DIVERSITY IN NASCAR–or the lack of it!

Diversity has been on e of the biggest issues in NASCAR over the years. As in the past with people trying to be equal depending on race or gender, in NASCAR too there is a big gap of diversityl. Other sports such as basketball, football, and baseball have been making lots of changes to make the environment more diverse and the results of these efforts are outstanding because they have brought more fans to the sports.

NASCAR is usually seen as a predominately white American sport, while most other sports are trying to become more diverse. Juan Pablo Montoya, a Colombian, who is currently a NASCAR driver, has made a difference in NASCAR. He has performed well in many races and he has done a great job overall. Due to his performance in NASCAR, Juan has attracted many Spanish fans to follow and watch NASCAR. The Indy Racing League has Danica Patrick, who has broken the male dominance of the sport and has given women the opportunity to see anything is possible.

So my concern is why is NASCAR is not so diverse? Why there are no African Americans or women involved as drivers in NASCAR at the upper levels? Why can’t there be a Tiger Woods in NASCAR? Why can’t there be more women like Danica Patrick in NASCAR? All of these are concerns that are very important because I think that by bringing women and other races to the sport a more diverse environment can exist. The biggest result of this diversity would be a more diverse fan base in NASCAR.

And that’s the view from here.

EK

WHAT IS GOING ON?

As a brand new NASCAR fan, I am enjoying the array of sponsors and recognizing their specific products in stores. I can see now where the brand loyalty statistics come from because just today I saw Coke Zero in a grocery store and remembered getting a sample of it at the concessions at RIR. However, it has been reported recently that many big brand sponsors are pulling out of the Sprint Cup Series. Jim Beam and Jack Daniels both announced recently that they are not including NASCAR in their marketing plans in the near future. In addition, Lowe’s has announced that it will not hold the naming rights for the Lowe’s Motor Speedway after an 11-year relationship with Speedway Motorsports Inc. Is the declining economy to blame? Are companies struggling with the high costs of marketing and advertising their products within the Sprint Cup Series? It is really interesting and coincidental that two liquor companies pulled out, one after the other. Are NASCAR fans more likely to buy beer than liquor? What is the future for alcoholic beverages and sponsorship?

I am not sure exactly what is going on with these particular companies but I am assuming it is a combination of issues. It will be interesting to see what happens with the naming rights of the Charlotte Motor Speedway and if any other alcoholic beverage company announces an ending sponsorship.

And that’s the view from here.

SM

NASCAR and Its Declining Attendance

For those of us who are and have been dedicated NASCAR fans for years (or even decades) the question we sometimes ask is: Why is attendance declining in NASCAR? I have been wondering the same and and as a result of my curiosity I searched for possible reasons as to why attendance continues to decline in NASCAR.

According to an article on Forbes.com, a few reasons are: high price of gas cutting back travel, cost of hotel rooms and food, bored by lack of drama, and ticket prices at the track. Joe Baumann of Erie, PA “thought that races with boxier and safer cars were not as exciting as they used to be.” In response, NASCAR is looking to make improvements to regain interest from those fans who lost interest in the sport.

The Washington Post stated that NASCAR Chief Executive Brian France is looking for ways to make NASCAR’s car more “racey after NASCAR mandated a single body shape for all of its cars in 2007.” In addition, France recently decided on making the races start earlier and on at a more consistent start time.

NASCAR is aware of the declining attendance and is working on making changes to address the issue. We will not find out whether these changes will be successful until racing starts next year. However, for those who have decided to attend fewer races or not to attend any races at all, it may be difficult to pinpoint the exact reasons as to why each person has made that decision. On the other hand, for those of us who remain NASCAR fans, we can only hope that these changes will bring about a positive effect for the future and for the betterment of the sport.

And that’s the view from here.

LK

NASCAR’s Sponsorship Slump

As drivers continue to qualify for the upcoming races, many teams are scrambling to secure sponsors to even finish out the season. With the economic downturn, many of the sponsors are rethinking contracts and wondering if NASCAR is still a good investment.

Jimmie Johnson told the Richmond Times-Dispatch in May, “The economy has changed the way a lot of companies do business, but most of our sponsors are confident that NASCAR is a solid investment.”

