The world’s 41st most marketable athlete - Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. – American, 36, Motorsport (39)
Whilst he may not be the most successful driver on the track, Dale Earnhardt Jr. is without question the most marketable and popular competitor within Nascar. Even though he is yet to claim a Nascar Sprint Cup Series title, recording a best place finish of third in 2003, the son of the late, great Dale Earnhardt Sr. has firmly cemented himself as a fans’ favourite, highlighted by his winning Nascar’s most popular driver award every year since 2003.
Whenever Earnhardt leads a lap, the so-called Junior Nation rises as one, wherever the racetrack. Nobody gets more media coverage during races and it is reflected financially; the Hendrick Motorsports driver was, in fact, the highest-paid Nascar driver in 2010, earning a reported US$29 million through winnings and sponsorship – despite finishing a lowly 21st in the 2010 Sprint Cup series. Since the majority of his income is earned through sponsorship, it is clear that endorsements deals with Earnhardt Jr. are still highly sought after by sponsors.
Alongside Danica Patrick, he is a brand ambassador of Wrangler Jeans, and has appeared in adverts for companies including Sony, Budweiser and Adidas. Another year has passed and the highest honour in Nascar has once again eluded him; that sees him slip slightly in this year’s rankings. His unwavering popularity and public support, however, will ensure he remains highly marketable, regardless of how he performs during the season.
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Dale Earnhardt Jr. lands new sponsor for new season - 15 February 2010
Nascar: Earnhardt Jr. joins Petty to promote Goody’s - 22 January 2013
National Guard ups Earnhardt Jr. sponsorship - 20 August 2012
JR Motorsports announces nine-race primary sponsor - 15 October 2010
JR Motorsports confirms sponsor for Dale Jr’s nephew - 12 April 2013
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