Roush taps LeBron ties for Bubba sponsorship

Fenway Sports’ connections to James could help Wallace

Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live

As Darrell "Bubba" Wallace Jr. launches what he hopes to be a full-time NASCAR XFINITY Series campaign without sponsorship for all 33 races, Roush Fenway Racing is exploring all avenues, including a connection to four-time NBA MVP LeBron James.

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In 2011, Fenway Sports Management began a business partnership with LRMR Marketing & Branding, owned by James and his agent/business partner Maverick Carter. FSM works with James and Carter on business, marketing, endorsement and philanthropic endeavors.

At Wednesday’s Roush Fenway Racing stop on the Charlotte Motor Speedway Media Tour presented by Technocom, team president Steve Newmark discussed how LeBron could help Bubba.

"We think there’s a lot of creative opportunities to do some really crossover promotions with Bubba," Newmark said. "LeBron is under the Fenway umbrella on the sports marketing side; LeBron and Johnny Manziel.

"John Henry has kind of created a big empire up there, obviously, with Liverpool, NESN and Roush, but there’s also a sports marketing arm that includes a lot of pretty dynamic personalities. And that gets us excited because we’re working with them to do things with our drivers, as well."

Seeking sponsorship is nothing new for the 21-year-old Wallace, who said he looks forward to the challenge of finding new partners.

"I’ve been battling sponsorship for 12 years," Wallace said. "It’s just been family-oriented stuff for the first six so I’m used to it. That was a lot of practice for me."

Wallace knows that performing well can attract sponsors, and he has four top-10 finishes in six career XFINITY starts. For now, he’s preparing for the season-opening Alert Today Florida 300 at Daytona International Speedway while meeting with companies interested in sponsoring his ride.

"It’s been getting acclimated with the team and getting in front of sponsors," Wallace said. "We’ve got meetings coming up here with Cheez-It and got to meet the Ford Performance guys (Tuesday). That was really exciting so you never know what could happen.

"You’ve just got to keep pressing forward and focus on the next race. That’s Daytona for us. But you know how I roll. I’m not worried about Atlanta right now…. Actually I’ve got to worry about getting race cars on the setup plate and getting ready for Daytona."