By David G. Firestone
The driver suit has become much more than a safety feature. It has become a marketing tool. So much so that it leaves the track and moves to television, magazine ads, and corporate events. If you look at driver suit design circa 1990, the suits have big sponsor logos, and the smaller logos are thrown on any which way they can. Fast forward to today, and, when it comes to race suits, every logo is in a specific place, nothing is left to chance.
Fisher Price makes toys for babies and infants, and apparently they had a race car during the late 1980’s to early 1990’s. This promotional driver suit was made for that team. It’s made of the polyester and has the feel of a wind breaker. There are a number of auto part logos, but they are patches with sublimated logos instead of sewn logos. There was some thought to the design.
There are a number of race suits that were created for promotional purposes. This example comes from AOL circa 2003. AOL hosted an event at Laguna where a number of clients got to drive race cars. Each driver was issued one of these denim suits. It has a small AOL logo on the front chest, and a larger logo on the back torso. Other than that, there are no logos anywhere else on the suit.
When Bobby Labonte was sponsored by Ask.com in 2009, a series of these replica driver suits based on Labonte’s driver suit were produced, possibly for a commercial. This suit was made by Simpson Race Products, but isn’t made of Nomex, and it has a warranty label stating as such. Aside from the Ask.com logos, and the Peel Me design, there are no logos, but it is obvious there was a lot of thought that went into the design.