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WHAT THE DALE IS GOING ON! BIG BUCKS FROM EARNHARDT'S WIN?
Published February 24, 1998
The marketing of Dale Earnhardt after his Daytona 500 win was examined by Gerald Martin of the Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER. Earnhardt's company now has 109 Earnhardt registered trademarks in 19 countries and the U.S. Dale Earnhardt Inc. President Don Hawk said Earnhardt's deals are moving into the "millions": "That's where we're headed, and the question is whether it goes from single-digit millions to doubles, and how far beyond that." Sporting Goods Business Editor Andy Bernstein said, however, that Earnhardt probably left "millions of dollars on the table" following his Daytona 500 victory. Bernstein: "The hot-market business (the day or two after the event), is gone. ... That's where NASCAR has struggled." Hawk said that no merchandise was ready following Earnhardt's Daytona win because "he's superstitious, and he doesn't want anything done in advance" (Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER, 2/22). In Charlotte, Clifford Glickman reported that Hawk had 30-40 offers for Earnhardt the day he won at Daytona, including a Burger King commemorative cup and possible commercial, and "some ideas" from Coca-Cola (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 2/23). LICENSE TO DRIVE: Martin also reported that NASCAR is in the process of streamlining its licensing, and although it does not coordinate or have control of the marketing or licensing of its teams, "it is working closer with them to make what's good for one ... good for all." Team marketing execs are working with NASCAR, especially to wipe out counterfeits. NASCAR VP Brian France: "Our look at licensing is a lot different than how we looked at it a few years ago. We really weren't complementing our core business." France added that because of fragmentation, NASCAR is still "way short of where we need to be" (NEWS & OBSERVER, 2/22).