Late in 2018 NASCAR announced they had terminated their trackside merchandise deal with Fanatics 6 seasons early. Starting in 2019 teams would be responsible for their own merchandise trailers once again. This was an early end to a pretty tumultuous relationship between NASCAR and Fanatics.
When the deal was first announced ahead of the 2017 season Fanatics made headlines by saying merchandise trailers were a thing of the past. No longer would there be rows of colorful merchandise trailers with long inefficient lines and nowhere to try anything on. Instead, Fanatics announced they would be bringing a superstore tent model to NASCAR. One large tent with every driver merchandise under one roof or in one area rather.
It was a phenomenal idea. Having attended the first race with the “superstore” my immediate impression was “this is so much better.” No lines in front of trailers, no struggling to determine which shirt was which. You could touch the merchandise, try it on, see the prices, all without feeling rushed from the people behind you. It was fantastic. Sure Fanatics quality control wasn’t always the best but at least they tried something new.
But NASCAR fans hate change more than your 77 year-old grand father. So the tent model was scrapped in May of 2017 in favor of the highly inefficient trailer model.
Flash forward to this past weekend at Daytona and a
It appears only Chase Elliott, Jimmie Johnson, and Kyle Busch are the only ones with their own trailers. Team Penske, the rest of JGR and HMS are in their own trailers. Then you have the manufacturer trailers. It’s a little underwhelming.
The trailer method is outdated. IndyCar has a phenomenal shopping experience and it’s all done in superstore tents. Why people wouldn’t want to shop at their own pace while simultaneously being able to touch the product and try it on is beside me. Then again we’re talking about NASCAR fans and nothing ever makes sense.
Hopefully more merch trailers show up this week. One of the best parts about the NASCAR experience is walking through the merch area. The things people will be is astouding.
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