Sports Lawyers: Stoke Caldwell
Blending carburetors and counsel happened by accident. In 1992, a client named Ken Barbee wanted to buy a racing souvenir company from team owner Rick Hendrick. Caldwell worked on the purchase and, later, helped Barbee land new contracts for licensing rights so the company could keep making T-shirts and hats featuring drivers. The business evolved into the merchandising company Motorsports Authentics.
In addition to drivers, Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson works for owners and broadcasters (Richard Petty, Ray Evernham, Krista Voda), teams (Wood Brothers, JR Motorsports) and sponsors (Bank of America, Wurth). The firm also has extensive relationships with the NCAA and Southeastern Conference.
“I think that the NASCAR practice as far as things like sponsorship agreements and licensing is probably the most complicated sports angle of it,” Caldwell said. “When you look at the stick-and-ball sports, they all have licensing entities where all the assets are combined. That’s not the way it works in NASCAR. You have to aggregate them at the team level, you have to get one from NASCAR. It has provided some crossover opportunities — they’re very transferable skills.”