Those who attend events regularly at Pocono Raceway know that a weekend at the Tricky Triangle is about more than just a race. An infield Block Party highlighted by bands and fireworks, the Jr. Nation Camping Experience, numerous driver appearances and most recently, the grand opening of the Bark Park for man’s best friend are …
Throughout history, humans have consistently pursued ways to become more interconnected. The expansion of the railways changed the course of U.S. history, allowing travel from coast to coast to happen in days instead of weeks. The Wright Brothers’ first successful flight attempt in 1903 was a critical step toward making the world a much smaller …
It will be 10 years this September since the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet rolled out of the Sprint Cup garage for the first time at the Dover International Raceway. Kenny Wallace was behind the wheel of a Chevrolet rented from the now defunct PPI Motorsports team. Wallace started dead last and finished in the …
Just as many corporations large and small debate on whether they should continue their NASCAR sponsorship deals, a small non-profit University in Ohio with the nickname of “Racers” has announced they are increasing their marketing exposure in the sport. Last week, Bristol Motor Speedway announced that the University of Northwestern Ohio will be sponsoring both the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race and the NASCAR Whelen Modified event.
The three other ad agency finalists had either worked with NASCAR or their corporate partners before, not making a strong case for themselves as one of the agencies to take NASCAR in the new direction they seek. After narrowing down to the final four agencies, from what started as 110 inquiries, Young & Rubicam removed themselves from consideration. This left Ogilvy & Mather to compete against just Leo Burnett and McCann Erickson before being chosen as the lead candidate.
“Significant changes in our ecosystem impacted how we deliver our message and position our brand to existing fans while increasing the appeal of NASCAR to new audiences,” explained Kim Brink, NASCAR managing director of brand, consumer and series marketing. “We were thoroughly impressed with the caliber of all three finalists; but Ogilvy’s consistency, creativity and dynamic leadership were the key differentiators. We’re delighted to join the agency’s roster of big consumer brands.”
NASCAR polled teams and tracks in a review to see what brands are sponsoring the sport. So far in 2012, 24 brands have committed to sponsorship somewhere within NASCAR. According to Jon Schwartz, NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications, these new participants include Fortune 500 Altria Group, Hewlett Packard, and MasterCard.
None of these new Fortune 500 company logos, however, are adorned on the hood of a race car. Of course, a Sprint Cup car’s paint scheme is a fan’s favorite place to see a sponsor’s logo, and also the best way to keep a race team full of crew members fully employed. But while the race teams themselves have signed many of their current backers to extensions this season, no major additions for 2013 have been announced as of yet.
Tuesday the U.S. Army announced that it will not continue to pursue sponsorship opportunities within NASCAR. The much anticipated announcement is unfortunate to say the least for Stewart-Haas Racing and Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 U.S. Army Chevrolet.
Other drivers could be caught up in the resulting whirlwind, because someone is expected to be displaced in the forthcoming Silly Season ripple effect, should Ryan Newman test the free agency market due to losing the Army as a 12 race primary sponsor. Not having a full-docket of sponsorship for the 2013 season is likely to send Newman searching elsewhere, causing another driver to start searching for a new employment.
This year NASCAR has announced they will take over business and editorial control of their own interactive, digital and social media rights, including technical operations and infrastructure of NASCAR.com and all other NASCAR digital platforms, as of January 1, 2013. NASCAR.com, and the sport’s other digital and social media platforms, have been managed by Turner Sports since 2001. In this recent change, NASCAR and Turner Sports have restructured their partnership through 2016, with Turner Sports relinquishing much of the control of the rights.
The control NASCAR handed over to Turner Sports more than a decade ago is something they have been regretting, as the digital world has been passing NASCAR by in recent years. The potential profit they could incur as this contract ends could prove to be a windfall, for this sport with fans that are embracing technology at a pace arguably faster than any other.
With the 2012 season approaching the halfway point, thousands of NASCAR fans have already been able to experience the sport’s newest electronic gadget while at the track. FanVision, a hand-held controller which has been a familiar sight in the stands of Formula One races and NFL games for years, made its NASCAR debut this season, providing fans with live stats, replays, the leader board, lap times, audio of every driver and much more, all within the palm of their hand. No matter how the view is from their seats, fans can know virtually everything that is going on in the event by using FanVision. Such a device has quenched many fan’s desire to know everything about every competitor instantaneously. However, another group, whose job depends on knowing about every pass, lap time and position at any given time, has also greatly benefited from the newest addition to the NASCAR fan experience.
It has been said for a few years now that one of NASCAR’s biggest problems is that the Cup Series still doesn’t have anybody to fill the shoes of Dale Earnhardt. Earnhardt was tough, gruff, and “The Intimidator,” leading the drivers in both action and aggressiveness until his tragic death in 2001. The only drivers that currently have that type of a take-no-crap attitude, similar to how Earnhardt was on the track back in the day, are Tony Stewart and Kurt Busch.