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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)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Patriotic Chevrolet SS, who is not in the Chase, qualified for 15th position Friday, November 7, 2014 for Sunday`s final Eliminator 8 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Arizona. Johnson won the NASCAR race last week at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Christa L Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, who is in the Chase, finished in 2nd place and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Red Vest Chevrolet SS finished in 1st place Sunday, November 2, 2014 in the Eliminator 8 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. The Eliminator 8 phase of the Chase continues next week at Phoenix International Speedway in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Red Vest Chevrolet SS, races to his first place win Sunday, November 2, 2014 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. The Eliminator 8 phase of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase, which Johnson is not in, continues next week at Phoenix International Speedway in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Red Vest Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory with a burnout Sunday, November 2, 2014 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. The Eliminator 8 phase of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase, which Johnson is not in, continues next week at Phoenix International Speedway in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Christa L Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Red Vest Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory Sunday, November 2, 2014 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. The Eliminator 8 phase of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase, which Johnson is not in, continues next week at Phoenix International Speedway in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Red Vest Chevrolet, celebrates with Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage and AAA VIP Employee Recognition Winner David Tiger with pistols in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on November 2, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Red Vest Chevrolet, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on November 2, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Red Vest Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on November 2, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Red Vest Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on November 2, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Red Vest Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on November 2, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Red Vest Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on November 2, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Red Vest Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on November 2, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Red Vest Chevrolet SS qualified for third position Friday, October 31, 2014 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. Johnson is shown with his crew chief, Chad Knaus. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet SS celebrates his 4th victory of the season with Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motor Sports, and his girlfriend, Amy Reimann, after winning Sunday, October 26, 2014 the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. This is the 10th anniversary of a Hendrick Motorsports plane crash which killed 10 in Martinsville. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, sits in his car in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Goody`s Headache Relief Shot 500 at Martinsville Speedway on October 25, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, talks with the media following the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 19, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Mike Ehrmann/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS qualified for second position Saturday, October 18, 2014 for Sunday`s Contender 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Alabama. Johnson, who is in the Chase, is 11th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Sunday is the final round of the Contender 12 phase of the race. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)

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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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