Best Selling Diecast of 2014: It's official. Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s Daytona 500 Race Win die-cast isn't just the best-selling car of 2014; it's also the best-selling die-cast in the history of Lionel Racing. Lionel Racing - The Official Die-Cast of NASCAR - unveiled its annual top 10 list today and, as projected, Earnhardt's Daytona win car ruled them all. "When the NASCAR season kicks off with Dale Jr. winning the Daytona 500, it's a safe bet that die-cast sales across the board will skyrocket," said Howard Hitchcock, President of Lionel Racing. "His win really set the tone for our year overall - we have had a very good season." Earnhardt's on-track success this season resulted in the driver also clinching spots two, three, five, six, and 10 - a feat largely driven by his wins at Pocono Raceway and the popular National Guard/Superman special paint scheme. While Earnhardt dominated, other drivers did make some noise. The return of the iconic #3 Chevy to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series helped propel Austin Dillon's Dow Automotive Chevrolet SS to the fourth spot. "The story of the #3 car's return to Cup competition really resonated with both long-time and new NASCAR fans," said Hitchcock. "It's great to see a rising star like Dillon make our top 10 list." Reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Kevin Harvick also made the list, with his #4 Budweiser Chevrolet ranking eighth among the company's best sellers:
Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 National Guard/Daytona 500 Win Chevy
Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 National Guard Chevy
Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 National Guard Hall of Heroes/Superman Chevy
Austin Dillon #3 Dow Automotive Chevy
Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 National Guard/Pocono Win Chevy
Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 Michael Baker/Pocono Win Chevy
Jeff Gordon #24 AARP/Drive to End Hunger Chevy
Kevin Harvick #4 Budweiser Chevy
Tony Stewart #14 Bass Pro Shops Chevy
Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 Diet Mountain Dew Chevy
In addition to the top 10 cars of the year, Lionel Racing also announced the best-selling drivers of 2014. While Earnhardt topped the driver list, three of NASCAR's newest stars also made the cut:
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
"It's exciting to see the rising stars of the sport make such an impact on the core fan," Hitchcock said. "Austin, Chase and Kyle Larson beat out some heavy hitters when it comes to merchandise sales, and that only bodes well for the future of NASCAR."(Lionel Racing)(12-12-2014)
NASCAR considers changes to its souvenir business: On Thursday, just as NASCAR teams were arriving at RIR for tonight’s race that will complete the field for the series’ championship-deciding Chase for the Sprint Cup, business executives were meeting at NASCAR headquarters in Daytona Beach, Fla., to hash out the future of the sport’s at-the-track souvenir business. Sales of T-shirts, caps, jackets, miniature die-cast cars and other racing souvenirs — once a robust revenue stream for NASCAR, its tracks and teams — have lagged as NASCAR race attendance has diminished and fans have grown more reluctant to spend. As a result, stock car racing’s leaders are contemplating changes to the on-site merchandising of apparel and other souvenirs. “We are working with the industry through a robust process,” Blake Davidson, NASCAR’s vice president of licensing and consumer products, said Friday. He declined to provide details but said “we are pleased with the progress we have made in identifying next steps.”
For decades, strolling “Souvenir Row” has been part of a race fan’s day at the track. Week after week more than 20 haulers line up end-to-end outside the track, forming a gantlet of retail outlets. Each trailer is rigged to open as a sales counter where fans can buy goods emblazoned with images of a driver, his car and his sponsors. After two decades of growth, the souvenir business cooled sharply in an era of recession and a belabored recovery. In June, Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal reported that sales dropped from more than $2 billion in 2008 to $1 billion in 2010. Insiders say the decline has continued.
In 2009, Motorsports Authentics, NASCAR’s official trackside vendor, had to renegotiate its licensing agreements with race teams to avoid bankruptcy, according to a filing that year with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company — a subsidiary of International Speedway Corp., which owns a dozen major speedways including RIR and Daytona International Speedway — dodged bankruptcy by transforming itself into a trimmed-down business, shedding more than half its 400 employees by 2010. But even for a streamlined operation, having more than 20 trucks logging tens of thousands of miles to keep up with NASCAR’s 36-race, coast-to-coast schedule is a costly endeavor. This year, NASCAR and Motorsports Authentics are looking for a change to the merchandising model. The revenue split is expected to say the same — 15% to the tracks, 10% to NASCAR teams and drivers, the rest to Motorsports Authentics. But officials have talked about switching from trucks to tents, possibly a compound of circus-scale tents shared by race-team merchandisers.
