Friday, September 22, 2006

Will NASCAR Become America’s Number One Sport?

So they are a lot of football fans reading this title and they are shaking their heads. I can hear them now – “The NFL will always be the number one sport in America.” Personally, I am not a big fan of NASCAR, but I have accepted that it is more popular than baseball and I believe the sport is on par with the NFL.

In regards to straight media coverage, the NFL has NASCAR beat hands down. Games are shown on four stations each week and there are a plethora of football shows on during the weekend. NASCAR, on the other hand, is at a disadvantage since it one has two races each weekend – NASCAR and Busch race.

Since there are only two stock car races each weekend, over 100,000 people usually attend every race. I wish I had the stats on the amount of money NASCAR fans spend at an event after buying their tickets. They drop hundreds of dollars on apparel at the races. It is not even close to how much a football fan spends and that includes tailgating. Now, some football fans attend eight home games a season so the money would even out in the long run.

I think the real difference is the marketing and sponsorship activities with each sport. If you are a company looking to sponsor a sport in the U.S. and the NFL and NASCAR offer the same ROI, which league are you going to partner with? Well, that’s easy – NASCAR. The fans are, by far, the most loyal fans in all of sports. Everyone knows how their fans will buy products that are associated with NASCAR. The league understands how to market it sponsors and works with them to ensure they see a strong ROI from their partnership.

NASCAR drivers also understand the importance of working with sponsors and promoting the league. They participate in commercials, attend signings, talk with the media, etc. NFL players, on the other hand, have a set amount of times they must appear in public on behalf of the team and then they are done. These players don’t have the same passion in helping to raise exposure for the sport.

Like it or not, if I was looking to have a company sponsor a sport, I would look to NASCAR before contacting anyone else.


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