NASCAR has decided to block a sponsorship deal between driver Brandon Brown and LGBcoin, a cryptocurrency that takes its name from the anti-Joe Biden chant “Let’s go Brandon,” The Washington Post reported.
According to the Post, Brown was given the green light over the holidays by a NASCAR employee who was not authorized to approve the deal. On Tuesday, the racing league reviewed the partnership and informed the team of the rejection by that afternoon.
LGBcoin, a self-described “decentralized meme token,” intended to serve as the primary sponsor of the driver who inspired its name. In October 2021, the 28-year-old Virginia native won his first NASCAR Xfinity Series race. While being interviewed by NBC’s Kelli Stavast, a crowd member chanted “F— Joe Biden,” which Stavast either misheard or intentionally misstated. “You can hear the chants from the crowd, ‘Let’s go, Brandon!'” she said in the broadcast.
The phrase rapidly entered right-wing discourse as a coded expletive toward President Biden and other members of Congress.
On Dec. 30, Brown announced the partnership via social media on behalf of his Virginia-based team, Brandonbilt Motorsports.
“I’m excited to welcome @LGBcoin_io aboard my No. 68 Chevrolet Camaro as our 2022 NASCAR Xfinity Series full season primary partner!” read the tweet.
The 28-year-old’s message was accompanied by a video of him unveiling the red, white and blue race car emblazoned with the LGBcoin logo in several places.
In a Brandonbilt Motorsports press release, founder of Typhoon Capital Management James Koutoulas wrote: “We are proud to support Brandon this season, to help him continue his American dream. … 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.’”
Max Marcucci, a crisis media strategist who represents Brandonbilt, responded to the announcement by stating that the team followed all protocols and that any blame lies with NASCAR.
“We are disappointed that NASCAR leadership has chosen to rescind approval of this sponsorship and feel they should have the confidence to own their decision to backtrack and not gaslight a team or a driver,” Marcucci said.
“Like every team, we rely on productive and friendly working relationships at all levels of NASCAR. Unfortunately, NASCAR leadership’s handling of this situation now threatens to strain our relationships and places us in an incredibly awkward position, yet again.”
Brown’s website, Brandon Brown Racing, now features an image of a race car with “For Sale” on the hood. As of Wednesday night, LGBcoin’s website homepage still reads “Official Partner of NASCAR Xfinity Series Driver Brandon Brown and Car No. 68.”