Earlier this year, NASCAR invited interested parties to submit proposals for a new approach to souvenir sales. NASCAR President Mike Helton said the number of responses was “in the teens, if not 20.” If all goes according to NASCAR’s plan, the new model will be ready to implement by the middle of next season.(in part from the Richmond Times Dispatch)(9-6-2014)
NASCAR evaluating souvenir row: NASCAR fans call it souvenir row, and for the last three decades, they have gone there to browse for hats and T-shirts at enormous truck rigs carrying their favorite driver's merchandise. But that tradition may become a thing of the past. NASCAR is in the early phases of re-evaluating its trackside merchandise program, and it is looking to make a change. The company two weeks ago sent a request for proposal to a dozen companies asking them to submit plans for how the sport could change the way it sells merchandise at races.At a minimum, NASCAR is considering reducing the number of truck rigs along souvenir row, and possibly eliminating them altogether, in order to replace them with a more traditional retail concept like the tented stores set up at the entrance to PGA Tour events. NASCAR teams and tracks have offered their support for exploring a change. The evaluation process follows years of declining merchandise sales in NASCAR. Sales reportedly fell from more than $2 billion in 2008 to $1 billion in 2010. Motorsports Authentics, the motorsports licensing company that was jointly owned by International Speedway Corp. and Speedway Motorsports Inc., nearly filed for bankruptcy, and SMI this year abandoned its stake in the business in order to realize tax benefits that outweighed owning it. Motorsports Authentics had been responsible for covering the cost of transporting 20-plus truck rigs to each of NASCAR's 36 Sprint Cup races. The cost of having those trucks crisscross the country became inefficient as merchandise revenue shriveled and attendance decreased at races nationwide.(Sports Business Daily)(7-4-2014)
Lionel's Hitchcock inaugural "Jostens' Motorsports Choice Award": At the 2014 Diecast Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony today at the Plaza Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Lionel Racing SVP and General Manager Howard Hitchcock was awarded the inaugural "Jostens' Motorsports Choice Award". The Diecast Hall of Fame and Jostens Motorsports division announced the new induction category and named Hitchcock as its first recipient in January. With more than 15 years of experience in the die-cast industry, Hitchcock is a celebrity among die-cast collectors and is known by the nickname "Dr. Die-cast," which was a radio persona he created for the popular Sirius Satellite Radio show "NASCAR Collector". He is also a familiar face to QVC watchers as he was a recurring guest on the NASCAR die-cast show "For Race Fans Only".(Lionel Racing)(2-23-2014)
Lionel Racing’s Howard Hitchcock & Jeff Gordon to be honored: On January 27, the Diecast Hall of Fame and Jostens Motorsports division announced the creation of an all new induction category called the “Jostens’ Motorsports Choice Award” to be launched at the 2014 induction ceremony. Lionel Racing’s Senior Vice President and General Manager Howard Hitchcock will be the first inductee to receive the award. Hitchcock is recognized throughout the diecast community, and has more than 15 years of experience in the industry. Many collectors know him as “Dr. Diecast,” which was a radio persona he created for the popular Sirius Satellite Radio show “NASCAR Collector.” “I’m deeply honored to have been selected as the inaugural recipient of the Jostens Motorsports Choice Award,” Hitchcock said. “It is truly an honor to be in the presence of some of the greatest people who have had such a dramatic impact on the industry we operate in every day.” Fans and collectors can attend the 2014 Diecast Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on February 21, at the Plaza Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, NV.(Lionel Racing Pit Box), #24-Jeff Gordon will recieve the Lifetime Achievement award.(2-9-2014)
NASCAR '14 Is Coming to Xbox 360, PlayStation3 system and PC on February 18: Deep Silver announced that the racing game NASCAR '14, developed by Eutechnyx, will launch in North America on February 18, 2014 on the Xbox 360 games and entertainment system from Microsoft, the PlayStation3 computer entertainment system and PC for the suggested retail price of $49.99. Pre-order offers at Walmart, Gamestop, Best Buy, Target and Amazon may include diecast cars, exclusive paint schemes and more. Fueled by high-octane intensity and the opportunity to relive the best NASCAR moments from both the 2013 season packed into the game plus regular downloadable content updates as the upcoming season progresses, NASCAR '14 offers fans the most complete NASCAR experience yet. Recently NASCAR revealed that more than 700,000 votes were cast worldwide in the "Drive for the Cover" contest as fans voted Tony Stewart, the three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion to appear onto the cover of NASCAR '14. The injury that kept Stewart off the track didn't stop fans of the driver of the #14 Bass Pro Shops / Mobil 1 Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing from beating another fan favorite, four-time champion Jeff Gordon. Stewart plans to return to the track for the Daytona 500 race in February, the same month NASCAR '14 hits store shelves.(Eutechnyx)(1-13-2014)
Lionel NASCAR Collectables Top 10 diecast of 2012: When it comes to die-cast sales in 2012, Dale Earnhardt Jr. is king per a top 10 list released by Lionel NASCAR Collectables, The Official Die-Cast of NASCAR. Earnhardt's #88 Diet Mountain Dew Chevy was the best-selling 1:24 scale die-cast of the year. In addition to the top spot, Earnhardt also claimed spots two and four. Danica Patrick's #10 GoDaddy.com Chevy die-cast was also a hit in 2012, ending the year at third place on the list. For the second year in a row, a NASCAR Classics die-cast also made the cut. Released in April, Dale Earnhardt's #3 Goodwrench Chevyt Monte Carlo, which he wheeled in 1989, took the eighth spot. The Top 10 Die-Cast Cars of 2012 are:
1. Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 Diet Mountain Dew Chevy
2. Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 Diet Mountain Dew/"The Dark Knight Rises" Chevy - Michigan win car
3. Danica Patrick #10 GoDaddy.com Chevy
4. Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 Diet Mountain Dew/"The Dark Knight Rises" Chevy - standard car
5. Jeff Gordon #24 DuPont Chevy
6. Kasey Kahne #5 Farmers Insurance Chevy
7. Jeff Gordon #24 AARP/Drive to End Hunger Chevy
8. Dale Earnhardt #3 Goodwrench Chevy Monte Carlo
9. Kevin Harvick #29 Budweiser Chevy
10. Brad Keselowski #2 Miller Lite/NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Dodge
