Skip to comments.NASCAR's Trouble At The Track
Posted on 02/10/2009 9:54:54 AM PST by stainlessbanner
The sport is suffering declines in sponsorship, attendance and financial stability, and the roots of the problem go a lot deeper than the lousy economy. Ratings are falling more rapidly than those of other sports
"It's not NASCAR's job to tell us what we can spend and how to run our business," says Richard Petty, who also sees franchising as a great way to foster fan loyalty. "The Green Bay Packers may lose their quarterback," says Petty. "That doesn't mean they lose their fans." Says Ty Norris, general manager of Michael Waltrip Racing, "Franchising is critical and should become one of the top issues for NASCAR."
Standing firmly in the way of that idea is the France family, which built NASCAR from a Southern backwater circuit into a $2 billion marketing phenomenon in two generations. The man in charge these days is Brian Z. France, the 45-year-old grandson of NASCAR founder William France Sr.
Brian France became chief executive of NASCAR in 2003 and, after the death of his father, Bill Jr., in 2007, inherited an 18.75% stake in the sanctioning body, worth perhaps $300 million. His sister Lesa France Kennedy owns another 18.75%, and his uncle James C. France 36%. Uncle Jim is also chief executive of International Speedway, the sport's biggest owner and operator of racetracks, with a profit of $135 million last year on revenue of $777 million.
Despite its good intentions, the Car of Tomorrow program got a hostile reception. Team owners saw the $100 million upfront cost (sportwide) of building all-new race cars as an unfair burden, even if it produced long-term savings by reducing the number of variations. < snip > The new cars have also infuriated many die-hard NASCAR fans because the amount of creativity and technology that makes each car different has been reduced.
(Excerpt) Read more at forbes.com ...
I’m not even much of a casual fan of the sport, but it seems to me, just from listening to people I know who are fans that the biggest problem for NASCAR over the last few years is that in an effort to attract audiences outside of the South and rural America, they’ve alienated some of their base audience.
Yep, by trying to take NASCAR out of the South and make it more cosmopolitan, they screwed themselves.
I live in Race City USA...I agree. Watch the race in LA notice the attendance.
While I agree that "stock car" racing hasn't been "stock" in decades, tossing the baby out with the bathwater entirely just kills it for me.
What a coincidence the family is named French when they made the sport so French.
Next Al will be advertising ‘NASCAR IN A BOX’.
“Yep, by trying to take NASCAR out of the South and make it more cosmopolitan, they screwed themselves.”
You are exactly right. These France idiots have also chided fans for bringing Rebel Flags to events.
My hopeless, brainless brother-in-law is a big NASCAR fan but applauds the idea of taking the “southern-ness” out of NASCAR. What a total twit. And a hardcore democrat, obviously.
They are laying off.
I have a friend did that for almost 20 years for one of the big-3 and is darn good at it, and NASCAR was a natural, problem is no work their either.....
Lots of folks are back to the dirt tracks now. Boy-France is driving racing fans away in droves.
Those 10 words explain all of NASCAR's problems. The man is a special kind of moron and those with the ability to remove him are tone-deaf.
Car of Today ~ Is Stupid
Race to the Chase ~ Is Even More Stupid
I barely watch anymore.
Right. They've forgotten where stock car racing originated, and are busily courting the northeast and northwest. Northeast and northwest don't seem to be particularly fazed by the attention.
When they discontinued racing at Rockingham and all the yuppies started showing up in Charlotte, I began to lose interest in NASCAR......
I still love NASCAR for praying to Jesus Christ before the race.
On the other hand Brian France has a IQ of 77 and has surrounded himself with even dumber 2nd Lieutenants changing the rules every race...
I was pinging for your information, not loking for any help. LOL! Feel free to disagree with me all you’d like!
In a lot of ways, NASCAR is better tofday than when i was a kid, but there are a lot of reasons why it’s not as good, too. I like the old tracks. I don’t liek the cookie cutter tracks. The COT doesn’t look right, but it does make things safer. All around safety improvements are great, too. It’s WAY too commercialized. Etc. ad nauseum.
Well, I hear what you're saying, but on the other hand NASCAR's so called management seems to think that "something is wrong" if a driver other than the big advertiser magnets (I list Gordon, JJ, Edwards, Kahne, Stewart, and Junior in that group) wins the races and the championship.
I'm convinced that the reason we got the "Chase" was that Matt Kenseth, a great driver who happens to sell very little beer, tools, or insurance, won the cup.
We're not yet awarding driver points based on Q score, but it's getting close.
How are they courting the Northwest? There are no races in the Pacific Northwest.
Yet, two of the top drivers come from here: Greg Biffle and Kasey Kahne.
So did Junior. He called fans who wave the Battle Flag "ignorant".
That, along with NASCAR paying extortion money to Jesse Jackson killed it for me. If NASCAR has so much money that they can pay Jesse, they don't need mine.
I was just spouting my general impressions, and got too general, it appears.
You should be proud of Biffle and Kahn.
I don’t think there’s much doubt that the powers that be are trying to get closer to major population centers without all that much success.
But I watch the RV’s, buses, pickups, trucks and SUV’s by the thousands rolling into the Atlanta Motor Speedway on race weekends here, and have the impression that those who follow the races week after week after week really constitute a major base for NASCAR.
It had a buzz in the 90's and took many of the fans from the dysfunctional open-wheel leagues.
I generally agree with you. I just wanted to point out that in the Northwest, we don’t get much attention from NASCAR. We don’t have much population up here, and that’s why.
Tell me it aint so. Is it really true that Dale Jr. called fans who wave the Battle Flag “ignorant”?
Kind of strange sonmeone would want to take the “Southerness” out of NASCAR, since “Southerness” is the main reason we have NASCAR. You are right, your brother in law is brainless.
Actually, I think he called ANYONE who flies the BF (I think he referred to it as a "rebel" flag) ignorant. You can find the references to it on the internet.
Needless to say, I'm not a Dale Jr. fan anymore. He should STFU and drive.
Thanks for the info. If Sr. were alive, I bet he would kick his butt for running his mouth. I mean, why would you want to turn off a good portion of your fan base. What an idiot.
You are correct sir. I searched around and found where Dale Jr. slams the Battle Flag. He’s dead to me.