Bojangles, the iconic Southern chicken-and-biscuit chain, is extending its partnership with NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Earnhardt Jr.’s podcast, “The Dale Jr. Download” and industry-insider show, “Door Bumper Clear,” will be recorded in a Mooresville studio that now will be named the Bojangles Studio, according to Bojangles. The company made the announcement Tuesday.
Last year, Bojangles announced its first celebrity advertising partnership. Earnhardt, the 26-time NASCAR Cup Series winner from Kannapolis, became the voice of the Charlotte-based company’s slogan, “It’s Bo time.”
Earnhardt helped Bojangles rebrand last year, said Jackie Woodward, Bojangles’ chief brand and marketing officer, in a statement.
The Bojangles Studio will feature a Bojangles neon sign, window decals and “chicken, hot biscuits and freshly steeped sweet tea” for Dirty Mo Media’s hosts, team members and guests, according to Bojangles. Dirty Mo Media is a company created by Earnhardt in Mooresville.
“For what we are building at Dirty Mo Media and what Bojangles represents as a booming restaurant franchise, this is a perfect fit and an essential partnership for continued growth,” Earnhardt said in a statement.
About Earnhardt’s podcast
In its ninth year, Earnhardt’s podcast covers racing’s past, present and future with guests and commentary. This week, “The Download” completed its 357th episode, in which Earnhardt talked about his weekend return to the driver’s seat at Richmond Raceway.
Forbes last year declared Earnhardt “NASCAR’s newest media mogul.”
“There is no denying Dale Jr.’s identity is built and fortified on racing,” Mike Davis, founder and executive producer of Dirty Mo Media said in a news release.
The post-racing life podcast helps connect fans with drivers and NASCAR, and partners like Bojangles have helped accelerate it, Davis said.
“As we have worked together to craft a partnership that’s meaningful to our customers and Dale’s fans, we discovered how important his podcast platform is in bringing the community together through thoughtful conversations,” Woodward said.
Bojangles expansion and other deals
Earnhardt isn’t the only athlete Bojangles is working with. In July, the company began signing endorsement deals with 75 college athletes, the Observer previously reported.
And the company has been expanding across the country and making other changes. Last month, the fast-food chain debuted its food truck in Nashville, Tennesee, for instance.
In the spring, Bojangles said it plans to open nearly 90 stores, including ones to debut in Ohio, New York and Texas, as well as returning to Orlando, Florida. More stores also will open in Georgia, Pennsylvania and Tennessee.
Last year, Bojangles opened its first Illinois and Arkansas stores as part of 40 restaurants opening at Love’s Travel Stops.
Bojangles also rebranded last year, dropping the apostrophe from the end of its name. And the company recently launched its new hand-breaded Bo’s Chicken Sandwich and a new Bojangles App.
Bojangles, founded in 1977 in Charlotte, has about 760 restaurants in 14 states.