(Lionel NASCAR Collectibles), see images of the cars on the Paint scheme gallery pages.(12-21-2012)
NASCAR The Game: Inside Line video game now available: America's number one motorsport video game is back and better than ever as Activision Publishing announced that NASCAR The Game: Inside Line is available now at retail outlets nationwide on the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, the PlayStation3 computer entertainment system and the Wii system from Nintendo. Created by leading independent game developer Eutechnyx, NASCAR The Game: Inside Line delivers the most authentic, fast-paced racing experience yet, putting players behind the wheel of the world's most powerful stock cars, and comes fuelled with more content than ever before. For the first time ever, using telemetry data from the past two seasons, players will have the chance to relive and rewrite historic NASCAR moments in over a dozen different scenarios. Fans can also purchase the NASCAR The Game Inside Line Pack, which will offer new downloadable content and challenges throughout the 2013 season. For more information on NASCAR The Game: Inside Line, visit NASCARTheGame.com.(Market Watch)(11-6-2012)
Action Racing Collectables names top 10 diecast this year: This year, Action Racing Collectables (ARC), the popular die-cast brand owned by Lionel NASCAR Collectables, celebrates its 20th year of producing NASCAR die-cast cars. In July of 1992, Action began marketing its first die-cast product. Since then, the brand has become part and parcel of the racing world. To celebrate the 20-year milestone of Action Racing Collectables (ARC), Lionel NASCAR Collectables is releasing an ARC 20th Anniversary Commemorative die-cast. This 1:24 scale special edition die-cast is deco'd with the 20th Year logo and marks. To that end, Lionel NASCAR Collectables is releasing its ARC Mid-Year Top 10 - the best-selling 1:24 scale ARC paint schemes from the end of the 2011 season through July 10, 2012. The list includes all variations of each paint scheme - including Raced Win finishes. Unlike Lionel NASCAR Collectable's year-end top 10 list, this list is comprised of Action Racing Collectables-branded die-cast only. The top 10:
1. Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 Diet Mountain Dew/"The Dark Knight Rises" Chevrolet Impala
2. Dale Earnhardt Sr. 1989 #3 Goodwrench Chevrolet Monte Carlo
3. Tony Stewart #14 Office Depot 2011 Championship Chevrolet Impala
4. Dale Earnhardt Sr. 1989 #3 Goodwrench Chevrolet Lumina
5. Matt Kenseth #17 Best Buy Ford Fusion
6. Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 AMP Energy Chevrolet Impala
7. Richard Petty 1986 #6 STP Chevrolet Monte Carlo
8. Mark Martin #55 Aaron's Toyota Camry
9. Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 National Guard/NASCAR Unites Chevrolet Impala
10. Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 AMP Energy/7-Eleven Chevrolet Impala
All the paint schemes which made the top 10 and also the ARC 20th Anniversary die-cast design are available on the Action Racing Collectables 20th Anniversary Pinterest Board.(Lionel PR)(8-1-2012)
NASCAR Licensing Launches New ‘NASCAR Classics’ Line: NASCAR announced the creation of NASCAR Classics, a new brand identity within the licensing division. From the renegades who blazed the trail on country roads and the hard-packed beaches of Daytona, to the asphalt legends of later decades, NASCAR Classics represents the era that NASCAR established itself as the best racing in the world. NASCAR Classics is a brand that embodies the roots and heritage of NASCAR through high-end t-shirts, hats and original die casts. NASCAR Classics apparel is available for purchase at the NASCAR.com Superstore and Americrown haulers during all NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race weekends. However, the NASCAR Classics die casts are only available at the NASCAR.com Superstore. NASCAR Classics will expand to other retail locations later in the year.(NASCAR)(7-15-2012)
Dale Jr. vs Stewart & Gordon vs. Kahne in Semifinals of the “Drive for the Cover”: Tony Stewart had stiff competition in Round 3 of the Drive for the Cover campaign with Denny Hamlin, but his toughest test comes this week as he faces perennial fan favorite Dale Earnhardt Jr. The first three rounds saw several upsets and unexpected matchups, and Round 4 features four of the biggest names in NASCAR. In Round 3, Earnhardt Jr. defeated his JR Motorsports teammate (and employee) Danica Patrick to face Stewart in the next round. Kasey Kahne squeezed by Mark Martin to face Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon, who got by Ryan Newman in Round 3. Below are the head-to-head matchups for the semifinals:
Dale Earnhardt Jr. vs. Tony Stewart
Jeff Gordon vs. Kasey Kahne
NASCAR fans can vote in the bracketed tournament that is hosted entirely on NASCAR The Game’s Facebook page, which can be easily accessed at NASCARTheGame.com/Vote.(NASCAR)(6-26-2012)
Danica to be playable character in Sega Racing Game: SEGA of America Inc. announced that Danica Patrick will be appearing alongside Sonic the Hedgehog in "Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed", the new racing game where players speed across land, air and water in fully transforming vehicles. Known for her talents behind the wheel, Danica will be a playable character with customized vehicles in "Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed". Gamers will get the chance to test their racing abilities as Danica against an All-Star cast of SEGA characters including Sonic, Knuckles, AiAi and others. To further enhance this partnership, Danica will be racing in a custom #7 Sonic the Hedgehog Chevy, fielded by JR Motorsports, during the O'Reilly Auto Parts Challenge Texas Motor Speedway. The race, part of NASCAR's Nationwide Series, marks Sonic the Hedgehog's NASCAR debut.(Sega)(6-6-2012)
Top 10 diecast of 2011: Jeff Gordon's #24 AARP/Drive to End Hunger Chevy and Kevin Harvick's #29 Budweiser Chevy were the best-selling 1:24 scale die-cast cars of 2011, according to a top 10 list released by Lionel NASCAR Collectables. However in a surprise showing, Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne clinched the third sport as his #21 Motorcraft Daytona 500 Win Ford made the cut. While Gordon's AARP Chevy was the best-selling die-cast car, Dale Earnhardt Jr. tops the list as the driver garnering the most die-cast sales in 2011. Earnhardt cars claimed spots four, seven and nine. Another Earnhardt also made the list of heavy hitters. Dale Earnhardt's #96 Cardinal Tractor Ford was introduced in July as the first release in the company's NASCAR Classics line - a series of historical die-cast which have never before been made. The result? Collectors loved the #96 car so much; it shot to the sixth spot on the list of 2011 best-sellers. The Top 10 Die-Cast Cars of 2011 are listed below.
