MINNEAPOLIS, Dec. 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- General Mills Inc. (NYSE: GIS) today announced its sponsorship of rising star Austin Dillon in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2014. Dillon, the 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series champion, will drive the No. 3 Cheerios Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing in NASCAR's elite series.
To celebrate the news, Cheerios launched "Cheer the 3" social media communities on Facebook (www.Facebook.com/Cheerthe3) and Twitter (www.Twitter.com/Cheerthe3) for fans to interact and receive unique content about Austin and the No. 3 race team throughout the 2014 season.
"We are proud to support a proven champion in Austin Dillon, a driver who shares many of the same values as Cheerios," said Gregg Dorazio, manager of Shopper Marketing and Motorsports at General Mills. "We have been an active sponsor in NASCAR for many years now and this is an exciting opportunity to be part of a historical moment in the sport."
Austin Dillon, grandson of car owner Richard Childress, will be competing in his first full season in NASCAR's premiere series in 2014, building on an already impressive racing career. He became the youngest champion in Truck series history when he won the 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Championship at 21 years, six months and 22 days. The 23-year-old driver won the 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series Championship, becoming only the third driver in NASCAR history to win both the Nationwide and Camping World Truck championships. In addition to his championships, Dillon earned Rookie of the Year honors in both series.
"I'm thrilled to take this next step in my career and think it's awesome to have the support of Cheerios, a cereal I've eaten since I was a kid," said Dillon. "After gaining experience in Truck and Nationwide Series competition, I'm ready to take this next step and drive the No. 3 Cheerios Chevrolet against the best drivers in the world."
First entering NASCAR in 1997, General Mills has been an active sponsor of the sport for over 15 years working with elite drivers including Jeff Burton, Clint Bowyer, Bobby Labonte, Mark Martin and Johnny Benson.
General Mills sponsored Dillon's first appearance in the Daytona 500 (2013), when he drove the No. 33 Chevrolet in The Great American Race with the Honey Nut Cheerios brand prominently featured on the car.
Cheerios, America's No. 1 cereal, debuted in 1941 as Cheerioats. The nation's first ready-to-eat oat cereal has since become one of the most trusted and recognized brands in America. In fact, one of every 10 boxes of cereal sold in America is a box of Cheerios. General Mills' popular franchise includes Cheerios, Honey Nut Cheerios, Multi Grain Cheerios, Multi Grain Cheerios Peanut Butter, Chocolate Cheerios, Frosted Cheerios, Fruity Cheerios, Apple Cinnamon Cheerios, Dulce de Leche Cheerios, Berry Burst Cheerios, Yogurt Burst Cheerios, Banana Nut Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios Medley Crunch. Cheerios also has a publishing division that includes the popular Cheerios Play Books and other activity books. For more information, go to www.cheerios.com.
About General Mills
General Mills is one of the world's leading food companies, operating in more than 100 countries around the world. Its brands include Cheerios, Fiber One, Haagen-Dazs, Nature Valley, Yoplait, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Green Giant, Old El Paso, Wanchai Ferry, Yoki, and more. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn., USA, General Mills had fiscal 2013 worldwide sales of US $17.8 billion. Visit www.generalmills.com.
About Richard Childress Racing:
Richard Childress Racing (www.rcrracing.com) has earned more than 200 victories and 15 championships, including six in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with the legendary Dale Earnhardt. RCR was the first organization to win championships in the Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Its 2014 Sprint Cup Series lineup includes two-time NASCAR champion Austin Dillon (No. 3 Dow/Cheerios Chevrolet), 2011 Brickyard 400 champion Paul Menard (No. 27 Menards Chevrolet) and 2008 Daytona 500 champion Ryan Newman (No. 31 Caterpillar/Quicken Loans/Wix Filters Chevrolet). Its Nationwide Series program includes Brian Scott (No. 2 Shore Lodge Chevrolet), 2012 Camping World Truck Series rookie of the year Ty Dillon (No. 3 Bass Pro Shops/WESCO/Yuengling Light Lager Chevrolet), Brendan Gaughan (No. 62 South Point Hotel and Casino Chevrolet) and a multi-driver lineup with the No. 33 Menards Chevrolet team.
SOURCE General Mills Inc.