The future licensing rights to Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be negotiated by Earnhardt’s own company, JR Motorsports, not Hendrick Motorsports, for whom he’ll drive next season. Earnhardt will be the only NASCAR driver whose personal company controls the licensing of his team’s merchandise and apparel. Jeff Gordon at one time had his own company that handled his team licensing, but that operation has since rolled into HG Licensing, a joint venture between Gordon and team owner Rick Hendrick. HG handles licensing for Hendrick’s other cars as well, but will not have control over Earnhardt’s licensing, which is believed to generate $30 million or more in revenue annually. Earnhardt’s licensed goods account for about a third of all NASCAR merchandise sales, experts in the industry say.
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