1. Jeff Gordon #24 AARP/Drive to End Hunger Chevy
2. Kevin Harvick #29 Budweiser Chevy
3. Trevor Bayne #21 Motorcraft Daytona Win Ford
4. Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 Amp Energy Chevy
5. Tony Stewart #14 Mobil 1 Chevy
6. Dale Earnhardt #96 Cardinal Tractor Ford
7. Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 National Guard Heritage Chevy
8. Tony Stewart #14 Office Depot Chevy
9. Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 Dale Jr. Foundation/Vh1 Save the Music Chevy
10. Kevin Harvick #29 Budweiser Military Tribute Chevy
See images of many of the cars on the 2011 Sprint Cup paint scheme pages.(Lionel Collectibles)(12-13-2011)
Lionel NASCAR Collectables donates $125k: Friday at Richmond International Raceway, NASCAR drivers David Gilliland, Danica Patrick, Greg Biffle, Trevor Bayne and Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. joined Howard Hitchcock, Vice President of Lionel NASCAR Collectables (LNC), to present a $125 thousand check to Mary Siller Scullin, Vice Chairman of the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation and sister of fallen FDNY firefighter Stephen Siller. Scullin was joined by U.S. Army Specialist Brendan Marrocco and U.S.M.C. Corporal Todd Nicely. Marrocco and Nicely are the first two Americans to survive the loss of both arms and both legs in combat. The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation has earmarked this donation to be used for the construction of a customized “smart home” for Nicely. The construction of Marrocco’s smart home was finished in June.
The check is the first installment of the proceeds from LNC’s “Honoring Our Heroes” die-cast program. A total of eight drivers will run special “Honoring Our Heroes” cars at Richmond this weekend. Each car takes the track in honor of those who lost their lives in the attacks of September 11, 2001 and also our nation’s military heroes. This donation also includes proceeds from die-cast sales of John Force’s Castrol GTX High Mileage/Honoring Our Heroes Ford Mustang Funny Car which will race at Charlotte’s zMAX Dragway on Sept. 16-18.
After the check presentation, Scullin presented a small piece of metal debris from the World Trade Center to each driver in attendance. Every piece is stamped with “W.T.C. 9/11 Never Forget” and the number “343” in honor of the 343 firefighters who died on Sept. 11, 2001. Each team’s crew has agreed to guard the metal in their pit box on race day.
Friday night, Danica Patrick, Carl Edwards, Trevor Bayne and Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. raced “Honoring Our Heroes” cars in the Nationwide Series race. #34-David Gilliland, #16-Greg Biffle, #14-Tony Stewart and #1-Jamie McMurray will race “Honoring Our Heroes” cars in Saturday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup series race.
[See images of the schemes on the #34 Team Schemes page, #14 Team Schemes page, #16 Team Schemes page and #1 Team Schemes page]. Following the events at Richmond and Charlotte, Lionel NASCAR Collectables will take part in the 2011 Tunnel to Towers Run on Sept. 25. Tunnel to Towers is an annual run in Manhattan hosted by the Foundation in which thousands of runners and walkers retrace the steps of Stephen Siller, an FDNY firefighter who ran through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel to the World Trade Center towers on Sept. 11, 2001, carrying 75 pounds of gear on his back, to rescue his fellow New Yorkers. This year for the first time, Tunnel to Towers Runs will be held in cities nationwide as a way to mark the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001. Danica Patrick’s #7 GoDaddy.com/GetYour.Net Chevrolet and the #10 Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Show Car will be on display at the run. Lionel NASCAR Collectables is also the title sponsor of the Charlotte Tunnel to Towers run which will start at 7:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 10 on Hamilton Street in downtown Charlotte. A group of LNC staffers will run and be on hand to share information about the Honoring Our Heroes program. Patrick’s #7 GoDaddy.com/GetYour.Net Chevrolet will also be on display.(Lionel NASCAR Collectables)(9-10-2011)
NASCAR The Game 2011 now on Wii: NASCAR, Eutechnyx and Activision Publishing, Inc. announced the highly anticipated release of NASCAR The Game 2011 for the Wii System from Nintendo. Already available for the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and PlayStation3 computer entertainment system, NASCAR The Game 2011 offers the ultimate adrenaline rush with unsurpassed pack-racing game physics and 43 cars battling it out until the checkered flag drops. NASCAR The Game 2011 is available now on the Wii System from Nintendo for $49.99 MSRP and for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 for $59.99 MSRP. It is rated E for Everyone by the ESRB. For more info visit www.NASCARTheGame.com.(PR)(5-25-2011)
Lionel NASCAR Collectables launches Facebook Store: Lionel NASCAR Collectables (LNC), the Official Die-Cast of NASCAR, announced the launch of its new Facebook die-cast store. The store is part of the company’s multi-step web rollout aimed to make it easier and more efficient for collectors to acquire their favorite NASCAR die-cast. Beginning May 9, 2011, customers who like the LNC Facebook page will have immediate access to NASCAR die-cast products including in-stock die-cast and cars that are available for pre-order. On the new store site, collectors can browse product offerings or make a purchase without leaving the Facebook interface.
“Since we established a corporate Facebook presence in January, we’ve seen how much of an impact social media has on our business,” said Howard Hitchcock, Vice President LNC. “We’ve really enjoyed the one-on-one interaction with our Facebook collectors and our new Facebook store is just one more way we can reach those folks who are more Web-centric.”
