Call it the Oprah effect. Or for those of us who can go back even further, the Paul Harvey effect. What am I talking about? An influential and trusted public figure gives their endorsement or blessing of a product or service and the next thing you know, that product is a household name. Oprah did it with authors and her Oprah’s book club. She could instantly turn a little-known author into a best-selling author overnight by one mention.
Dale Earnhardt, Jr. has that touch. Just ask Ryan Truex. Truex was attending a media tour last week promoting the upcoming Xfinity season and mentioned that while he was taking questions, he was also getting his new t-shirt up online. NASCAR quickly tweeted a picture of Truex wearing the shirt.
That was a nice plug, but what happened next was nuts. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. sees the tweet (of course he did) and decides to retweet to his over 2 million followers. Within fifteen minutes, Truex holds up his phone to the media, according to nbcsports.com.
“Look, those are all orders. Already,” Truex said.
That is the Dale Jr. effect. It shouldn’t be much of a surprise to Truex. The same thing happened last year when he first came up with his first t-shirt design.
“Dale’s crazy. Every time last year he would tweet a picture of it or something, I’d already be sold out,” Truex said. “So, I couldn’t do anything. Or I’d have 20 left and he’d do that, and they’re gone instantly.”
Truex says Earnhardt has had a big influence in his career. Not only from a racing standpoint but mentoring the young driver and helping get him some exposure, even if it’s just helping promote a t-shirt.
“If it weren’t for him, I don’t know,” Truex said. “I don’t know if people would have liked it as much. Dale’s awesome. He’s good friend.”