(Mooresville, North Carolina) - For the first time since the tragic accident in the closing lap of the 2001 Daytona 500, Dale Earnhardt, Inc. is addressing the issue of souvenirs and merchandise that bear the likeness of seven-time Winston Cup ...
(Mooresville, North Carolina) - For the first time since the tragic accident in the closing lap of the 2001 Daytona 500, Dale Earnhardt, Inc. is addressing the issue of souvenirs and merchandise that bear the likeness of seven-time Winston Cup Champion Dale Earnhardt and the No. 3 GM Goodwrench Service Plus Chevrolet.
As the winningest active driver in the series, Earnhardt led the sport's merchandising efforts by single-handedly commanding 30% of the collectible market.
Unfortunately, as witnessed in the untimely demise of other fallen heroes, tragedy can often trigger immoral behavior in the souvenir industry.
Joe Hedrick, Director of Licensing at Dale Earnhardt, Inc. (DEI) stated, "We would like to think at a time like this, the souvenir business would be the last thing on anyone's mind. Unfortunately, we've been forced to address this issue and bring it to the attention of the many Dale Earnhardt fans across the country who are being exploited by those who are merely trying to profit from this tragic situation."
"We want to assure the fans of Dale Earnhardt and Richard Childress Racing that there will be an adequate supply of Official Licensed souvenirs and collectible in the future. Dale Earnhardt, Inc is looking forward to honoring his life and career and will do it in a very honorable way. That is what Dale would want", stated Hedrick.
In the mean time, DEI is urging fans to be very selective in what they purchase and what is being offered for sale. At this point in time, there are no official products "In Memorial" to Dale. Any products that promote or memorialize his passing are not the wishes of the family and have not been authorized.
Specific unauthorized products that have been witnessed for sale are: T-shirts, Plaques, Stickers, and other various items that have placed the "1951-2001" script somewhere on the item. DEI would also like to inform fans to be very discriminating on purchasing autographed items. "We have witnessed many forgeries on some of the larger auction sites on the Internet," added Hedrick.
"To help fans determine what is officially licensed, they should look for "Officially Licensed" hangtags and taglines. On apparel, Chase Authentics and Competitors View are the only brands endorsed by Dale Earnhardt and Dale Earnhardt, Inc.
To help police any unauthorized activity, fans may call 1-800-877-9999 to report any manufactures or retailers that might be involved with this appalling behavior.
Hedrick went on to conclude, "Dale Earnhardt took all the necessary measures before his death to protect his rights now and for many years to come. DEI is going to keep those rights intact and will continue enforcing those rights in a manner that would make Dale proud".