The new Facebook store can be accessed by clicking the red “L” icon in the left-hand column of the LNC Facebook page. The full LNC web site and store will also still be available at www.nascardiecaststore.com and/or www.rccamembers.com. Follow Lionel NASCAR Collectables on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lionelnascar.(Lionel NASCAR Collectables)(5-9-2011)
NASCAR The Game 2011 released on Xbox, PS3: NASCAR racing is back in the hands of the fans with the release of NASCAR The Game 2011. Activision Publishing, Inc. and leading independent developer Eutechnyx announced the release of NASCAR The Game 2011 for the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and PlayStation3 computer entertainment system. NASCAR The Game 2011 captures the thrill and spectacle of NASCAR with a complete field of 43 cars and drivers, 23 authentic tracks, full damage modeling, realistic wrecks, pit stops and truly authentic details from pre-race flyovers to victory spinouts. A partnership with Sprint brings enhanced game replays, a special unlockable Sprint decal pack and even Miss Sprint Cup into the game. NASCAR The Game 2011 is available now on Xbox 360 and PlayStation3 system for $59.99 MSRP and on the Wii System from Nintendo later this Spring for $49.99 MSRP. It is rated E for Everyone by the ESRB. For more information visit www.NASCARTheGame.com.(NASCAR.com)(3-30-2011)
Lionel NASCAR Collectibles launches website: Lionel NASCAR Collectables, the official die-cast of NASCAR, announced the re-launch of www.rccamembers.com which can also be reached through www.lionelnascar.com. The launch is the first phase of a multi-step web rollout that will give die-cast collectors enhanced functionality and the opportunity to interact with Lionel NASCAR Collectables via the company's new social media presence. Customers can visit the newly designed site, browse through existing product, and pre-order 2011 die-cast cars. More products will be added in the coming weeks, with the new site becoming fully integrated by mid-March. Lionel NASCAR Collectables recently hired Michelle Fannin as social media manager. In her newly created role, Fannin will oversee the company's social media presence across a variety of channels - including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and the new corporate blog.(Lionel NASCAR)(1-30-2011)
NASCAR 2011: The Game, release delayed: Eutechnyx delays new racing sim from February to March 29 for more polish; will debut on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii. In late September, Activision confirmed it had entered a multiyear deal with Britain-based development studio Eutechnyx to publish multiple NASCAR video games. The first of the bunch, NASCAR 2011: The Game, was pegged for release in February, but that's no longer the case. The delay of game was announced via the game's official forums recently, and Eutechnyx's community manager explained why pushing the title back was a necessary move for the studio. "The main reason is we simply wanted more time to polish it and hopefully make it the experience you guys are craving," reads the statement. "It's never easy to delay a game as it can cause a lot of disappointment, but we genuinely feel that by doing this you guys will be even happier with the end product."(Gamespot)(1-17-2011)
NJ gets NASCAR License Plates: NASCAR fans in New Jersey can start their engines and display new license plates of their favorite drivers. The Motor Vehicle Commission unveiled 12 new plates at Wall Stadium racetrack in Wall Township on Wednesday [Oct 20th]. NASCAR license plates are available by mail for a one-time fee of $60. The plates can be personalized for an additional $50. In addition to the [NJ Native Martin] Truex Jr. plate, fans can choose plates representing: Dale Earnhardt Hall of Fame Commemorative, NASCAR Fan, Mark Martin, Kasey Kahne, Tony Stewart, Matt Kenseth, Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick, Ryan Newman, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr.(Atlantic City Press)(10-23-2010)
Activision and Eutechnyx announce NASCAR the Game 2011: Activision Publishing and leading independent developer Eutechnyx announced the February 2011 release of NASCAR The Game 2011 for Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation3 computer entertainment system, and Wii. With a fresh infusion of real world detail and blistering racing action, NASCAR The Game 2011 completely redefines what fans can expect from a NASCAR racing game.
NASCAR The Game 2011 has been built from the ground up to make a thoroughly new experience. The team started by speaking with the people who know NASCAR best - the fans - and took that insight to the teams, drivers and officials to completely embrace what makes NASCAR America's #1 motorsport.
Players can choose to play as themselves or as one of the sport's real-world drivers as they battle it out for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship. Each pro driver has the AI characteristics of his or her real world counterpart, setting the stage for intense rivalries played out on the track. Damage is meticulously detailed and multi-car wrecks are the most extreme ever experienced in an officially licensed racing game. From the 22 real world tracks to full pit stop strategy action, NASCAR The Game 2011 captures the real atmosphere, sense of speed and spectacle that embodies NASCAR. Players can even feel the thrill of a win with the interactive celebration mode.
The game also includes in-depth multiplayer modes which allow up to 16 players to battle it out for the win online. In both online and offline races, players earn NASCAR experience points which help unlock rewards such as decal packs or special car designs, as well as career sponsorships and special races throughout career mode. Everything you do on the track counts!
