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Castroneves: "Dancing With The Stars" Just His First Step?

Helio Castroneves and Juliana Hough
AP
Helio Castroneves and Juliana Hough

I thought that Jerry Rice, Emmitt Smith and Apolo Anton Ohno would all get a business boost from their role on "Dancing With The Stars." I was very wrong.

While I did notice that Rice had more women than usual on line at an autograph signing soon after his appearance on the show, he's really not relevant today. Neither is Smith, whose ESPN job hiring had nothing to do with appealing to a broader demographic. As for Ohno, he's as irrelevant in non-Olympic years as he always was.

But IRL driver Helio Castroneves--who won the show Tuesday night--has a chance to cash in more. Why? Because, unlike the others, he's constantly active. Secondly, he has one of the most magnetic personalities in all of sports. And he proved it to the world during this show.

After Castroneves won the show, I thought about this and wrote down two things that had to happen for him to make a mint off the race track. One, he had to entirely call off his engagement to Miami business executive Aliette Vasquez. Since "Dancing," the engagement was put on hold.

Sure enough, yesterday, Vasquez acknowledged it was over. I'm sorry for her, but I believe that much of the increase in Q rating comes from women and a single man is more marketable than a hitched one. The second move hasn't come yet--a Castroneves move to NASCAR. Even if he prefers open wheel to stock cars, there's no doubt he's on a second tier level in the Indy Racing League. He has to be at the top tier of racing in this country in order to rake in the dough.

Questions? Comments? SportsBiz@cnbc.com

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