Bob Lowry


This Ford Taurus Will Represent Auburn University in NASCAR's Busch Grand National Series Race at Talladega on April 21.

AUBURN -- Auburn University will have an entry in NASCAR's Busch Grand National series race at Talladega on April 21, says Susan Smith, director of AU's trademark licensing.

Auburn's logos will be part of the paint scheme on the No. 98 Ford Taurus driven by Elton Sawyer for Akins Motorsports.

The car will be on display on A-Day weekend all day on Saturday, April 14 on the east lawn in front of Jordan-Hare Stadium. Smith said the car will be filled with Hot Tamales candy, and the person who comes closest to guessing how many boxes are in the car will win a chance for tickets to the 2002 Daytona 500 race.

Auburn head football coach Tommy Tuberville is scheduled to be an honorary pit crew member for Sawyer's team at the Talladega race.

Atlanta-based Collegiate Licensing Company, along with Starter, Hot Tamales, Zours, and Mike and Ike candy brands of Just Born, Inc., are teamed with Akins Motorsports and Sawyer for the 2001 season.

Sawyer's cars will carry 18 different paint schemes this racing season, 14 of which will feature individual CLC Consortium member universities.

"Auburn University has been guaranteed a minimum of $50,000 from the royalties earned on the sale of apparel, novelties and collectibles such as the die-cast miniature cars," says Smith. "There's a potential for the university to earn much more, especially if the car does well in the race."

Smith says apparel is already available in stores and the collectibles will soon be available.

In total, Sawyer is scheduled to compete in 33 races through Nov. 10, with 14 different universities featured throughout the season. Each university will be represented according to the geographic location of the races.

Sawyer has finished in the top 10 in the Busch Grand National standings the past four years.

"There are unique synergy's surrounding the passion that fans have for collegiate athletics and motorsports," says David Kirkpatrick, director of CLC's non apparel marketing. "We believe that this program has a chance to unite that spirit and translate into dynamic opportunities for the universities, promotional partners, licensees and retailers."

A select group of vendors will produce apparel, headgear, collectibles and novelties as part of the program. The products will be available in department stores, mass merchants, bookstores and specialty shops.

Revenue generated by the project will not be used for AU's operation and maintenance, but is earmarked like all licensed product sales for student scholarships.

Annual royalties from the sale of hundreds of types of merchandise displaying AU- licensed trademarks generate about $700,000 annually. The money is divided equally between academic and athletic scholarships.

Auburn has a longstanding contract with CLC, which collects the university's royalty fees on the sale of its licensed products. Like most universities, Auburn receives 7.5 percent of the wholesale cost of items displaying its licensed logos, symbols or names.

During the past decade, AU has earned nearly $7 million from royalty fees, says Smith.

Akins Motorsports and Sawyer raced on behalf of East Carolina University on Feb. 24 at Rockingham, N.C. East Carolina University; at Atlanta on March 10 for the University of Georgia; and the University of Tennessee on March 24 at Bristol, Tenn.

Here's the remaining schedule for Akins Motorsports and Sawyer:

** April 21: Talladega, Ala., Auburn University 
** May 12: Louden, N.H., University of Connecticut 
** May 26: Charlotte, N.C., University of North Carolina 
** July 1: Milwaukee, University of Wisconsin
** July 21: Madison, Ill., University of Illinois 
** July 28: Pikes Peak, Colo., University of Nebraska
** Aug. 4: Indianapolis, Purdue University
** Aug. 18: Brooklyn, Mich., University of Michigan
** Sept. 29: Kansas City, Kan.: Kansas State University
** Oct. 6: Charlotte, N.C., North Carolina State University
** Nov. 10: Homestead, Fla., University of Miami

CLC, the oldest and largest licensing representative in the nation, has a membership that include more than 180 colleges, universities, bowl games, athletic conferences, the Heisman trophy and the NCAA.

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CONTACT: Smith, 334/844-5180; or Kemmeth Rivers of CLC, 770/956-0520.

NOTE: Color image of AU car available upon request. Contact AU Office of University Relations at 334/844-9999.