INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Add an IndyCar sponsorship to the list of accomplishments for Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee.
McAfee announced Wednesday morning that he was working with Dale Coyne Racing to sponsor the car for driver Conor Daly through the newly launched Shirts for America. Shirts for America sells shirts for $18, with $10 per shirt going to help veterans through the Pat McAfee Foundation and Wish for Our Heroes, according to McAfee.
McAfee said he was introduced to veterans groups through the Colts when he was a rookie. Once he heard their stories and how much they sacrificed, he wanted to do everything he could to help. Now that includes launching Shirts for America, and a sponsorship that will appear on Daly’s No. 18 car.
“You have to pull for the people who are out there fighting for us,” McAfee said.
Wednesday’s news conference also struck an irreverent tone, with McAfee calling Wednesday, “a gigantic day in history.” He joked that “nothing would be the same” after he made the announcement. He referred to Daly as his “good friend” and said they bonded over Mario Kart. McAfee said he beat Daly in Mario Kart, although the go cart track was a different story.
McAfee decided to help after watching Daly lead 14 laps at the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis only to learn he didn’t have a primary sponsor for the 500.
“When I chatted with him about who the primary sponsor was going to be for the Indy 500, he told me he didn’t have one yet,” McAfee said. “Myself and my team saw this as an opportunity, not only to get an Indianapolis kid in the 100th running of the legendary Indianapolis 500, but a chance to raise some money for some military foundations as well.
“We’re going to get this kid in the race to win. We are going to celebrate in Victory Lane by chugging 10 bottles of milk and we’re gonna raise money for military foundations while doing so.”
Daly said his team had a sponsorship gap for the Indy 500 that McAfee stepped in to fill.
“Pat came on board and this is actually a really cool idea. Its’s a really cool thing he’s created here,” Daly said of Shirts for America. “I think to raise money for veterans and military families is something that the whole race weekend is all about.”
Daly said he and McAfee were “going to have a great time representing America the entire month.”
McAfee also guaranteed a victory for Daly and said he could make that guarantee because he himself wasn’t the one driving the car. He said he wouldn’t be directly involved in race day operations and would instead cheer on Daly during the race.