Brown-Forman is to end its Jack Daniel's NASCAR sponsorship of Richard Childress Racing's No. 07 team.

A change in Brown-Forman's spending priorities led to the decision to conclude the sponsorship that began in 2005, the company said yesterday (21 September). The partnership will, however, continue for the remainder of the 2009 racing season.

"Jack Daniel's has enjoyed a good five-year run with Richard Childress Racing (RCR) and NASCAR, and we are pleased with the overall performance of our sponsorship programme," said Tim Rutledge, vice president and brand director for Jack Daniel's. "While it is difficult for us to end our formal relationship with RCR, the current economic environment has compelled us to re-evaluate our spending and we've concluded that other areas in the marketing mix require additional investment."

Brown-Forman, Jack Daniel's, and RCR communicated a responsible drinking message throughout its NASCAR sponsorship, with the message: 'Pace Yourself, Drink Responsibly", featured in all NASCAR promotional materials, including on the race car itself.

"Being flexible with our strategic investments has been a consistent theme for us at Brown-Forman and I support the decision to move from sponsoring NASCAR to investments in other areas," said Paul Varga, CEO of Brown-Forman. "Richard Childress has been a great partner and this decision simply reflects a change in our investment mix, and not any dissatisfaction with RCR or NASCAR."

Earlier this month Brown-Forman posted a strong rise in profits for its first fiscal quarter, despite a slip in sales for the period.