As originally reported by Tripp Mickle of the Sports Business Journal’s Sports Business Daily, NASCAR is currently evaluating making changes to the merchandise and shopping experience at tracks nationwide. For decades, fans have flocked to ‘Souvenir Row’ at the tracks they visit and purchased their favorite driver’s newest gear from the side of a hauler painted to look like the same transporter that is carrying the Sprint Cup car of that driver. This almost iconic part of race weekends may soon change according to Mickle’s story.
The changes may include reducing the number of merchandise haulers at tracks each weekend, create new areas for shopping enclosed in tents, or discontinuing to bring each driver’s merchandise hauler to tracks all together.
“We have no changes to report, but look forward to providing our fans with an outstanding shopping experience at track this weekend and throughout the season,” said NASCAR VP of Licensing and Consumer Products, Blake Davidson in a statement.
Motorsports Authentics, a motorsports merchandise licensing company owned by International Speedway Corp. (ISC), reportedly had sales decline from over $2 billion back in 2008, to $1 billon two years later in 2010.
The decline in sales, attendance numbers at tracks and the cost of transporting the over 20 haulers each week to NASCAR Sprint Cup events has put an enormous financial burden on Motorsports Authentics and NASCAR, making the need to re-evaluate how trackside merchandise is sold and how the experience can be improved so critical.