Tune in to NASCAR RaceDay on SPEED at 10:00am/et on Sunday October 3 for world premiere of the first official NASCAR The Game 2011 trailer. NASCAR The Game 2011 is slated for a February 2011 release. The game is not yet rated by the ESRB. For more information visit www.NASCARTheGame.com.(9-30-3010)
Activision developing new NASCAR video game? Last September, EA Sports president Peter Moore confirmed to GameSpot that Electronic Arts was letting its long-held NASCAR license lapse. Today, game-industry site Gamasutra cites "sources close to the situation" that EA's archrival, Activision, will publish the next installment in the series. The report was also backed up by a less reliable outlet--a post on the EA Sports forums. Poster N0Fear88, a two-year veteran of the site, claims another "inside source" at NASCAR said the title was in development for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Wii, and would be released two weeks before next February's Dayton 500. In late August, British developer Eutechnyx, the studio behind the racing games Ferrari Challenge and Big Mutha Truckers, accidentally tipped its hand by posting the forums for NASCAR 2011. (The Google cache showing the page can be found here) It is unclear at which of Eutechnyx's four studios the game will be developed. The Gateshead, UK-based shop also has operations in Pittsburgh, Pensylvannia as well as Chengdu and Hong Kong in China. Activision reps had not yet responded to comment as of press time.(GameSpot)(9-24-2010)
NASCAR Teams Licensing Trust Enters Into Joint Venture: The NASCAR Teams Licensing Trust (NTLT) announced that it has formed a joint venture with Lionel Electric Trains to make and sell NASCAR replica die cast race cars. The joint venture is not a traditional licensee agreement. Both NTLT and Lionel will actively manage and develop the business, in which it will be partners. Lionel has plans to offer fans and collectors die-cast models representing all of the NTLT teams and more than 30 NASCAR national series drivers. The joint venture will take over the category from Motorsports Authentics, a Concord, N.C.-based company that will focus on its core competency of trackside retail and be the exclusive die-cast car retailer at NASCAR tracks.(PR)(7-12-2010)
NASCAR Teams Licensing Trust formed: The NASCAR industry announced the official formation of the NASCAR Teams Licensing Trust, an industry operated organization created to provide NASCAR fans with new and innovative licensed products. The Licensing Trust, which along with the sanctioning body is initially composed of NASCAR teams including more than 30 NASCAR national series drivers, will streamline the licensing opportunities and processes for its partners and bring operational efficiency to the entire industry.
The Licensing Trust, which is open to any NASCAR national series race team that chooses to participate, will initially explore merchandising opportunities in four key categories – apparel, collectable die-cast, toys and trackside retail. The Licensing Trust is structured to add licensing categories in the future. NASCAR and the teams will directly manage their respective licensing rights in categories outside the Licensing Trust.
“The complexity and expertise required within the intellectual property management and operations has increased exponentially over the years as NASCAR has grown and expanded globally,” said Brian France, chairman and CEO of NASCAR. “By working together with our teams and their licensing professionals, the Licensing Trust creates a new opportunity for licensees, retailers and sponsors to immediately benefit, and keep the emphasis on, what makes this sport run – our loyal and passionate fans.”
Included in the Licensing Trust alongside NASCAR’s licensing marks are some of the sport’s most popular teams and drivers. The initial participating teams include: Dale Earnhardt, Inc.; Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates; Hendrick Motorsports; Joe Gibbs Racing; JR Motorsports; Michael Waltrip Racing; Penske Racing; Richard Childress Racing; Richard Petty Motorsports; Roush Fenway Racing, and Stewart-Haas Racing.
“The creation of this new organization is one that the fan might not notice today but will receive the benefit from tomorrow and beyond,” said Richard Childress, owner of Richard Childress Racing. “Merchandise in our sport is one of the great ways our fans communicate their passion and support of NASCAR. We want to provide them with the best quality products to do so, and this will help offer them a wider selection of merchandise representing a much bigger offering of drivers.”
In addition to benefitting the sport’s loyal fans, the Licensing Trust will also have a major impact on NASCAR’s licensing model and other key business units. “This new structure will make it more attractive to do business with the teams of NASCAR,” said Joe Gibbs, owner of Joe Gibbs Racing. “The result will be a win-win for our sponsors and our fans.”
The industry controlled Licensing Trust is an independent group managed by a Board of Directors made up of representatives of the initial 11 participating teams and NASCAR. Under the direction of the newly formed Licensing Trust Board of Directors, the NASCAR Licensing staff, located in the NASCAR Plaza in Charlotte, will serve as the on-point representatives for the Trust with the continued support of the individual team licensing representatives. In addition, through NASCAR's participation as a member of the Trust, full integration into the NASCAR Media Group, NASCAR.COM, e-commerce and NASCAR’s marketing, research, media and public relations infrastructure will be made available as well as the collective assets and support of the participating teams. “This is a landmark moment for our sport and great news for our loyal fans,” said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. “There was a need to improve the structure of this business, and NASCAR and its teams worked together in an unprecedented manner to make this happen.”(NASCAR)(7-8-2010)
Past Collectibles launched: In conjunction with some of the sport’s greatest legends including champions Bobby Allison and David Pearson, the estate of original racing “Bad Boy” Curtis Turner and Hall of Famer Junior Johnson, Smyle Media announced the launch of “Checkered Past Collectibles.” A new and unique line of collectibles will highlight the drivers, teams and machines that make auto racing The Great American Sport. More info at smylemedia.com.(5-24-2010)
