Grabbing NASCAR merchandise has always been different than any other sport. Rather than walking up to the nearest shop at a stadium to grab swag from the local team, fans simply visit the hauler of their favorite driver.
NASCAR fans are accustomed, at this point, to that practice. But things are about to get drastically different at the track, starting this weekend in Pocono.
Fanatics, a 20-year-old merchandise company based in Jacksonville, Florida, has taken over exclusive rights to selling products at the track. Instead of haulers, the company is setting up massive tents with drivers’ likenesses on the front of each individual store.
Adam Stern of the SportsBusiness Journal offered a look at what fans can expect.
— Adam Stern (@A_S12) July 29, 2015
Similar to the haulers, some drivers will buy out an entire shop for merch sales. The likes of Hendrick Motorsports drivers Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. have no need to share, but others can be seen splitting up a booth.
“Our fans will soon have better merchandise selections and the opportunity to shop at centralized locations that are in covered, climate-controlled areas,” Earnhardt said back in January. “I applaud NASCAR any time it makes decisions to give fans a better at-track experience.”
Meanwhile, some drivers and teams will split up the booths. The most noticeable is one photo of a shop shared by five drivers, including Chip-Ganassi Racing’s Kyle Larson and Jamie McMurray, along with Chase Elliott and Martin Truex Jr.
There will be kinks and there will also be drawbacks from fans to the new system. But with an easier way for fans to browse and quickly find their favorite driver’s merchandise, this partnership can only be a win-win situation for both sides.
After all, some drivers have been known to accidentally leave their haulers behind.
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