SBJ/Feb. 7-13, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Dale Jr. hands off online sales to

In a move NASCAR licensing officials hope sparks a consolidation in motorsports e-commerce, JR Motorsports has signed a multiyear partnership that will turn over management of day-to-day operations for its online shop to

Earnhardt Jr. reportedly accounts for as much as a third of all NASCAR merchandise sales.
The deal turns over management of online merchandise sales for Dale Earnhardt Jr.; Danica Patrick; and JR Nation, Earnhardt’s fan club, to Turner Sports, which owns NASCAR’s digital rights, and its e-commerce partner GSI. Turner and GSI run’s superstore and the online sales efforts of Michael Waltrip Racing, Roush Fenway Racing and Richard Petty Motorsports. Earnhardt reportedly accounts for as much as a third of all NASCAR merchandise sales.

GSI will handle ordering, billing, fulfillment and product tracking for JR Motorsports. Visitors to JR Motorsports, JR Nation, Dale Jr. and NASCAR websites all will be funneled to the same online store featuring the same merchandise.

JR Motorsports’ decision to shift its e-commerce business to GSI comes as NASCAR begins its first season with the new NASCAR Teams Licensing Trust, a centralized operation that negotiates with merchandise companies on behalf of all NASCAR teams. Previously, teams negotiated individually with merchandise companies.

Though the trust is representing teams in licensing negotiations, most teams still manage their own e-commerce business. JR Motorsports, Turner and GSI executives hope their new agreement acts as a catalyst to spur other teams to turn over e-commerce operations to By doing so, they believe teams could direct more visitors into online stores through promotions on and direct e-mails to NASCAR fans. They also believe GSI and teams would enjoy more buying power with licensees, which would improve sales margins.

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