Motorsports Authentics bogs down ISC's 2009 finances: International Speedway Corp. saw its net income drop 95 percent from $134.6 million in 2008 to $6.8 million in 2009, with its 50 percent stake in merchandise company Motorsports Authentics costing $77.6 million on its 2009 balance sheet, according to its year-end financial report issued Thursday. The losses for Motorsports Authentics, owned 50-50 by ISC and track-operating rival Speedway Motorsports Inc., include an ISC write-down of its half of the worth of the company by $69.3 million and operating losses for 2009 of $8.3 million. ISC also announced that it believes Motorsports Authentics' value of goodwill and intangible assets is zero as the company has not been able to pay guarantees under its current license agreements. ISC President John Sanders said he did expect a resolution to the Motorsports Authentics issues in the next three to six months. The merchandise company - which licenses the merchandise, has it purchased and also does at-track sales - is looking at streamlining operations. Bankruptcy is still an option, according to ISC's news release. Admissions revenue dropped 17.2 percent from $236.1 million to $195.5 million. Saunders said that ISC sold slightly below 80 percent of its seating capacity for Sprint Cup events, compared with 90-95 percent in previous years. The weighted average ticket price was down 3 percent.(Scene Daily)(1-29-2010)
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Motorsports Authentics fights to avoid bankruptcy:
In an all-out effort to avoid bankruptcy, the joint owners of Motorsports Authentics (MA) are attempting to reorganize the troubled licensed merchandise company and settle the millions of dollars it owes several NASCAR teams. MA's 50-50 owners, International Speedway Corp. and Speedway Motorsports Inc., have been in constant contact with the top teams since the end of the season, with one of NASCAR's top executives, senior vice president Paul Brooks, acting as a mediator. It's uncertain exactly how much MA owes the teams, but its contracts with the best-selling organizations such as Hendrick Motorsports, Roush Fenway Racing and Dale Earnhardt Inc. guarantee each of them close to $3 million annually, industry insiders say. MA, which has lost money in three of its four years in existence, has been paying a portion of those guarantees, about a third to half, based on their merchandise sales. Officials from ISC and SMI declined comment, citing the continuing nature of the negotiations. But team officials characterize the talks as frustrating because there remains no clear merchandise plan for the sport and the season-opening Daytona 500 is less than two months away. MA is responsible for most of the sport's trackside retail activity and much of its licensed merchandise, although that model could change as part of the company's restructuring. Most team officials say they're willing to forgive some of the debt from MA, but they need a clearer understanding of the plan going forward before agreeing to a settlement. MA generated more than $200 million in revenue in 2008, the only year it has turned a profit, but MA's revenue this year will be a little more than $100 million, industry insiders say. The die-cast division accounts for a little less than half of the company's revenue.( Sporting News / SportsBusiness Journal)(12-23-2009)
Investors in a NASCAR merchandise wholesale business cheated: A Los Angeles man has pleaded not guilty to running a Ponzi scheme that cheated about 50 investors in a NASCAR merchandise wholesale business out of at least $10 million. Federal prosecutors say 63-year-old Eliott Dresher was arraigned Monday and ordered held pending trial in U.S. District Court. The U.S. attorney's office says Dresher claimed investors' money would be used to buy NASCAR apparel and sell it to stores. He claimed he had $70 million in various accounts and his business would return 20 percent every six months. Prosecutors say Dresher ran his scheme for about 10 years before it collapsed last year when he couldn't make payments to investors.(Associated Press)(12-15-2009)
Dale Jr. still leads drivers in sales: Danica Patrick has won just 1 of 81 IRL races (1.23%). But Dale Earnhardt Jr. has Patrick easily beat on that winning percentage. “Little E” has won 1 of the last 129 Sprint Cup races (0.77%) and he’s 0 for the last 51.
Yet, Earnhardt seems to be humming along in the business world. This week, Nationwide announced this week it was renewing its deal with him and we just got the NASCAR.com SuperStore sales rankings and guess what? Earnhardt is in his familiar No. 1 spot. Here’s the list of the Top 10 best-selling drivers on the Web site:
Top 10 Best-Selling Drivers
1. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
2. Tony Stewart
3. Jeff Gordon
4. Jimmie Johnson
5. NASCAR-branded items
6. Kyle Busch
7. Carl Edwards
8. Kasey Kahne
9. Mark Martin
10. Dale Earnhardt Sr.(CNBC.com)(10-14-2009)
Bankruptcy coming for Motorsports Authentics? Motorsports Authentics, an equally owned merchandise joint venture between race-track owners International Speedway Corp (ISCA.O) and Speedway Motorsports (TRK.N), has received default notices from certain licensors, regulatory filings show. In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Speedway Motorsports said Motorsports Authentics had stopped paying certain guaranteed royalties in its third quarter, and was attempting to renegotiate agreements with all significant licensors of NASCAR merchandising. "MA is exploring other business strategies to turn its business around. If such efforts are not sufficient or timely, MA could ultimately pursue bankruptcy," the filing said.(Reuters)(10-7-2009)
NASCAR, teams consider streamlining licensing business: NASCAR and the sport's top teams are discussing ways to rescue their troubled licensing business by bringing all of the team and driver rights under one banner, marking the first major step toward creating NASCAR Properties. Those rights currently are splintered from team to team, which means a licensee might visit five teams to acquire five licenses. A centralized agency such as NASCAR Properties would make all of those licenses available from one entity like the other professional leagues do. The groundwork for NASCAR Properties was set Sept. 24 during a day-long meeting at the governing body's new office in Charlotte. Paul Brooks, NASCAR's senior vice president and a driving force behind the idea, said officials from his office have been meeting with teams individually since the summer, but the summit at NASCAR's office brought all of those executives together for the first time. "We are exploring the potential benefits of a unified industry approach to licensing," Brooks said. "The ongoing dialogue with all stakeholders has been very positive and collaborative, and that is truly encouraging."(in part from Sporting News NASCAR Wire Service/SportsBusiness Journal)(9-30-2009)
EA Sports: 'No plans' for new NASCAR game: The future of EA Sports' NASCAR franchise of racing games has been in doubt since February, when The Sporting News reported the publisher wouldn't be making a new installment of the series this year. Speaking with GameSpot for a Dreamcast retrospective on next week's episode of the HotSpot podcast, EA Sports president Peter Moore has removed all uncertainty from the equation. "There are no plans right now for NASCAR from EA," Moore said. "We had a great relationship over the years that I thoroughly enjoyed when I first got here. Unfortunately…we had to make some tough trade-offs. We've had to redeploy some of those folks. A number of the NASCAR team has moved over now to EA Sports MMA, which will be shipping next year. [We're] still a huge fan of NASCAR, but no plans right now to develop any further games for NASCAR from EA Sports."(Gamespot)(9-3-2009)
