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Daytona 500 Shows NASCAR Knows Their Audience

02/21/2011

Man-Child Wins

NASCAR’s Daytona 500 was held yesterday. The race was won by a child – 20 year-old (his birthday was Saturday), Trevor Bayne. He becomes the youngest not only to win the Daytona 500 but any other major sporting event.

For me, however, it was the “pre-start” event that was a “marketing study on network TV”. NASCAR is dialed in to their audience and delivers a package of experience and emotion that even the NFL envies.

Eight minutes before the “start” command the “pre-start” event unfolded in pure, American grandeur. A benediction was given to a sold-out crowd. The drivers were with their pit teams and their families! So you have NASCAR drivers holding babies and small-children during the prayer and the singing of the National Anthem – delivered nicely by Martina McBride. Also in the pits – uniformed troops from the US Army (a NASCAR sponsor). A fighter-fly over whipped the fans up even more. It was a stunning 3 minutes.

Three Fingers Tribute

Regardless of what you’re opinions of NASCAR or its fans it’s difficult not to admire their marketing and connection prowess. Brands seeking to connect intellectually and emotionally with their target audience should study NASCAR’s playbook. With the possible exception of Apple, there are precious few brands that have their connection strategy dialed in so tightly.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. 02/21/2011 2:11 pm

    Nascar does a lot of things right, but they’ve made one big mistake in the past few years that has really hurt them. They overextended the season making it hard to sell out every race and over saturating the airwaves with their product. Based on ratings and attendance figures, even for Nascar fans, more of something good isn’t always a good thing.

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