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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

Related Pictures

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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 Pro Services Chevrolet, and Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 5-hour Energy Toyota, lead a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, finishes in second place Saturday night, August 22, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Pro Services Chevrolet SS, finishes in fourth place Saturday night, August 22, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, finishes in second place Saturday night, August 22, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Pro Services Chevrolet SS, qualifies for tenth position Friday, August 21, 2015 for Saturday night`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. Johnson is sixth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, qualifies for seventh position Friday, August 21, 2015 for Saturday night`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. Harvick leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS, finishes in second place with Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS who finished in 20th place Sunday, August 16, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s/Budweiser Chevrolet, drives during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 15, 2015 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo Credit: Josh Hedges/Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS, qualifies for eighth position Friday, August 14, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. Johnson is fourth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS, qualifies for seventh position Friday, August 14, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. Harvick leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS, finishes in tenth place Sunday, August 9, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, finishes in third place Sunday, August 9, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, New York. Harvick was leading into the last turn of the road track when he ran out of gas. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, leads the field during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Cheez-It 355 at the Glen at Watkins Glen International on August 9, 2015 in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Cheez-It 355 at Watkins Glen International on August 7, 2015 in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s/Budweiser Chevrolet, lead the field at the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Windows 10 400 at Pocono Raceway on August 2, 2015 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Smoke pours from the Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s/Budweiser Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Windows 10 400 at Pocono Raceway on August 2, 2015 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo Credit: Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS, stops in his pit on his way to a sixth place finish Sunday, August 2, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/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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