Eli Lilly Partners with NASCAR to Increase Diabetes Awareness

Lilly Diabetes expands sponsorship of driver with diabetes.

Eli Lilly and Company has announced a multi-year official partnership with NASCAR, making Lily Diabetes the “Official Diabetes Health Partner of NASCAR,” according to a press release.

The novel partnership builds on Lilly Diabetes’ primary sponsorship of the No. 16 Mustang, which is driven by Ryan Reed from Roush Fenway Racing. Reed, who started racing early in his childhood, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2011, and told he could no longer race.

Reed improved his diet, implemented an exercise routine, and uses devices that provide on-track data to his medical team, Lilly reported. He even recently won the NASCAR XFINITY Series race for the second time, showing how he overcame his diagnosis and improved his health.

Lilly Diabetes will collaborate with NASCAR on health and wellness initiatives, including a series on NASCAR.com, according to the press release.

"As a leader in diabetes care for more than 90 years, we understand the daily challenges that millions of Americans face managing this disease," said Mike Mason, vice president, US, Lilly Diabetes. "Our partnership with NASCAR, along with our continued relationship with Ryan, emphasizes the critical role of ongoing discussions with your doctor about how to best manage the disease."

As the Official Diabetes Health Partner of NASCAR, Lilly Diabetes will implement educational initiatives to increase diabetes knowledge among NASCAR fans. Lilly urges fans to actively manage diabetes by consulting with their physician and make lifestyle changes, such as exercising and healthy eating, according to the release.

More than 30 million Americans have diabetes, and if the trend continues, 1 in 3 adults will be diagnosed with the condition by 2050, which makes the new partnership important, Lilly reported.

"The goal of Lilly Diabetes - driving awareness and education - is critical to NASCAR as many of our fans are affected by the disease," said Lou Garate, NASCAR vice president of partnership marketing. "The rate of Americans developing diabetes continues to rise, and we hope this partnership can help make a positive change in people's lives."

Lilly Diabetes first sponsored Reed in 2013’s NASCAR XFINITY Series. Through his sponsorship with Lilly Diabetes, Reed raises diabetes awareness and encourages NASCAR fans to better manage their disease.

Diabetes is a chronic, lifelong disease that requires rigorous management, and is different for each patient. Through the new partnership, Lilly Diabetes plans to show fans how small changes in lifestyle can improve diabetes management in life and on the track, as seen through Reed, according to the press release.

"Our program with Lilly Diabetes is one that touches my life in a significant way, being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 17," Reed said in the press release. "I have seen the positive effect our partnership with Lilly Diabetes has had on those impacted by this disease, and I can't wait to see what NASCAR and Lilly can accomplish together."