Move Over Horsepower, Make Way for Cowpower

Green Earth Technologies has signed a two-year deal for its eco-friendly G-OIL brand, which is now the official motor oil of the American Le Mans Series and the International Motor Sports Association.

Beef tallow and other animal waste byproducts are used to create the petroleum-free oil, which is biodegradable and doesn’t tap natural resources at a time when Americans are being encouraged to be less reliant on foreign oil. Then again, who wants to be the first to experiment with pouring animal waste under the hood of their $60,000 Lexus?

“What’s going to convince people this is gonna work?” asked John Eckel, president and CEO of entertainment and sports marketing agency Alliance, New York, who put the deal together. (Alliance is a division of ad agency Grey, whose parent is WPP.) “You could spend a kajillion on TV advertising, but we decided to put it directly in the race cars to show them how it performs.” The initiative will target the motorsports community and do-it-yourselfers.

The Le Mans series is just the first step for Green Earth Technologies, which plans to invade the entire motor sports space with its green performance and cleaning products. The deal includes a visual presence at racing events, in stores where it’s sold (such as Home Depot, National Auto, Fred Meyer, Kroger, Albertson’s and Amazon) and all Le Mans communications. The official series safety trucks will run on G-OIL and will feature its logo. Races will feature on-site displays and G-OIL change demos, and a retail promo–most likely with Home Depot–is in the works. The brand plans to sponsor teams and individual drivers.

Conversely, Green Earth will feature the American Le Mans Series and IMSA logos on its collateral, including packaging, Web site, promo and publicity materials. The brand is expected to advertise the relationship with commercials during televised races. Le Mans has a reputation for green racing. A Michelin Green Challenge competition within every race in the 2009 series pits cars that run on alt-fuels–such as clean sulfur-free diesel, cellulosic E85, E10 or gas-electric hybrid–against each other.