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Old 02-23-2014, 10:03 AM   #148
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Forbes: Most valuable NASCAR teams

Thirty years ago Rick Hendrick launched All-Star Racing with five employees and 5,000 square feet of workspace. Geoff Bodine raced the fledgling outfit’s sole Nascar Cup entry in the No. 5 car and finished ninth in the season long standings, including three victories. The company was rebranded Hendrick Motorsports the following year and a racing dynasty was born.

Hendrick Motorsports today carries more than 500 employees in 430,000 square feet of workspace across a 140 acre campus in Concord, N.C. It has racked up 218 victories and a record 11 season titles in Sprint Cup, plus an additional 52 wins and four championships in the Nationwide and Truck series. The success has propelled Hendrick to the top of the Nascar food chain. The team is worth $348 million, by Forbes’ count, twice as much as any other Nascar squad.

The value of a Nascar team is largely tied up in its sponsorship commitments. “Without sponsor money, there is no Nascar,” says one racing insider. No one can match Hendrick when it comes to sponsor dollars, which topped $100 million last year. Sponsors are attracted to star drivers that run in the front of the pack and get their paint schemes heavy TV air time. Hendrick has star power in spades with Kasey Kahne, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. All four made the Chase in 2013 and rank among the sport’s 10 highest-earning drivers. Earnhardt, Gordon and Johnson are the sport’s three biggest merchandise sellers on Fanatics.com, the largest online retailer of licensed sports merchandise.

In addition to having Nascar’s highest winnings, merchandise and sponsorship revenue, Hendrick’s value gets a boost from its massive engine-building operation. Hendrick’s full-time engine program includes 11 Sprint Cup, five Nationwide and two Truck series teams in 2014. The success of HMS drivers entices more Nascar teams to buy their engines from Hendrick. It added Chip Ganassi Racing’s two Cup teams to the program in 2013.

Despite Hendrick’s dominance, it has not been immune to Nascar’s struggles to sell car sponsorships. This is the second straight year the sport’s biggest star, Earnhardt, will go to Daytona with 13 races left to sell on the No. 88 car. “It is not a good sign, but Rick Hendrick is trying to protect his price structure,” says Zak Brown, founder and head of JMI, which sells and manages motorsports sponsorships. The No. 88 is the most expensive real estate in Nascar with paint schemes costing at least $750,000 per race.

Read here: http://www.forbes.com/sites/kurtbade...-nascar-teams/
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