Hell hath no fury like the NFL licensing rule unheeded.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. is discovering the truth to that mantra this week as NFL executives ban the planned Philadelphia Eagle’s paint scheme for the number 88 race car.
Turns out the NFL doesn’t much appreciate their teams promoting other sports, even if the other sport in that equation is so different from football that it’d be almost ludicrous to assume that one activity would lose fans to the other over a paint scheme. Just an example, if one sport involved cars making left turns at high speeds and the other was, say, football, you’d expect fans to either watch both or stay committed to whichever sport they were already married to. Not a ton of crossover.
To top it all off, the paint scheme was meant to raise awareness for Axalta’s All-Pro Teachers program. Fortunately, the NFL was there to tell those meddlesome teachers to remove themselves from the path of profit. A representative from All-Pro Teachers responded to the NFL’s decision, saying,
“Without doubt, we are deeply disappointed that the Axalta All-Pro Teachers car will not run. As a primary sponsor of Dale Earnhardt Jr., we were thrilled about plans for him to drive a car that gave the Axalta All-Pro Teachers program and STEM education more visibility by promoting the program on the track. We remain steadfast in our commitment to teachers, STEM education, and our partnerships with Hendrick Motorsports, Dale Jr., and the Philadelphia Eagles.”
On the bright side, Earnhardt Jr. is a Washington fan, so at least he won’t have to betray his favorite team on the circuit by advertising for a division rival.