Docupak always ready, always there for National Guard

Published 2:05 pm Wednesday, April 21, 2010

As the Aaron’s 499 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway approaches, Docupak in Alabaster is bustling in preparation for the big weekend.

No one in the document and packaging brokerage business will drive a racecar or change a tire during the race, but the company plays a huge role in the promotion of one race team: the No. 88 National Guard/Amp Energy Chevrolet driven by Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Docupak serves as a contractor for the National Guard, doing anything from printing promotional items and mailing flyers to packing and shipping Earnhardt Jr. National Guard merchandise and memorabilia.

Prior to their relationship with Earnhardt Jr., the National Guard sponsored drivers such as Casey Mears and Greg Biffle.

“Those were great guys and great years, but with Dale Earnhardt Jr., you started seeing National Guard stuff everywhere,” said Docupak Mobile Event Team Project Manager Bobby Hatcher.

Hatcher said the popularity of Earnhardt Jr. has pushed what Docupak and the National Guard does to another level.

“It’s raised the viability of the National Guard tremendously,” Hatcher said of Earnhardt Jr. “It’s been a game changer.”

Earnhardt Jr., who will drive with National Guard as his sponsor during the Talladega race, is currently seventh in points, despite falling on hard times in recent years.

But whether he wins or loses, Earnhardt Jr. is still undeniably the most popular driver on the circuit, especially in the state of Alabama.

“Whether he has a positive or negative performance in the race, it doesn’t matter because people still love him,” Hatcher said. “Dale has a military background, and people can relate to that. He has really taken the National Guard brand to the next level.”

Docupak ships and packs all sorts of Earnhardt Jr. merchandise, including hats, T-shirts, key chains, toboggans and more.

The company also has drivers take show car replicas of Earnhardt Jr.’s No. 88 Chevy to tracks all across the nation.

In addition to the National Guard’s relationship with Earnhardt Jr., the Guard also sponsors and does promotions with the WWE, FLW Outdoors and Indy driver Dan Wheldon.

Orange County Choppers even built a National Guard motorcycle that is on display at Docupak’s offices.

The chopper was featured on two episodes of the hit show.

Because of the array of National Guard merchandise, there is even a Guard Mission Zone website where members of the Guard can spend points they have accumulated on merchandise ranging from T-shirts and hats to jackets and NASCAR tickets.

Hatcher said the Mission Zone website and exposure from Earnhardt Jr. just furthers the real mission of the National Guard.

“They allow our recruiters to use these various displays and merchandise to give the National Guard more visibility and leads on potential recruits,” Hatcher said.