Monday, July 17, 2006

NASCAR in New England

Last week NASCAR rolled into New Hampshire for the first of its two yearly events at NHIS. I would like a show of hands to see how many people knew NASCAR was at the Speedway.

Here is what I don't understand. On race day, there are 110,000 people at the track. For one day, the speedway property becomes the second largest city in NH. How much coverage did the race get in Boston? The Globe and Herald had reporters covering the race. CN8 was there. I don't even know if WBZ, WCVB, FOX or NESN even sent a camera to cover the races.

Since NASCAR first competed at NHIS in 1993, the public relations department has always tried to find ways to generate interest with the Boston media. Editor's Note: I worked at the Speedway for nine summers. Some activities that took place in the past included bringing down drivers for press conferences or bringing down a team and showing the media first-hand what happens when a car pits during the race. These were great ideas and they did generate some interest.

This is what NHIS and NASCAR need to do to generate interest in Boston. This is the most important market in New England. If the sports media starts covering these races, over time, people are going to become interested in the sport.

They need to create a FanFest type event the week before the race in Boston. They could hold it at the Hynes Convention Center or in a part of the new convention center near the waterfront. NASCAR could easily secure a top sponsor for the FanFest event. What sponsor wouldn't want the opportunity to get in front of fans in a new market. NHIS could have buses bring people to Boston for the day who have camped out at the track. Bostonians, who do not know anything about the sport, could learn first hand. Last, the media would attend the FanFest since it is slow close, which equals more coverage in the long run.

It should be noted that Concord, NH use to hold a FanFest type event on the Thursday before the race by shutting down main street and that event would draw anywhere from 20 to 30,000 fans. How many more fans would come to Boston?


Post a Comment

<< Home