To the non-fan, NASCAR stands for “Non Athletic Sport Centered Around Rednecks”….it’s real meaning is “National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing”. To corporate America it stands for “Big Business”
NASCAR and their premier division “Nextel Cup” is the second most watched sport in America, only the NFL tops it for attendance and television audiences. On any given weekend during the season, more race fans pack race tracks to capacity, than any major sporting event… All-star Game, Superbowl, or PGA Golf Tournament. The website ‘NASCAR.com’ gets over ONE BILLION hits a year
The Nextel Cup features 26 weekly races, plus a 10 race playoff type schedule. It’s the only sport that has what’s called “It’s Superbowl” as the first race of the season. The Daytona 500 is viewed by over 30 million, over 180 thousand pack the grandstands and infield each year for that event.
This sport that many assume their fans to be white, male, and southern. Well, that assumption is just plain wrong. NASCAR’s fan base is made up by 40% woman, in fact, NASCAR has more women watching, than the NFL or Major League Baseball. The minority fan base increases each week, making up about 10% at this point. The average income of a NASCAR Nextel Cup fan is 83,000 a year.
You see corporate sponsor names everywhere, on the cars, uniforms, tracks, and merchandise. NASCAR fans are the most “Brand Loyal” in the world. These sponsor names cash in on that loyalty…Dale Earnhardt Jr. fans drink Budweiser, you won’t find a lot of Tony Stewart fans setting one foot inside a LOWE’s, because Tony is sponsored by “Home Depot”, Jeff Gordon fans paint with nothing but Dupont paint, etc. It cost 10 to 20 million per year for the top teams to be competitive and Corporate America is more than happy to cough up that kind of cash for what they get in return. It costs sponsor’s around a million and a half dollars a season just to have their company name on the trunk lid of a top Nextel Cup car.
The drivers are the stars and they offer everything from: good looking, ugly, fat, tall, thin, smart, dumb, intelligent, stupid, macho, wimpy, young and old. You can’t find another sport that offers the drama week in and week out that a NASCAR Nextel Cup race offers.
This is only a brief overview of America’s second most watched sport, there is a lot more to uncover in future articles related to NASCAR, but you can not deny, that NASCAR is the best
reality show there is.