June 21, 2006

Dale Jr. buys the rights to his name.: What a victory for Dale Earnhardt Jr. He got the rights to his own name.

posted by buffalo will never win to auto racing at 10:18 AM - 16 comments

ESPN.com reported that Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s name was in fact owned by his stepmother Teresa, the third and last of his father's wives, and that in order to use his own name in licensing and endorsement deals, he had to be granted permission from her. That's it in a nutshell. Crazy as it sounds (needing to own the rights to your own name), it's all about one thing: BIG MONEY!

posted by dyams at 10:42 AM on June 21, 2006

dale jr is a damn good driver but an even better person. his stepmama always seemed like a golddigger to me.but she's sitting on a helluva bankroll. i hope jr has a good year

posted by ptluigi at 11:23 AM on June 21, 2006

I don't think that she's a gold digger, per se. I just think that she is a very smart businesswoman. DEI wouldn't be as powerful as it is today if not for her. If I'm not mistaken, don't they get along really well? Maybe this was all just a formality and nothing else.

posted by wingnut4life at 11:54 AM on June 21, 2006

The only way she had the intellectual property rights to his name was if he agreed to it at some point in the past. This story needs more details.

posted by rcade at 12:11 PM on June 21, 2006

Yes, there's a lot more to this story than what is posted here. ESPN is pathetic when it comes to any sort of in-depth coverage of NASCAR. This is an opinion piece, but it's got a little more insight.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 12:24 PM on June 21, 2006

Teresa Earnhardt is far from a gold-digger, she was the one who saw the financial potential in marketing the likeness and signature of Dale Sr. Sports memorabilia in NASCAR really boomed after they started Sports Image Inc. (which they sold in the 90's). Dale Sr. monatary estate would have been less without her. She is a good business woman. As for the rights, Dale Sr. owned them as the owner of Dale Earnhardt Enterprises, hence Teresa owning them after his death. I think "E" and Teresa get along for the most part, but like any employer/employee (their working situation) relationship, I am sure they have their ups and downs, at least from what i have read in the past.

posted by steelergirl at 12:36 PM on June 21, 2006

...she was the one who saw the financial potential in marketing the likeness and signature of Dale Sr. Sports memorabilia... That might have explained it, rcade. Thank you steelergirl. Teresa made DEI what it is today. She was (and still is) the driving force behind the business. She makes me think of another smart businesswoman -- Mrs. Hockey.

posted by wingnut4life at 01:01 PM on June 21, 2006

Teresa is an incredibly smart woman. As was said before, she saw what the future could hold when it came to marketing. Even to this day, Dale's name is making millions after his death. When they talk about women who have power, she is near the top. I think Dale Jr. and Teresa get along for the most part. I'm sure they bang heads on certain things and I'm sure his next contract will be one of them. Dale getting the rights to his name is only right. Not that Dale needs the money but he won't have to share with Teresa any more. I have the feeling Teresa will there to help Jr. if he needs it.

posted by dbt302 at 01:23 PM on June 21, 2006

So now whenever i say his name, where do I send the check for 15 cents?

posted by timdawg at 01:44 PM on June 21, 2006

I'll send you my paypal address...

posted by wingnut4life at 01:51 PM on June 21, 2006

I'm sure you could send it to DEI, c/o Dale Jr.

posted by dbt302 at 02:48 PM on June 21, 2006

From reading the story, it sounds like that Dale Sr. owned the rights to his son's name, as that would be the only reason that the rights would transfer on his death to his estate. Sounds like a new business model. Trademark all your kids' names in case they become famous. I bet this is something all those stage mothers and fathers would consider.

posted by graymatters at 04:48 PM on June 21, 2006

Wingnut, I'm way off topic here, sort of, but excellent referencing of Mrs. Colleen Howe. I said a prayer for her tonight , something we all maybe should. It's true, behind every great man is a great woman.

posted by tommybiden at 08:33 PM on June 21, 2006

Jr. was already well known when his dad was killed and I'm sure DEI had the rights to Jr.'s name for merchandising purposes. For all we know at this point, Theresa held the rights until she thought Jr. had matured enough to be trusted to handle decisions about endorsements and the like without having to run it by her first. After all, he's still invariably tied to DEI and anything he does will be something of a reflection on the company. She could have sold him the rights for $1. On the other hand, if she transfered control to herself and then charged him a bundle, that's just wrong. I doubt it though, because Jr. has never been shy about making noise if he thinks he's been wronged. If she was a little unreasonable, he might let it slide. If she really put the screws to him, I think we'd have heard about it.

posted by ctal1999 at 11:41 AM on June 22, 2006

Why do u have to buy ur own name?? Who owns the rights to the name of "artist formerly known as prince"?

posted by BestofbothWorlds at 05:53 PM on June 22, 2006

its not hard to do..all you gotta do is trade mark it..just like cyber squatters, for 35 bucks you can own "coke.com" it was a lucrative way to make money back in the mid to late 90's..some companies paid over a million bucks to get their name back,because somebody was smart about the net, that it was going to explode in growth,an it did..corporate america and a lot of celebrities,had to fork over piles of money,it was for a time, the best get rich quick scheme ever.. some of the squatters are now multi-millioniares...

posted by ktown at 06:19 PM on June 22, 2006

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.