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Johnson to appear on HBO show

Hendrick driver and multiple NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson to appear on the HBO series 24/7
Jimmie Johnson's representatives at CAA Sports are calling his upcoming appearance on the HBO Sports series 24/7 the centrepiece in their efforts to provide the NASCAR driver with increased exposure.

CAA Sports signed Johnson, 34, in January 2008 and his appearance on 24/7, which will begin airing in late January and lead up to the Daytona 500 in February, marks the agency's first strike in an effort to spice up Johnson's vanilla image.

It is CAA's hope - and HBO's, too - that the behind-the-scenes series will reshape the perceptions many have developed in Johnson's nine-season NASCAR career. His backers assure that viewers will discover a more compelling figure than the one who wins with cold-blooded precision, but fails to generate much in the way of passion among the fans.

“With Jimmie, the criticism is a lot like what Roger Federer gets,” said CAA's Michael Levine. “All he does is win.”

But while Federer's brand has evolved into fashion and a global reach, Johnson's remains relatively limited to performance in the NASCAR world, even though he's on the verge of winning an unprecedented fourth straight Sprint Cup championship.

Despite that on-track dominance, Johnson's profile really hasn't transcended the sport. It hasn't even changed that much among NASCAR fans, according to the Davie-Brown Index, which measures a celebrity's attributes. The latest index doesn't have Johnson in the top five among NASCAR drivers in appeal. It remains difficult to attach a brand attribute to Johnson that goes beyond what he's done on the track, say sports marketers.

“Performance doesn't equal personality,” said David Grant, a founding principal of Velocity Sports & Entertainment. “Jimmie's not a redneck, he's not a freak, he's not controversial, he's not a jerk. In fact, he's a really nice guy. He's always proper, he always says the right thing, but that's not what people want to talk about.”

When Johnson selected CAA 22 months ago, he charged the agency with developing new and different opportunities, the kinds of things other drivers aren't doing. It's taken awhile, but the appearance on 24/7 was the kind of thing he had in mind. CAA also is working on a Johnson-branded video game that he is developing with an unnamed gaming company, a deal the agency arranged.

“I do think there is some growth that is yet to come, because there's just beginning to be the type of appreciation from the general sports fan for what he's accomplished,” Levine said. “It's taken a little longer than I would have expected or liked. He's separated himself from the other drivers on the track. and he wants to do the same thing off the track.”

Johnson's approach to endorsements has never been to take quantity over quality. Lowe's has been a longtime sponsor of his #48 car at Hendrick Motorsports and the two are expected to formalise an extension soon, a deal that costs the building supply retailer more than $20 million annually.



Tagged as: Hendrick , Jimmie Johnson , HBO

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Jimmie Johnson, driver of the No. 48 Lowes Chevrolet, signs autographs for his fans during NASCAR Preseason Thunder at Daytona International Speedway in January 2009. Johnson and his representatives hope the HBO Sports show “24/7” broadens Johnson’s appeal. (Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS finished 1st, Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Great Clips Chevrolet SS finished 37th Saturday, April 12, 2014 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway in Darlington South Carolina. Harvick  is 22nd, Kahne is 23rd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Teammates Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet SS finished 2nd and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS finished 3rd.(Photo Credit: HHP/Christa L. Thomas for Chevrolet)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS celebrates his win Saturday, April 12, 2014 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway in Darlington South Carolina. Harvick is 22nd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Teammates Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet SS finished 2nd and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS finished 3rd. (Photo Credit: HHP/Tami Kelly-Pope for Chevrolet)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS celebrates his win Saturday, April 12, 2014 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway in Darlington South Carolina. Harvick is 22nd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Teammates Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet SS finished 2nd and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS finished 3rd. (Photo Credit: HHP/Christa L. Thomas for Chevrolet)
Damage to the winshield of Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Spring is Calling Chevrolet, is repaired on pit road during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 7, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet SS races to a third-place finish Sunday, March 30, 2014 during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, Virginia. Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Racing Chevrolet SS won the race and Jimmie Johnson driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS finished second. (Photo by HHP/Garry Eller for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS (left) battles Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Racing Chevrolet SS Sunday, March 30, 2014 during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, Virginia. Busch won the race. Johnson finished second.  (Photo by HHP/Garry Eller for Chevy Racing)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Freight Toyota, talks to Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 28, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS qualified 4th Friday, March 21, 2014 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Harvick is 21st in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo Credit: HHP/Rusty Jarrett for Chevrolet)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s “Spring Is Calling” Chevrolet SS qualified 3rd Friday, March 21, 2014 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Johnson is 5th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo Credit: HHP/Harold Hinson for Chevrolet)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the NASCAR Sprint Cup #48 Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS qualified 11th Friday, March 14, 2014 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. Johnson is 3rd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo Credit: HHP/Alan Marler for Chevrolet)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Mountain Dew Kickstart Chevrolet, leads Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, and Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 9, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the NASCAR Sprint Cup #48 Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS qualified 5th March 7, 2014 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, Nevada. Johnson is 5th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo Credit: HHP/Harold Hinson for Chevrolet)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the NASCAR Sprint Cup #4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS drives to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup race March 2, 2014 at Phoenix International Speedway in Avondale, AZ. Harvick is 4th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo Credit: HHP/Harold Hinson for Chevrolet) (HHP/Harold Hinson for Chevrolet)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the NASCAR Sprint Cup #4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS picks up his victory flag after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup race March 2, 2014 at Phoenix International Speedway in Avondale, AZ. Harvick is 4th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings.  (Photo Credit: HHP/Christa L. Thomas for Chevrolet)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the NASCAR Sprint Cup #4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS celebrates his win March 2, 2014 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Speedway in Avondale, AZ. Harvick is 4th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo Credit: HHP/Harold Hinson for Chevrolet)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, comes to the finish line to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series The Profit On CNBC 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on March 2, 2014 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series The Profit On CNBC 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on March 2, 2014 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)

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jj_48_fan - Unregistered

October 29, 2009 9:32 PM

I just wanted to say that you don't have to be a jerk or a weirdo to be interesting. I met Jimmie Johnson recently at an autograph signing and I could tell in less than 30 seconds, he was thoughtful, super nice, and funny! I love Jimmie and can't wait to see the show! :D



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