Although the bigger companies still think NASCAR is a great investment, anxious shareholders are simply seeing stock values decline.
Andrew Glangola mentions that race fans are consciously loyal to the sponsors on the cars. Some sponsors are becoming part-time, but even this is better than nothing. About 400 sponsors are involved with NASCAR in some level because they know it works. Being affiliated with this sport brings in revenue.

Though some of the sponsors are backing out, most know that NASCAR still is a solid investment and that is enough to at least be somewhat involved with the sport.

And that’s the view from here.

CC

NASCAR Hall of Fame – Nothing to sneeze at!

The much-anticipated NASCAR Hall of Fame is set to open in May 2010 in Charlotte, North Carolina. In addition to bestowing honor upon those featured in the Hall of Fame, the 130,000 square foot hall will house a museum and entertainment attractions. It will serve as a tribute to the drivers, crew members, team owners, and other contributors to the sport.

The complex will also include a new ballroom and the NASCAR Plaza Office Tower.
Perhaps most exciting for the fans, however, are the multitude of attractions being considered for inclusion in the Hall of Fame. Among those are a racing simulator and “A Week in the Life” (a behind the scenes look at a NASCAR team and race day preparation), and about ten other interactive activities! For more on those, visit www.nascarhall.com.

So what kind of impact will a facility of this magnitude have on the city of Charlotte?

According to John Connaughton, University of North Carolina–Charlotte economist, the economic impact will be roughly $62 million annually! In light of the recent economic downturn, the NASCAR Hall of Fame also may be just the thing to boost revenues for NASCAR in terms of admissions sales and souvenirs. Regardless, it will surely boost Charlotte’s economy, bringing jobs and tourists alike to the city.

I, for one, look forward to learning the exciting new plans still in the making for NASCAR’s first Hall of Fame and Charlotte’s own “Crown Jewel”, as coined by Charlotte’s mayor Pat McRory.

And that’s the view from here.

AR

WHY HAS TV VIEWERSHIP DECLINED LATELY?

NASCAR is one of the most famous sports besides the NFL that people like to watch on television whenever they have spare time. Surprisingly, the number of people who watch car racing on television has decreased in the past few years. If the viewership keeps decreasing, car racing may soon cease to be one of the most popular sports.

We are said to be the generation of technology. Younger people can watch sports on their Mac book or little net book while they do other things such as write an essay, play games, or search the web at the same time. There are also too many unnecessary commercials during the race telecast, and this advertising could make some viewers lose interest and change to another channel very quickly. Sometimes the quality of the racing on television is not exciting enough to keep the fans tuned in.

Overall, most people just want to save money since the economy is currently in a slow state; and attending an actual NASCAR race could cost at least $45. If the cost of the tickets is too high, it will be hard for the fans to go to the race track. However, what is the point of wasting time to watch a race on television if you could go to the actual race? Unless ticket costs become more affordable, fans won’t show up for the races and may be turned off to watching on television.

And that’s the view from here.

PL

NASCAR and Drugs

NASCAR has instituted random drug testing for the drivers and crew members to reduce accidents. Recently there have been headlines linking drivers to drug use including Brian Rose, Aaron Fike, Sammy Potashnick and Kevin Grubb. NASCAR has done a good job of keeping its drivers and crew members drug free. This is a result of an effective drug policy. On the first offense NASCAR will pull the driver off the track, offer rehabilitation, and give the driver a second chance; however, a third chance will not be given. Shane Hmiel was suspended permanently from NASCAR in February 2006 due to failed drug tests. The policy and stance that NASCAR takes are very different from what is happening in Major League Baseball (MLB).
MLB has been plagued with allegations, scandals, and embarrassment as a result of an insufficient drug policy. The fans of MLB have been continuously disappointed over the past ten years as the players continually use steroids and cheat the game of its integrity. Not only are the players using drugs, but the league seems to be powerless to do anything to stop it. Obviously the organizational structure of the MLB is very different from NASCAR, but the MLB could learn a lot from the hard stance that NASCAR takes on drug use. NASCAR does a great job of avoiding embarrassment by dealing with drug issues up front and issuing punishments that are designed to stop drug use. As a result NASCAR is able to maintain its integrity to the sport and the fans. This hard stance on drugs can only help the sustainability of the organization and the image of the business.

And that’s the view from here.

GM