Monday, December 27, 2010

New Fans for NASCAR

We have all witnessed NASCAR's declining fan base over the last few years. NASCAR tries to blame it on the economy, but why are their TV ratings free falling also? I believe we can all agree that the racing in 2010 particularly in the Chase, was terrific, but fans still tuned out in droves. So, where, and when, is our sport's summer of recovery?

NASCAR missed the whole internet thing when it blew by them about fifteen years ago. The NFL recognized the net as a valuable commodity from which to gather potential fans. The best part? It required zero effort from the NFL.

How did they gain millions of new fans, and TV viewers? By just sitting back and watching the fans compete against themselves, that's how. Fantasy football has gained more fans for the NFL than its on-field product ever did. Twenty million viewers per game is an almost weekly happening for the NFL thanks to the fantasy geeks. And the NFL has nothing invested in it.

How can NASCAR pop TV ratings through fantasy team play, you ask? Unlike the NFL, NASCAR should start its own fantasy league. Control the players, the stats, and the payouts. That's right, payouts. How does $100,000 to the winning player each week sound? That might even get Aunt Sarah to watch a little NASCAR.

Okay, $100,000 per week to the winner. Another $25,000 split up between 2nd through 20th place players. 20th through 500th would receive sponsor's gift certificates, coupons, souvenirs, memorabilia, etc.

This would all lead to the fantasy season championship worth $1,000,000 to the winner! With another million doled out for the 2nd through 50th place finishers. Additional prizes similar to the weekly ones would go out to the next 500 players.

I see this scenario costing NASCAR around ten million bucks, but a lot less when they get sponsors to foot the bill. Make your TV partners hype this, and give updates, and publicize the winners weekly. Build excitement among non-fans through web ads, and TV spots.

Oh, did I mention.... it's free.


  1. I'm all for it Gene! (think I mentioned the same some time back...)

    Maybe we could run our own little fantasy league around here. You put up the money... :))

    NFL fans tune into inconsequential games just to check out their fantasy players... Then there's the NFL channel. I've got NFL ticket even though I'm not in a fantasy league (I've done it in the past but found people would drop out near the end of the season when their teams did poorly).

    Seems to me NASCAR's a natural. Mix the top three series to get participation on every level. Fans would get to know all the drivers.

    Thanks Gene!

  2. Great idea Gene! Too bad BZF is too dense to realize what a great idea it is!

  3. Dwindy... I thought I had heard of this idea somewhere.... brilliant idea, D-Man!

    LOL, the only way I could put up the money is through sponsors... and they are hard to find right now. I'll let you handle the stats. We need more than just finishing order. Maybe, qualifying, laps led, laps completed, etc?

    The FLW has been doing a multi-million dollar fantasy league for a couple of years now, and the don't even have a TV partner.

  4. Jon... I have a few more ideas to elevate NASCAR attendance and ratings. I'll have a couple more posts about it.

  5. Gene, Great idea. I see NASCAR does have a fantasy league website What they need to do is assess the current fantasy league's success and make enhancements where needed as well as market it in the proper channels.
    Do you agree?

    Joe from Buffalo

  6. Joe... Yes, I agree... I think the chance to win big money will really pop it. Make it free, with a chance to be a millionaire!

  7. Well Gene. That's a start of many things that are probably low hanging fruit -- to bring NASCAR to the new fan base and not alienate the old.
    Joe from Buffalo

  8. Joe.... I'm an old fan, but I realize this sport won't survive without new fans every year. A lot of old fans are set in their ways and don't think about where NASCAR will be in 10-20 years.

    "Low hanging fruit".... Maybe NASCAR will understand one day...

  9. Thanks for your thoughts Gene. I would love to keep up our dialogue in the near future. May 2011 be great one for all of us!!! All the best!

    Joe from Buffalo