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NASCAR and the Marketing Genius

Aug 17, 2007
Nascar is the up and coming sport in America. It has supasses Hockey as the number 4 sport on the national scene. It is quickly approaching the popularity level of The National Basketball Association if not already surpassing it in some arenas. The NASCAR fan base is a rabid consumer group that is courted every race Sunday by no less than 43 primary sponsors.

These fans are loyal to their favorite drivers primary sponsor. Rarely will you find a Tony Stewart fan in a Lowe's, likewise you won't find a Jimmie Johnson fan browsing the local Home Depot. So where did this rabid fan base originate.

Back on December 14, 1947, Bill France and several members from different organizations decided during meetings to officially form the NASCAR (National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing). This decision was cemented corporately on February 21, 1948. The Association was going to stage races for the public. During the first years 8 races were ran to determine a NASCAR champion. All the while the fan base was growing.

Unlike CART and other racing forms the premise for NASCAR was a run what you could buy at the dealership mentality. During the early years the fans could purchase the cars that they saw running on the tracks. With little to no modication these cars could be lined up on the local streets and raced. With great regularity this occurred. As the fans saw the races and developed an identity with the cars on the track they became avid consumers of the drivers products. The drivers were the ultimate spokesmen of the cars reputation. If they could wind with them on the track then clearly they were worth driving on the streets.

As time proceeded safety modifications led to speed modifications and the executives at NASCAR relaxed the run what you bought mentality and the cars drifted from the original designs of the manufacturers. Roll cages were added necessitating the advent of tubular frames for the cars. The engines were removed from the cars and heavily modified. The suspension was changed to accommodate the variation in frame design. All the while NASCAR maintained an external body design that the racing fan could identify with in their driveway. This identification bread over to the products that the drivers were advertising on their cars.

The greatest link to advertising in the early years of NASCAR was STP/Dodge/ and Richard Petty. This link is so strong that even today when you think of NASCAR racing the tall black haired gentlemen with the blue and red car comes to mind quickly. Legions of fans would drive their Dodge cars to the track placing STP products into their cars because that was what Richard would do.

This Marketing effort has been carried over as NASCAR has expanded from its original fanbase of southern towns to locales elsewhere. Recent track additions have included New Hampshire, Phoenix, California. All of these speedways are critical to the expanding NASCAR juggernaut. But that write-up is going to be saved for another article.
About the Author
Charles is an avid NASCAR fan and comes from a family with ties back to the 50's with the NASCAR elite. Charles sponsors several different websites. Please take time to visit them at http://www.nascar-blog.info, http://www.technologyblog.biz, http://thewebllama.com
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