Memorabilia store in Canada forced to change name: A New Brunswick businessman and long-time racing fan has been forced to change the name of his tiny memorabilia shop under the threat of a lawsuit by NASCAR legend Darrell Waltrip. Randy Nicholson, who has sold NASCAR merchandise in Woodstock since 2001, has been accused of infringing on a trademark that wasn't registered by Waltrip until four years after Nicholson's store was established. Borrowing from a catchphrase issued by the Fox Sports commentator at the start of every race, Nicholson initially called his business Boogity Boogity Racing, and then later changed the name to Boogity Sportswear. On Friday, he received a cease-and-desist letter from an Ontario law firm representing Waltrip, a former Winston Cup champion who says, "Boogity, boogity, boogity, let's go racin', boys" each time the green flag drops. Waltrip registered the catch phrase as a trademark in Canada on Oct. 31, 2005. "My first instinct was that I was going to fight (him), but I don't have the means,'' Nicholson said Tuesday as he stood behind the counter in his store, which also sells hockey, wrestling and ultimate fighting souvenirs. "I am in no position to fight Darrell Waltrip. He has deeper pockets than I do." Nicholson said he registered his business with the federal government in 2001, and paid more than $1,200 to cover the cost of a search that was conducted to ensure the name wasn't being used in Canada by anyone else. At one point, he also operated stores under the Boogity banner in Moncton and Saint John, but he never received a complaint until last week, when a sheriff delivered a letter from MBM, an intellectual property legal group in Ottawa, sent on Waltrip's behalf. "From a trademark point of view, he is infringing Darrell Waltrip's registered Canadian trademark,'' Scott Miller, the head of the litigation group at MBM, said Tuesday. "Taking intellectual property without permission is as reprehensible as taking anything else." Nicholson argues that he has never infringed on Waltrip's rights. He says he has never sold anything that carried Waltrip's trademark, and the few Boogity-related items he sold bore a logo that he developed on his own. Nicholson has until next Tuesday to wipe his shop clean of the word "boogity" and has already taken down his signs. Until he comes up with something better, he will call his business R&B Embroidery, to accentuate the fact that he does printing and embroidery and manufactures vinyl signs. Nicholson said it will cost him between $5,000 and $8,000 to register a new name, put up signs, change his business cards and letterhead, order new cheques, change the way his phone is listed, and set up a new website.(Telegraph Journal)(9-2-2009)
UPDATE: "It's unfortunate to read the articles about Mr. Nicholson's store, as they do not tell the whole story", responded Van Colley, Darrell Waltrip's longtime Business Manager. "The truth is DW first came up with Boogity Boogity Boogity and then the name of the store appeared. "Mr. Nicholson only used Boogity as a result of DW's earlier use on FOX. In my opinion, it is not a coincidence that DW started his broadcasts with Boogity, Boogity, Boogity in March of 2002 and then 9 months later, with his business partner, Richard Poulin, that Mr. Nicholson incorporated a company called BOOGIDDY BOOGIDDY RACING INC on November 6, 2002. He then changed the corporate name to Boogity Boogity Boogity Racing Inc on March 3, 2003. That company was dissolved on July 25, 2008. Then the store operated under the name Boogity Sportswear. The shop went as far as applying for DW's trademark of Boogity, Boogity Boogity which was rejected in late 2007 by the Canadian Trademark Office. My point is there is no way Mr. Nicholson should be surprised about what has happened. It is odd that the shop filed for DW's trademark. Whether Mr. Nicholson is a small business owner or the owner of a large corporation is irrelevant to the matter. You simply can't take some one's legally trademarked intellectual property and attempt to profit from it. Common sense tells me that I can't simply throw up some golden arches in my front yard, hang a sign that says McDonalds on it and fire up my grill to attempt to sell some hamburgers simply because I want to. We appreciate Mr. Nicholson being a NASCAR fan and his selling of legally licensed NASCAR merchandise in his store. We also wish no ill will to Mr. Nicholson, despite his comment of wanting to "tear out DW's wind pipe." At the same time, I won't apologize for protecting DW's legal rights. We, like NASCAR, the drivers and teams in our sport fight this kind of thing all the time."(9-3-2009)
T-shirt seller arrested at Pocono Raceway on counterfeiting charge: A Michigan man was arrested and charged with selling knock-off NASCAR shirts at Pocono Raceway on Monday instead of officially licensed merchandise. Michael Quatrine, 45, has been arrested for selling fakes before. According to Pocono Mountain Regional Police, Quatrine has been arrested in California, Delaware, Michigan and South Carolina and other states for trademark counterfeiting. "We do counterfeit enforcement at tracks around the country. If not watched it can become pervasive," said Tom Sullivan, NASCAR's manager of business communications. Although NASCAR was not inspecting at Pocono on Monday, track workers were on the lookout for fake merchandise. Pocono Raceway employee Roger Green told police he saw Quatrine selling counterfeit Pocono Raceway T-shirts and detained him until police arrived. While investigating the complaint, a man told police he had purchased two shirts from Quatrine for $5 each and showed police the shirts. They matched the shirts Quatrine had in his possession. According the criminal complaint, Pocono Raceway employee Looie McNally identified the shirts as fakes by comparing labels and also showing the Sprint/NASCAR markings were fraudulent and misbranded. He was charged with trademark counterfeiting, a third-degree felony as a repeat offense, and arraigned by Magisterial District Judge Richard Claypool. Quatrine was being held in Monroe County Correctional Facility in lieu of $5,000 bail. Pocono Raceway spokesperson Bob Pleban said the track had no comment on the arrest. "It's not just about the loss of revenue to drivers and teams," said Joe Mattes, interim president of Motorsports Authentics. As the largest licensee in NASCAR, a vendor for more than 80 drivers, Motorsports Authentics makes more than 90% of the diecast products fans find trackside and on stores shelves in Wal-Mart and Kmart.(Pocono Record)(8-5-2009)
Born on Date: January 18, 2000