Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The NASCAR Teams Licensing Trust Enters Into Joint Venture With Lionel Trains To Create Exclusive Die-Cast Company

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CHARLOTTE  N.C. (July 12, 2010)
– The newly formed NASCAR Teams Licensing Trust announced today that it has formed a joint venture with Lionel Electric Trains to make and sell NASCAR replica die-cast race cars.

The joint venture is not a traditional licensee agreement. Both the Licensing Trust and Lionel will actively manage and develop the business, in which it will be partners.

“NASCAR die-cast cars have been a unique and important part of our sport for many years and a true collectable that our fans treasure,” said Paul Brooks, NASCAR’s senior vice president and a member of the NASCAR Teams Licensing Trust Board of Directors. “Creating this partnership with a renowned brand like Lionel is a powerful move for our fans and the long term sustainability of this business.”

Lionel has plans to offer fans and collectors die-cast models representing all of the teams and more than 30 NASCAR national series drivers included in the Licensing Trust. The joint venture will take over the category from Motorsports Authentics, a Concord, N.C.-based company that will instead focus on its core competency of trackside retail and be the exclusive die-cast car retailer at NASCAR tracks around the country.

“Collecting die-cast cars is one of the core ways that fans have of connecting with their favorite teams and drivers,” said Jerry Calabrese, CEO of Lionel. “We’re very excited about this new joint venture. We have more than 110 years of experience making the highest quality die- cast products that have been cherished by generations of collectors and their families. We’re eager to bring that same dedication and experience to NASCAR and its uniquely passionate fans, and we can’t wait to get started.”

The Licensing Trust, which is open to any NASCAR national series race team that chooses to participate, explores 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.

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