Disciple of INDYCAR Weblog

February 2, 2012

Will Indy Car Be Inspired To Action By The Local Super Bowl?

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 11:03 am

By most accounts the presentation of the Super Bowl by Indianapolis is exceeding the expectations of most everyone, and the game has not even been played yet. The Super Bowl Village and NFL Experience are receiving rave reviews. The national media has swarmed into town and is taking notice.

Indy Car has been doing their part to wow the visitors as well, from providing relevant backdrops; e.g., 33 cars painted up like NFL teams with one for the big game to hosting thousands of media members at a Brickyard bash.

There has been a week-long party that precedes the game. The party is inclusive of all demographics as well. There is something for everyone.

It is my sincere hope that Indy Car is paying attention to this. Hopefully they will be inspired by the presentation of the locals to incorporate some of that mojo into Indy Car. Given the precipitous drop of the style of racing that actually built the series and the rationalized substitution of a style preferred by a minority that has failed on their own with it twice, Indy Car could certainly use the vibe.

The first few years the Super Bowl was held (remember that it has far less than half the history of Indy Car’s big event) they had to give tickets AND television rights away. It has come a very long way.

The presentation of Super Bowl Village and the NFL Experience is exactly the kind of thing Indy Car needs to take on the road, albeit on a less grand scale. Indy Car, after all, has to do it for every race. The concept is the same. Compelling things to do, always funded by some sort of cooperative sponsorship, that makes race weekends an event people will want to attend for THREE days instead of just one. Indy Car already sort of tries to do with festivals o’ speed on street circuits.

They need to also make equally concerted effort for ovals, including 1.5 milers. The weak reasons parroted for dropping ovals remain just obfuscation for what is essentially neglectful management of a style that has served as the foundation of the sport for decades. One need look no further than the current balance of venues in Indy Car along with the trend line since 2005 to prove the point.

Use the magnificent Indianapolis Super Bowl presentation as a guide to how event presentation should occur. Indy Car is worth it.

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4 Comments »

  1. Dear Defender:

    Yes, you correctly point out that the first few Super Bowls (originally called the NFL-AFL World Championship Game) were poorly attended and drew small TV numbers but the rise of iconic teams such as the Cowboys, Raiders and Steelers, along with vehicles such as Monday Night Football, grew the sport in the 1970’s and laid the groundwork for the explosion in popularity which has seen the NFL conquer American sports. And therein lies the problem for Indy Car…where are the stars and why can’t the series turn seemingly animated drivers like Graham Ranal, Ryan Hunter Rey and even Marco, who has the famous name, into better known drivers in the US. If NASCAR can popularize boring and butt ugly drivers like Slug Kyle Busch into household names, Indy Car must do a better job of promoting its young and upcoming stars….Corporate sponsorship is, of course, at the core of the marketing puzzle and Indy Car lacks the muscle to attract heavy hitters like the beer companies, the home improvement stores and even automotive distributors and retailers….I say Ropin’ Randy needs to address the visibility issue before dealing with non-sense like the double bill last year in Texas or the disaster that we have come to know as Las Vegas 2011.

    Comment by Neil Rubin — February 2, 2012 @ 5:14 pm | Reply

  2. I agree. Indycar, and especially the city of Indianapolis, should pull out all the stops for a week in May. Zip lines, closed streets, bands and open the purse strings to get broadcasters back downtown.

    Comment by redcar — February 2, 2012 @ 5:52 pm | Reply

  3. I think this new car will go a long way to change the obscure perception that fans have of AOW in 2012. Unfortunately the self inflicted wounds by IMS are very slow to heal, and the cheapskates who run the series are too poor to market it properly. No momentum from 2011 and the stigma from Wheldons death COMBINED with ZERO real marketing, and that equates to failure. Go public IMS, get some money to work with. Changing the crap perception of the sport takes major $$$ you aint willing to add to the $750 million already spent to kill the sport thus far.

    Comment by Goran Liddy — February 2, 2012 @ 6:22 pm | Reply

  4. Goran Liddy, apart from your questionable role in the Nixon Administration, you are spot on with your assessment about the bean counters that run Indy Car and their lack of commitment to spend the necessary $$$ to reach the wider American sports audience….if no-tooth, Skoal dipping, beer swizzling NASCAR can take a regional sport and grow what is essentially the WWE on wheels into the nation’s second leading sport, then Indy Car must do a better job of promoting the series and quick before all of us aging fans depart for the great gig in the sky…

    Comment by Neil Rubin — February 3, 2012 @ 10:02 pm | Reply


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