July 26, 2014

RU a zoo or speedway fan? Buy a PL8

Two Fort Worth attractions are among the slow sellers at risk of being dropped by the MyPlates.com state license plate promotion.

Texans love Dr Pepper, Texas Motor Speedway and the Fort Worth Zoo.

But do we love them enough to pay $55 a year extra for our car plates?

The 160 different Texas auto license plate designs will be thinned to about 100 next year unless business picks up for some of the slowest sellers at state vendor MyPlates.com.

The traditional school plates for UT Arlington, the University of North Texas and Southern Methodist University aren’t at risk, even though they have sold fewer than 200 sets each.

But MyPlates.com is thinning out other designs. Only MyPlates.com offers motorists a chance to promote Dr Pepper (“Always One of a Kind”), the speedway or, for another business example, the Austin-based Mighty Fine Burgers restaurants (the plate artwork shows a dripping cheeseburger).

All will be eliminated along with 84 other tag designs if they don’t sell 200 plates by Dec. 1, 2015.

To be fair, the Fort Worth Zoo’s plate sales may be hurt by an unattractive design. The silhouette logo against a pale, sage-green background just doesn’t say “wildlife” as much as the state’s more identifiable “Keep Texas Wild” horned frog plate.

The schools and agencies only get about $5 from each set of plates sold, so they don’t have much incentive to promote the plate sales.

Despite the lagging sellers, the MyPlates.com promotion has proven to be a huge success for Texas overall. The company has achieved its goal of raising $25 million for state revenue several months ahead of schedule.

The state department of transportation has renewed the contract for another five years. The new contract sends more money to the state and encourages new sales over renewals.

The most expensive license plate in Texas history was sold last year: A Texas A&M plate reading “12THMAN,” went for $115,000.

And if you’re one of those Texans who thought nobody would pay extra just for a cute license plate, listen up.

MyPlates has sold 199,000 sets.

One of the better sellers is one of the simplest: “I’d Rather Be Golfing.”

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