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NASCAR's forms new "Licensing Trust"


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Licensing Trust to deliver unprecedented benefits for NASCAR fans, sponsors and licensees


Charlotte, North Carolina (July 7, 2010) – The NASCAR industry announced today 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.”

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Only downside I can see is that the Trust will have expenses of operation that dillute the incomes the teams see. But in that the teams will no longer have to spend the time and effort of rights management (which includes many hours wasted looking for violations) this could be a good thing. The other thing (may not even be an issue) is that I have not seen what it would entail to opt out after having opted in. The option thing is what makes the deal work - unlike the NFLs mandatory Licensing pool.

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Slow down - if you understand how trusts can work (and can't - sometimes - quite often in my advice - the trustee can not have a $ stake in the trust except for controlled fiduciary fees), and the fact that them boys that have been doing this for a while are willing to place their assets into it Then there must be something to it.


When you trust your assets you must not retain any ownership control, or the trust does create as a separate entity - all that you retain is the right to recieve all of the constructive financial benefits, and a vote for the trustee. Family trusts can be "living" trusts, and these are usually trusteed to the Grantor (the person giving up the ownership trusts), and can be revocable living trusts (with estate/gift tax consequence) - however as there is no estate/gift tax on Entities themselves, there are no revocable business trusts that I am aware of. Once you trust your asset there it remains without quite the lawsuit - or until the trusted asset ceases to exist!


So bottom line is that if the owners of the trusts (the race teams) can make the same net $ with less effort - then someone who specialises (the trustee(s)) in the marketing should be able to increase the net even more by increasing gross (management in scale works!!!)! even in assuming NASCARS board has seats on the trusts board - and agreed I would speculate very strongly that they do - who really cares that they get that little extra in fees! Obviously the asset owners don't.

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  • 1 month later...



Read past the part about Gordy getting rolled back and find this gem:


Walmart also has been in discussions with NASCAR's licensing trust to be the sport's exclusive retailer in the mass merchandise space. If NASCAR granted Wal-Mart a direct license, it would allow the store to select its merchandise partners and set prices. Those talks have been going on since the spring.
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