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Surprise! Dale Jr. Superfan Receives Autographed Photo from OneMain Branch


The Whisky River Sweepstakes created a lot of great memories.

Although most of the action took place in Mooresville, NC, one of the most memorable moments occurred 200 miles away in Goldsboro, NC.

Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at how it all went down:

The backstory

The winners of the sweepstakes enjoyed a variety of exclusive NASCAR experiences including go-kart racing with Elliott Sadler, meeting Dale Earnhardt Jr. and getting Dale Jr.’s autograph.

OneMain also held an internal competition for branch employees in North Carolina. The winners of the competition were able to join the sweepstakes winners in Mooresville and take part in the fun. One of the winning employees was Brian Tarleton, branch manager of the Goldsboro branch.

The idea

A month before the event, Brian was browsing the itinerary. He noticed that one of the perks was getting an item of his choice signed by Dale Jr. However, instead of thinking of himself, he remembered a long-time customer who would appreciate the autograph 10x more.

The customer, Theodore, is hearing impaired and communicates through writing. He came in the branch one day wearing a Dale Jr. hat and Brian asked if he was a fan. Theodore went through several pieces of paper detailing his admiration for Dale Sr. and loyalty to Dale Jr. Next, he lifted his sleeve and showed off a tattoo of Dale Jr.’s signature over a large #88.

With that memory fresh in mind, the choice was clear: Brian would get a photo of Theodore’s tattoo signed by Dale Jr.  

The setup & delivery


Brian contacted Theodore and said he had free NASCAR tickets to give away. When Theodore came to collect the tickets, Brian asked if he could take a photo of him showing off his tattoo and holding the tickets. The ruse was that the photo would be featured in the next company newsletter.

Knowing how special this gift would be for Theodore, Brian wanted to make the presentation just as memorable. So, a few days after returning from Mooresville, Brian set up a meeting with Theodore in his branch. When Theodore arrived, he expected to see his photo in a newsletter.

Instead, Brian and his team members surprised him a framed photo signed by Dale Jr. Theodore was shocked and wrote a long thank you note to the group. He planned to hang the photo up at home for all his houseguests to see. As for Brian, the opportunity to give Theodore such a meaningful gift was incredible:

“I could tell that Dale Jr. was his hero, and I’ve always wanted a picture signed by one of my heroes. This is why I enjoy and love my job. We get to help people in so many ways. Whether it's getting someone funds to fix their air conditioner, or providing payment assistance during Hurricane Matthew. The autographed photo was just another way to give back.”

Keep an eye out for our next blog featuring an interview with the Whisky River Sweepstakes Grand Prize winner.