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(95,359 posts)
Sat Oct 30, 2021, 03:16 PM Oct 2021

Wooing Newcomers to 'NASCAR Nation' [View all]

New York Times

“We’ve made no bones about we want to attract some new fans and new teams, and that starts with the car,” said John Probst, NASCAR’s senior vice president for racing innovation.

But to attract that young, diverse audience, NASCAR must reckon with its past. It’s an open question how much a car can do to assuage a troubling history of discrimination. “NASCAR is doing some things, but they need to do more,” said Bill Lester, who in 1999 became one of the few African-American drivers in NASCAR, and said he was still uncomfortable at some tracks: “At Talladega? Shoot. At Martinsville, Virginia? I was sweating.”

The league is in a difficult position. Its economic clout grew out of its appeal to white working-class fans. For decades, it fostered an outlaw image true to its roots of good ol’ boy moonshiners outrunning the law in hopped-up coupes. By the 1990s, the largely white, right-leaning audience became an economic and political force known as “NASCAR Nation,” valued as the most brand-loyal consumers in sports. But fans warmly nostalgic for Old Dixie are aging out. The young, diverse spectators whom sponsors now want don’t get misty-eyed at the raising of the Confederate flag, which the league banned last year.

NASCAR’s challenge is to appeal to a new audience without alienating an old one, even as it seeks to distance itself from some of what that old audience held dear. The league’s strategy is all rolled up into Next Gen — to pay homage to the past and outrun it at the same time. Honoring the past, it looks like a stock vehicle to “put the ‘stock’ back in stockcar,” as NASCAR likes to say. Anticipating for the future, it can be converted to electric power.

Billions ride on the plan. NASCAR is due to enter negotiations for its broadcast rights, which previously brought an estimated $8 billion over 10 years. Delivering diverse viewers becomes a multibillion-dollar marketing imperative.
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Wooing Newcomers to 'NASCAR Nation' [View all] brooklynite Oct 2021 OP
They have to want a diverse audience first uponit7771 Oct 2021 #1
They can ban confederate flags at NASCAR races, but you will still likely sit next to rubes. Hoyt Oct 2021 #2
They lost me when some Bush voters were called "Nascar dads". I couldn't have anyone thinking brewens Oct 2021 #3
I was trying to imagine a NASCAR race with all electric cars, might be cool Walleye Oct 2021 #4
How would the crew chiefs cheat then? Eliot Rosewater Oct 2021 #7
Why would the type of powerplant matter? MichMan Oct 2021 #13
true Eliot Rosewater Oct 2021 #20
or maybe souped up Priuses DBoon Oct 2021 #11
Jeff Gordon became a liberal when he married his 2nd wife. Eliot Rosewater Oct 2021 #5
:) Nice. Nascar's changing because the old ways lost the "culture wars." Hortensis Oct 2021 #26
If NASCAR suddenly became the most open and inclusive Aristus Oct 2021 #6
If it were that simple, a whole lot more folks would do it. Eliot Rosewater Oct 2021 #8
I have shot a basketball before MichMan Oct 2021 #15
Are they going to denounce that "let's go Brandon" slogan?? 🤬 🤬 🤬 a kennedy Oct 2021 #9
Don't know. Misbehavior by part of the audience. Read that audio's Hortensis Oct 2021 #27
I'd sooner watch... 3catwoman3 Oct 2021 #10
:) Me too, but my husband still watches some and chats with friends Hortensis Oct 2021 #28
Formula 1's popularity is starting to eat into Nascar's ratings. FSogol Oct 2021 #12
No it isn't Darwins_Retriever Oct 2021 #14
WAPO reported the other day that F1 ratings were up 51% over last year. FSogol Oct 2021 #23
F1 and NASCAR competed head to head last weekend at the exact same time MichMan Oct 2021 #16
I watch Formula 1 racing, as I have no interest in that roundy-rounder stuff. Brother Mythos Oct 2021 #17
Wasn't it the F1 race at Belgium when they drove a few laps behind a pace car under caution in rain? MichMan Oct 2021 #18
At least it wasn't an incredibly boring circle track, and they actually drove in the rain. Brother Mythos Oct 2021 #19
Shortened? It was only 3 laps behind the safety car at 35 mph or so. MichMan Oct 2021 #22
Non-redneck? Eliot Rosewater Oct 2021 #21
Obviously my use of the term 'redneck' has touched a nerve with you. So, ... Brother Mythos Oct 2021 #24
You are the one with the touched nerve, I merely pointed out that not all NASCAR fans are rednecks. Eliot Rosewater Oct 2021 #25
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