Days after NASCAR driver Brandon Brown told the media he was having difficulties finding a sponsor for his driving team, the man whose name inspired a meme is now sponsored by a cryptocurrency inspired by the "Let's Go Brandon" meme.
It's a story that's possible only in 2021.
Brown's first name became ubiquitous after an NBC sports reporter misheard a crowd chanting "F*** Joe Biden!" The 28-year-old driver had just claimed his first-ever NASCAR victory at the Taladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Alabama, and the reporter incorrectly said the crowd was chanting "Let's Go, Brandon" to celebrate his win.
The moment, captured on video, instantly went viral. "Let's Go, Brandon" became a rallying cry of protest against President Joe Biden, an inside joke for conservatives and anyone else opposed to Biden's presidency, and an annoyance for the humorless left-wing media, which dubbed the phrase a "right-wing slur."
Meanwhile, the actual Brandon Brown just wanted to race. He told the New York Times in a recent interview that he had "zero desire to be involved in politics" and that he was leery of having his name associated with a coded "F*** Joe Biden" chant for fear of being "canceled" and losing potential sponsorship deals.
In another interview with Sports Business Journal, he said the meme became "extremely difficult" for his racing team.
“If you’re a national corporation, that means you sell to all consumers ... and unfortunately, when you get dragged into the political arena, people want you to take a side. I’ve never been put in a position where it’s, ‘OK, what side are you on? Left or right?’ So it’s hard for a brand to want to attach to somebody who might be kind of divisive in their consumer base," he said.
But it looks like Brown found a primary sponsor who is not only fine with the "Let's Go, Brandon" meme, but wants to capitalize on it.
Brown's team Brandonbilt Motorsports announced Thursday that the cryptocurrency meme coin LGBcoin.io (LGBcoin/$LGB) has signed on as the team's full-season primary partner for the 2022 NASCAR Xfinity Series season.
LGBcoin, according to a press release, is a new meme cryptocurrency "similar to other meme coins and tokens such as Dogecoin and Shiba Inu." Though LGBcoin has "no intrinsic value," the press release boasts that it has achieved a market capitalization of more than $300 million in fewer than six months, and that as "America's Coin," it "aims to inspire positivity and unity, grounded in a strong belief of the American dream."
“We are thrilled to partner with Brandonbilt Motorsports and Brandon Brown for the 2022 NASCAR Xfinity Series season,” James Koutoulas, LGBcoin HODLer (a term derived from a misspelling of "hold," in the context of cryptocurrency trading) and founder of Typhoon Capital Management, a Miami-based hedge fund, said. “Brandon is not only an incredibly talented driver, but also a thoughtful individual wise beyond his years. His commitment and singular focus on his profession is inspiring and his personal story is one that we can all be proud of—an American story of success and perseverance. Brandon is truly America’s Driver.”
Brown shared a video on Twitter Thursday debuting his No. 68 Chevorlet Camaro, now painted in red, white, and blue with the LGBcoin.io logo featured prominently.
“Having the financial support of LGBcoin is incredible, especially at such a pivotal time in our team’s growth as we work to build to the next level of competition,” Brown said. “From wondering if we would have the financial means to continue to compete, to my first major win (at Talladega no less), to becoming an unintentional meme, this past season was a rollercoaster. The support of sponsors like LGBcoin empowers us to be as competitive as possible and I’m looking forward to competing hard on the track in 2022.”
“We are proud to support Brandon this season, to help him continue his American dream,” Koutoulas said. “If we do our job right, when you think of us, and you hear, ‘Let’s Go Brandon,’ you’ll think and feel, ‘Let’s Go America.’”