The Frontstretch: Dollars And Sense: NASCAR Dumps Jump Co. As Ad Agency by Jesse Medford -- Thursday May 24, 2012

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Dollars And Sense: NASCAR Dumps Jump Co. As Ad Agency

Jesse Medford · Thursday May 24, 2012


For the fourth time since 2000, NASCAR is going to be dumping an advertising agency. This time NASCAR is seeking a pitch company to bring in a newer, younger, multicultural fan base.

“As we started taking a look at our future vision, we took a look at our evolving needs and realized we need agency resources to meet those needs,” Kim Brink, NASCAR’s managing director brand, consumer and series marketing said in an interview with Ad Age . “We want to make sure we have a class-leading full-service agency.”

Jump Co. has been with NASCAR since 2005. Prior to them, it was the much larger Martin Agency during the boom years of the network television expansion, 2003-2005. Current NASCAR advertising finalist Young & Rubicam had the contract from 2000-2003.

On Monday in their Charlotte offices, NASCAR briefed Y&R and three other finalists that they are being considered for next season’s advertising. The other three agencies are Leo Burnett, McCann Erickson and Ogilvy & Mather.

In March, Brink had stated that Jump Co. was competing against, “three or four other shops”. We now know from an Adweek article that the list is down to the previously mentioned four shops and Jump Co. is out.

The criticisms levied against Jump Co. were that they were a small boutique company, with little manpower, bandwith, or experience. Their ads continually compared NASCAR with other sports, as if to say that head to head, NASCAR is bigger, badder and tougher. This resonates with people that are already following the sport, but doesn’t do much to bring in and retain new viewers – something NASCAR has struggled to do the past five years.

NASCAR’s decline in television ratings and attendance at the track, has coincided with the reign of Jump Co. as their ad agency. For this reason alone, it is logical that NASCAR is looking elsewhere for a change of pace. However, NASCAR isn’t likely to get anything new or fresh out of most of these new finalists. We have no reason to believe that these agencies bring with them a cornucopia of young or a multicultural fan base.

As I mentioned before, New York based Y&R has already been NASCAR’s ad agency. For this reason, it could be certain that they are going to be out of the picture when all is said and done. Another New York based agency, McCann Erickson, has been representing Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company for many years, and aligning with them can’t possibly be good for bringing new fans to the sport.

Leo Burnett has recently started working on the Sprint account. Like McCann Erickson, switching to this agency can’t be considered anything fresh or potentially leading the sport into a different direction. It would just be taking NASCAR where Sprint is already going – which somewhat appropriately, would be in circles.

By looking at the map on the Ogilvy & Mather website, they have a large foothold in the Latin America market. Brink has stated that the multicultural search is predominantly a Hispanic focus. That coupled with the fact that they aren’t already tied to anything NASCAR related, I see them as the logical choice to advertise for NASCAR.

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All four agencies will meet again with NASCAR in Charlotte for a series of work sessions in early June. Final presentations are slated for June 26 and 27 in NASCAR’s Daytona offices.

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Today on the Frontstretch:
Did You Notice? … A Return To Richmond, Post-Spingate And Quick Hits
NASCAR Mailbox: A ‘Normal’ Saturday And A Valuable Lesson
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Stephen HOOD
05/24/2012 07:43 AM

How can you know what a new ad agency will and will not be able to do for NASCAR? Have you sat in on their sales presentations to hear their ideas for marketing NASCAR in a relevant way? Why does a story on NASCAR changing ad agencies have to become “there’s no way any of the agencies will be able to help except for maybe the one that knows about Hispanics”?

Doug from eastern NC
05/24/2012 11:29 AM

Why not let the Brand sell itself. O that’s right the racing sux’s. Good luck to whomever gets this contact

05/24/2012 12:16 PM

All the creatives on Madison Avenue with all of their coffee cups in hand and pencils behind their ears could not sell New Coke, Harley-Davidson Perfume or, everyones’ fav, the Edsel nor can they sell BZF NASCAR.

Yet as longtime fans run screaming naked for the exits they want to “… bring in a newer, younger, multicultural fan base.”

Uh Huh.

The Palace just does not get it. It ain’t the pitch that is the problem here: “Its the product, stupid.”

05/24/2012 01:51 PM

No, I did not stutter, We don’t need no stinkin’ CHASE!!!

05/24/2012 01:52 PM

Remember when NASCAR used to brag that it’s fans were the most loyal fan base in any major sport? Marketing schools used NASCAR in case studies as to the correct way to market products. Enter BZF. Poof! Let’s throw away the current fans and look for different ones! WTF! I wish some TV network would start televising World Rally racing on a regular basis. That’s some good stuff!

05/24/2012 02:42 PM

I never see NASCAR ads except while watching the race on TV, so I don’t know what they do. But people have a general idea of what race cars do and whether they like what they’ve seen.

I wish that they could take their multi-million ad dollars and distribute it among short tracks in the metro areas that they want to attract. Get race fans at ground level and you can bring them up to the top. Just like sandlot baseball and touch football.

05/24/2012 11:48 PM

So NASCAR blames the ad company (probably chosen by the brainless one) for failing to attract viewers to their sleep-inducing “product.” Why would anyone want to replace them?