Disciple of INDYCAR Weblog

April 22, 2009

Trends Continue Upward

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 2:08 am

Great news following Long Beach….ratings, even though still on a limited tier cable channel and not competing against NASCAR, are up. There are a few cart-centric feeble minds with limited intellect who are crowing as if the sky is falling again, but it looks to me as if everything is on target. NASCAR’s ratings were off nearly 20%. Could be the tide is turning.

AGR also announced new sponsorship for Marco at Kansas and Indy…some energy drink. New sponsorship is always great.

One poppepsi_bottlesular advertising concept today is product placement. Watch the next time Scott Dixon or Dario is interviewed on national television. They will take sips of Pepsi products without fail. They have the sip down to an art for proper display of the new Pepsi logo (which, by the way, is butt-ugly). I wonder how much the team is paid for that?

One portion of NASCAR I have always really liked but thought I would hate before I sampled it is the truck racing. Those guys get out there and actually RACE as if their lives depend on it. I’m looking forward to seeing them live at Kansas this weekend. I also eagerly anticipate the first oval event of the year. That should be great!



  1. WOW… we FINALLY agree on something. the new PEPSI logo does suck a$$!!! 🙂

    Target does have the prominent shelf space for the 20-25 associate sponsors on the car (Energizer, Fuji Film, etc…) Perhaps Chip is trying to get Pepsi to kick some $$$ for a one race PEPSI car ( especially after AGR highlighted Dr. Pepper @ LBGP)

    Comment by AZZO45 — April 22, 2009 @ 2:23 am | Reply

  2. How long do you think it will be before Nascar copies this gound breaking method of drinking pepsi on TV with the logo facing the camera? I’m also thinking that corporate boardrooms are buzzing this week at Indycar’s strong TV numbers. Up over 40% in one week!!!! That is tremendous growth

    Comment by IRLfan4ever — April 22, 2009 @ 2:46 pm | Reply

  3. If the Indy Car Series can simply find terra firma with VS, they have a tremendous platform to grow from. That network gives the series coverage that can’t be topped. But even more valuable is the presentation quality and demographic aim that seems targeted towards viewers who would find Indy Cars simply more appealing than Cup cars. This audience is much of the same populous that have strayed from NASCAR. The Tupperware club following NASCAR these days represent a group of Americans that have fallen for the latest gimmicks from the France PR machine. That is why we now have ‘digger’ . This Caddyshack ripoff that uses camera angles developed years ago at the IMS surely does not appeal to the 20-50 year-old males. IMO, the departure of this lot could be why NASCAR ratings have dropped.

    Many males that follow NASCAR are most likely pulled along by their wives who have a thing for a certain driver. I feel VS marketing the IRL to this lost group of viewers is genius. I can only hope they have the medium to make the connection.

    The down side is VS is small compared to ESPN. However this up and coming network could be the ball in the cannon. If Indy Car can establish itself as a big sport on this network , establish a plateau that does not run sponsors away from lack of exposure, and the network takes off and becomes big, BINGO.

    Comment by Mike Miller — April 22, 2009 @ 3:31 pm | Reply

  4. Let’s keep this in perspective: Nascar had nearly 6 million viewers while IRL had 500,000.

    TV ratings are the key measurement of marketing viability for a series and, unfortunately, I doubt corporate America is swayed by these numbers.

    IRL-like numbers will attract second or third-tier sponsors like the Dr Pepper/Snapple energy drink or Dad’s Root Beer because they are national brands but can’t really afford national advertising. But it’s hard for the Big Guys — Coke, Pepsi, Bud, Miller, etc. — to justify the IRL because they operate primarily on factual numbers, not personal emotions. (It’s a media buy for them.)

    Marlboro probably would not enter the IRL today. They remain because of Roger Penske’s character/reputation which is invaluable to their customer relations and the huge marketing equity they have with the team from decade’s long relationship/partnership/association. (Having “branded” drivers like E. Fittipaldi, Mears, Al Jr., Tracy, HCN, and GdF doesn’t hurt either!)

    The sport of Indy car racing was invigorated by last year’s reunification and there is still no denying the fact the Indy 500 is the greatest spectacle in racing. But it needs to not get ahead of itself. I hope Indy car racing continues it forward progress in short, measured steps based on it becoming an interesting sport featuring personable drivers and compelling rivalries. (and I’d like to keep the mix of oval, road and street circuits, but I’ll take whatever works.)

    But being overly optimiistic and not keeping perspective will only lead to disappointment.

    I enjoy the blog.

    Sorry to rant.

    Comment by Hal Raimey — April 22, 2009 @ 7:32 pm | Reply

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