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Published July 7, 2014
SEMINOLE WIND: In Jacksonville, Garry Smits wrote Brian Vickers is the "new favorite driver of Florida State football fans -- even those who had a long allegiance to other Sprint Cup stars," as his No. 55 featured a FSU paint scheme for yesterday's Coke Zero 400. The car was a "popular stop" for FSU fans. Michael Waltrip Racing "tried to work out an appearance by FSU coach Jimbo Fisher with the car and the crew but Fisher was unable to make it." Defensive coordinator Charles Kelly was "able to be at the track before the race." Vickers also "wore an FSU-themed driver’s suit and members of his crew had FSU hats with Vickers’ No. 55 on them" (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 7/6).
MARKET WATCH: NASCAR VP/Licensing & Consumer Products Blake Davidson said of drivers' influence in online market sales, "A driver’s on-track performance has a significant impact on merchandise sales, especially if that driver is winning. New or special paint schemes will often drive fan interest and therefore spike sales. When Hendrick Motorsports, through a partnership with DC Comics, featured Superman on the hood of Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s No. 88 Chevrolet earlier this season, there was immediate demand for the merchandise. Fans were already buying the die-cast replica of Brian Vickers’ Florida State car before the paint scheme’s debut" (NEWS-JOURNALONLINE.com, 7/6).