November 14, 2006 4 Comments
If you ever watched a NASCAR race, one question quickly comes to mind: Was this sport created by car enthusiasts or by brilliant marketers? This is the only sport (and I use the term loosely) where the souvenirs and even the sport itself represent the sponsors more than the people involved in the sport.
To my knowledge, this the only sport where people would actually purchase an orange $500 leather jacket covered with Home Depot logos, while the term “NASCAR” is hidden on the inside tag. The sponsors of this sport have an ulterior motive in selling this paraphernalia than say the average Fortune 500 company buying a sign out in center field. The NASCAR sponsors are literally “allowing” people to pay to become walking billboards. In fact, it’s no wonder the drivers are awarded points for being in first place the most laps. Guess which car, I mean logo, is shown on TV the most?!
Why haven’t companies pushed other professional sports onto this strategy and to this extent? While the target audience might seem restricted to some, it’s actually quite diverse. I can’t speak for all readers out there, but I can’t wait to start wearing my Southwest Airlines blazer to the next family dinner.