$95 Million Deal Involving Ross Chastain’s $110 Billion Sponsor Lands Him in Unlikely Partnership With Bill Gates

Published 09/09/2023, 10:55 AM EDT

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With just eight races to go, Kevin Harvick is hanging up his racing gloves, marking one of the more somber moments for NASCAR fans in 2023. The only news that might rival this in disappointment was Chase Elliott‘s failure to punch his ticket to the playoffs. Yet, not everyone in the NASCAR circle might view Harvick’s retirement as gloomy.

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Having been in partnership with Anheuser-Busch since 2011, Harvick’s exit paved the way for Ross Chastain to bag a golden sponsorship deal. However, that was yesterday’s headline. The fresher buzz in town is Chastain’s budding alliance with none other than Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. Now, that begs the question: How did this unexpected pairing come about?

How did Ross Chastain end up joining forces with Bill Gates?

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The 2024 NASCAR season will see Ross Chastain cruising with Anheuser-Busch as his main sponsor. But having heavy hitters on your sponsorship roster does more than just decorate a car—it adds gravitas to a driver’s brand.

And this was evident looking at the statement Chastain put out after the new sponsor news broke. He wrote, “On the farm in Alva, Florida, Busch Light has always been the beer of choice for all of our celebrations, and now that they are right by my side as my sponsor – it’s a dream come true.”

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“This sponsorship means so much to me as the brand not only supports NASCAR, but also places value and extends their support to communities that are close to my heart — the humble, hard-working people across the U.S. who enjoy cracking a cold one after an honest day’s work.” But how does the billionaire Bill Gates factor into all of this?

The word on the street is that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Trust has taken a slice of the pie by acquiring shares in Anheuser-Busch. The news came to light via an Instagram post by Pubity that read, “The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Trust has shown confidence in Anheuser-Busch, the parent company of Bud Light, amid a challenging year.”

“In the last quarter, the foundation trust acquired 1.7 million shares of Anheuser-Busch, valued at approximately $95 million, as indicated by a regulatory filing.”

The strategic move was timed when Anheuser-Busch faced headwinds, particularly due to a dip in sales for one of its flagship beer brands. The turbulence was linked to the company’s collaboration with transgender actress and activist Dylan Mulvaney on April 1, which also ruffled a few feathers.

 

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On the NASCAR circuit, this new connection with Bill Gates and Anheuser-Busch, which boasts a net worth north of $111 billion, might turn up the heat for the Trackhouse Racing driver. Expectations will undoubtedly rise, and the stakes will be high. Still, Chastain isn’t breaking a sweat. He seemed to be riding high on confidence, owing to the fact that Kansas ranks as his best track.

Watch This Story: 7 worst wrecks involving Ross Chastain that proved detrimental to his rivals

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Ross Chastain warned fellow drivers ahead of the Kansas Speedway weekend

With a proven track record that only got better, Ross Chastain’s journey on the Kansas Speedway has been nothing short of spectacular. After consistently raising the bar since May 2022 with finishes like P7 and a remarkable P5, Chastain undoubtedly got his sights set on the gold—that coveted P1 spot ahead of the race.

As the engines revved up for the second playoff stop, there was a certain fire in Chastain’s words. More than just words, Chastain’s bold declaration also served as a clear challenge to his competitors. He succinctly put it, “So that’s ultimately what we’re going to go do is go race… We want to win, so we’ll make those decisions when we get there.”

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Sadly, Chastain could only finish in P13, starting the race from P6. Did you expect more from the Melon Man?

Ross Chastain Sends Out an 8-Word Comment Concerning NASCAR Grid

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Written by:

Neha Dwivedi

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Neha Dwivedi is a NASCAR Writer for EssentiallySports. Her ability to capture the spirit of the exhilarating races and relay the enthusiasm to her readers distinguishes her as a sports journalist. Neha's articles strike a nice balance between technical accuracy and story-telling.
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Edited by:

Shivali Nathta

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