It’s time to escalate the battle of NASCAR Junction

Every time I watch ESPN’s SportsCenter they feel compelled to run coverage of the latest NASCAR race. Now, I know NASCAR is a huge social phenomenon south of the Mason-Dixon Line and that corporate marketers everywhere think it’s the next "cool" way to spend their money, but what’s with all the fights and temper tantrums that accompany every friggin’ NASCAR race?

It seems like every video clip of a checkered flag is also accompanied by the spectre of some pissedFight_2  off good ol’ boy driver punching out another one, or kicking the living bejesus out of the fender of a car that had cut him off during the race. What, exactly, do the driver hysterics add to the overall NASCAR experience? Are there not enough spectacular crashes and deaths to sate the average fan? Have the drivers decided amongst themselves to add an additional dimension to the so-called sport?

Rather than turn a blind eye to such nonsense, why doesn’t the NASCAR hierarchy, instead, embrace the drivers’ boorishness and leverage its intrinsic marketing potential?

I can just see The Home Depot, Valvoline, Tide Laundry Detergent or some other mega sponsor throwing millions of dollars into a "Friday night fights at the Talledega 500." Just imagine: after yet another incredibly boring race, NASCAR fans could stick around to watch various drivers lace on boxing gloves and step into an infield "ring" where they could take out any pent-up hostilities and follow the Marquis of Queensbury’s rules instead of their own. Each winner would be given additional "points" towards an eventual NASCAR championship.

But, why stop there? NASCAR could further flex its marketing muscle by embarking on a series of co-branded promotions with like-minded organizations. How about buddying up with Glock to provide drivers with 9mm semi-automatic weapons they could use on one another during the race? Or, how about Lowe’s stepping up and providing the drivers with nails and tacks that they could hurl onto the track whenever their road rage exceeds the speed limit?

There are just so many potential opportunities for NASCAR to really make the most of its "Battling Billy Bobs." And, speaking of bats, how about a co-brand with Hillerich & Bradsby, maker of the Louisville Slugger baseball bat? All I can say is, "gentlemen start your engines (and your swinging).

7 thoughts on “It’s time to escalate the battle of NASCAR Junction

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  2. I think ESPN should just go ahead and launch a new channel for NASCAR, The World Series of Poker (Seems like there’s a new world series every other week), pool, skateboarding, etc.

  3. I think this just may work. I do not live below the Mason-Dixon line, but I do not live in what I like to call any city of substance. And just a few weeks ago, some friends rented a big screen tv, bought a keg and put it in the backyard to watch Ultimate Fighting Championships. Between fights, someone (a woman) decided it would be fun to give rides on a John Deere lawn tractor. Now these are not the NASCAR watching types, amazingly enough, but they would tune in to see such fights. But that whole marketing to NASCAR works. I do have another friend who has completely wall-papered the walls and ceiling of his garage with Budweiser 18-pk cartons. He is a big E Jr. fan and just a fan of the King of Beers in general – and he is like 43. So there is a big audience out there – just not in the compact metropolitan areas of the country.

  4. NASCAR fans are not the sort to attend a fencing match or follow the America’s Cup because the likelihood of a fiery crash is rather slim. Since “good” crashes don’t happen in every race, I imagine the race organizers see having the drivers in fisticuffs as the next best thing. That’s the type of audience to which they are playing and they’re giving them what they want. Personally I’d rather watch bread mold, but there’s a huge market share of low-brows who live for this trash. And it sure sells.

  5. I think you misunderstood my tongue-in-cheek suggestions, Moviechic663. In my mind, drivers punching out other drivers has become a constant feature of NASCAR viewing (and, should have no place in the sport). Yes, other sports have occasional tantrums, but nothing like what’s been happening in NASCAR over the past few years. I think such antics have no place in the sport and would definitely say so to any prospective NASCAR client.

  6. Marketing the sensational aspects of any sport would perhaps draw in more viewers and fans, but what then would happen to the small remaining bit of integrity sports can claim? All sports have their fair share of “temper tantrums” – tennis stars curse bad line calls and NBA players dive into the stands to fight fans. But would the USTA or NBA EVER develop a marketing campaign around this bad behavior? It seems as if you are suggesting that NASCAR market “the drivers’ boorishness” because you don’t take the sport seriously – just a pastime for some the southern, redneck type. It seems irresponsible to be so flippant about a sport that you identify as a huge social phenomenon. Would you honestly suggest a post-race boxing match if a RFP from NASCAR’s marketing division came Peppercom’s way tomorrow?