial means to continue to compete, to my first major win (at Talladega no less), to becoming an unintentional meme, this past season was a rollercoaster. The support of sponsors like LGBcoin empowers us to be as competitive as possible and I’m looking forward to competing hard on the track in 2022.”
As always, money — even meme money — makes the world and the wheels go round.