Thursday, January 6, 2011

More Help for NASCAR

There are reality shows about almost everything. And, yes, NASCAR reality shows have aired before. NASCAR needs to get behind this concept, and "suggest" that the teams and drivers allow their reality producers full access. Let us see the drivers when they aren't just robotically repeating their sponsor's names, followed by a Coke chug.

The old reality shows on NASCAR drivers and teams featured mostly D-listers. We need the new ones to feature the top stars. How about Dale Jr on the Bachelor? Kyle Busch on Survivor? Seriously, NASCAR needs to use TV shows to get their driver's faces on prime time TV.

All of the shiny, empty grandstands at the race tracks last year were hard to ignore. It's time to start giving kids free tickets. Through schools, churches, scouts, little league, etc. The kids will have to be accompanied by an adult, who will have to buy a ticket. The kids help fill in the stands while the tracks sell more food, souvenirs, and parking.

Why stop with the kids? If the tracks know they're going to eat a bunch of tickets anyway, why not hand out hundreds of them to radio stations? The stations give lots of free publicity while giving tix away as prizes, or "to the ninth caller with the phrase that pays!".

Those are a couple simple fixes to help NASCAR gain new fans and viewers. But, the one thing they should focus on are the young people. They are the future of this sport. Too bad that this future would rather sit in their bedrooms playing a simulated racing game than watching a live one. If NASCAR is to survive, it has to reach that potential audience.


  1. Good ideas... just need someone to cut through the fog surounding Brian.

    Maybe the WAG's of NASCAR could have a show, where they "punk" their counterparts? I'd watch that, maybe...

  2. I read an article somewhere back a few years that speculated on where the sports stadiums of the future would be. It went to long lengths to point out how important computers have become in our lives. Each seat in the stadium will have it's own computer. All the computers are interfaced. This concept made interaction between the fans and the event they are watching possible. The concept also threw in gambling. For instance... in a football stadium the fans are asked to predict what the next play is going to be from a list of possibilities. Those that get it right win so many credits. The computers also access current game statistics as well as monitor the other league games being played at the same time. It's a natural tie-in with fantasy football, and so on. This is all geared toward this new generation that can't seem to function without their computer.

    Bruton Smith's new video screen at Charlotte is a small step in this direction. If they run it properly they'll be putting up race statistics as well as the actual racing and replays.

    Somehow NASCAR must meld itself into computers to a much greater degree to influence new, young fans.

    Thanks Gene!

  3. CR.... I'd like to see the WAGs punking their drivers.... as long as a Waltrip isn't involved...LOL

  4. Dwindy... That seems like a great idea for football, even better for baseball with all it's lulls in the action. Would spilled beer be a problem? lol

    NASCAR experimented with handheld devices for a couple years in the recent past. I never tried one, but I think you could watch on a small screen, and listen to different teams radio feeds through earphones.

    When I'm at a sporting event with a great video screen, I find myself watching it way more than the live action. May as well have stayed home. LOL

    NASCAR does need to get on the technology train very soon.

  5. Gene,

    The attraction to live and in person is the ambience. You can't duplicate the experience... Come-alongs like big screens, computers, etc. will work to put people in the stands and hopefully once they've enjoyed the experience they'll come back for more. I see the day when gambling will become a big part of auto racing (much like horse racing). They'll have to figure out several things to bet on rather than just who is going to win the race. Maybe who's ahead after 50 laps, then go to 100... Keep the bettors moving to the pay windows (strategically placed next to the concession stands).

    There's more than one way to skin a cat!

  6. I agree wholeheartedly about getting the youth involved. I'd tie it in with the local and regional vehicle dealerships; that is, all those who work at the dealerships and their families. Those who work at a Ford, Chevy, Dodge, or Toyota dealership get up to two discounted tickets (for the employee and his/her spouse) and free tickets for the kids.

  7. Jon.... that would be a great idea, but I'd give them to employees instead of discounting them. They aren't selling them anyway. Also, let the dealers give tix away to those who test drive their cars.