Dale Jr. Talks About Success Of His Production Company Hammerhead Entertainment
NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. uses his Hammerhead Entertainment outlet to “retain creative control over his projects,” according to Lee Spencer of FOXSPORTS.com, who wrote under the header, “Junior Expands Brand Beyond Racing.” Earnhardt created the production company in ’04, and he said, “We did enough commercials, just on my own, that we could justify creating a production company, as long as we had a certain volume of commercials we shot every year. ... We felt like we could keep that going (and) if we were fortunate or lucky enough, we’d start getting other work. And we’ve been able to do that.” Spencer noted Hammerhead Entertainment began on Earnhardt's farm 40 miles north of Charlotte with the show “Back in the Day” for Speed and “Unrestricted with Dale Jr.” for XM Radio. JR Motorsports Dir of Entertainment J.R. Rhodes said, “We did that for three years and produced over 120 shows. As we began to expand our business plan, we realized we had to relocate to provide our services to other clients other than Dale Jr.-related.” Hammerhead worked “closely with the Columbus, Ohio-based Engauge marketing agency and fellow production company No Smoke on the recent series of Nationwide commercials.” But the company’s portfolio “has stretched to include Fortune 500 companies, the NASCAR Hall of Fame, fellow competitors and their sponsors, as well other sports.” Earnhardt said, “We did some work with the Pro Bull Riders Association. The IRL used us once for one of their commercials; Kasey Kahne’s group. We shoot all kinds of drivers over there now. Denny (Hamlin) and all of them guys are over there shooting their stuff for the start of the year, so it’s working out.” Spencer noted Hammerhead “recently bested NASCAR to produce videos for displays at the NASCAR Hall of Fame, a coup that Earnhardt described as ‘great.’” Earnhardt: "There’s a little competition there, and I’m enjoying that part. I’m enjoying trying to become more successful as far as our production company goes” (FOXSPORTS.com, 7/19).
STILL DRAWING ATTENTION: NASCAR Chair & CEO Brian France recently sat down with ESPN’s Marty Smith for a midseason report, and Smith asked what impact Earnhardt’s on-track success, "him being relevant on the racetrack, have for NASCAR racing?” Earnhardt currently sits second in the Sprint Cup points standings, and France said, “With a lot of media outlets that may or may not cover us all the time, he's an attention-grabber. If you see what was covered when he won a couple weeks ago, it was very impressive and obviously, he has the biggest fan base. He's a terrific guy, so it's nice to see him get not only a win, but also to be really competitive week in, week out" ("NASCAR Now," ESPN2, 7/19).