There is only ONE Oklahoma

Monday, November 27, 2006

Did I miss something here?

Thumbing through the latest cluster of SFC posts, I come across a post from the 'Mystic in Texas', concerning an article posted on MSNBC titled "Nascar Targets China and Europe" and got a giggle out of the knee-jerk responses that followed.

From, 'Nascar is forgetting their fans and where their roots are', to "Mystic's" retorts and interrogatives. Now first off Susan you may think I am picking on you but that is not the case, and you did end your post with, ' Whaddya think?' (after all, you and a handful of other inner circle SFCers read my blog daily, so lets break down what you had to say)

The Mystic writes: (in purple)

Does this mean that NASCAR sees it's fans as "only here for 4 hours on Sunday?" How would football fans feel if their favorite players/teams suddenly became "billboards" for a dozen or so corporate sponsors?

No, Nascar does not see the fans as 'only here for four hours' (if that was the case, NO COOLERS would be allowed at any race venue, just as in the NFL or MLB. You do understand that since 9/11, there has not been one FBI/CIA mandate to block coolers in stadiums? 'No coolers' has nothing to do with secruity as Eddie Gossage spoke of a few years ago), however they do see the Nascar fan with the same passion and devotion for their selected driver, just as the football (be it NFL or NCAA) fan does for their team. As for the NFL (and NCAA for that matter) players/teams being 'billboards', that is common and the norm. One only has to see the 'Nike swoosh' on the NCAA and better yet, see the absurd rules in the NFL concerning player apparel.

In 2003, Jon Kitna of the Cincinnati Bengals was fined $5000 for wearing a baseball cap with a cross on the front of it. According to NFL rules, doing so within 90 minutes after the end of a game is prohibited. During such a time players who want to wear hats must wear league-sanctioned gear only. The NFL doesn’t stop there. In 2002, Reebok had the official apparel and licensing agreement, yet many of the players in the NFL had contracts with rival companies like Nike, and Adidas. Sound familiar? Just to show how serious the NFL is in ‘protecting their investment’; they employ 32 observers, mostly retired NFL players, who make up the ‘fashion police’, on-site inspectors who report violations of the uniform rules to the league office.

If Kyle Petty wanted to honor his Father or Grandfather by running a ‘throwback’ scheme, would Nascar honestly take issue with that? However the NFL would not allow Colts quarterback Peyton Manning permission to wear black high-top shoes in honor of the late Johnny Unitas. NFL players have been fined for having the ‘wrong size’ towel tucked into their jersey.

Butch Davis was introduced as the UNC coach today (a slight 'Southern Gentleman' connection)...1.7 mil per year...Nike is
reportedly paying $150,000 of that annually.

Now take a good look at the pic above of the 'Tuna', I see 'FORD' a handful of times, do you?

Do football stadiums open up on Thursday before the big game and sell tickets to practices, sidelines, locker rooms?

As a matter of fact, yes they do. I guess you have never been to an Alabama home game (even when they are playing some 'directional school' where the RV lot starts to fill up by Wednesday night. Or never been to a NCAA bowl game (I guess you could say those are 'big games') where fans from either school begin to show up in the hosting city a week before the games.

And since you are from Austin you should be aware of just how much more intense the buzz is on '6th Street' truly was the 48 to 72 hours before the Ohio State game or even last week's game.

Selling tickets to practice has been a common site with the Dallas Cowboys since the late 70s. When the Cowboys had their training camps in San Antonio, a crowd of 35+ thousand was an everyday occurance, and yes, they paid their way in.

And lastly, there are fans at many other sports (NFL,NBA, NCAA football and basketball come to mind) that will spend days, and sometimes weeks, 'camping' out just to purchase tickets to 'big games'. That door swings in many different directions now doesn't it?

Where are the campgrounds at your local superdome?

Actually, if you would look around, they are there. Of course not to the extent of some Nascar tracks, but from first hand experience, the tracks that have an abundance of a campgrounds is more out of convenience and nessesity, because of the lack of Hotels in the area or the lack of good pre and post race traffic flow. Personally, I have Rved at such NFL stadiums as New Orleans, Houston, Denver and Kansas City. They are there.

Who are the corporate sponsors for the Houston Texans?

Just what stadium do the Texans play in again? There is a reason why it is called Reliant Stadium. Plus, to Jerry Jones' dismay, the NFL prohibites such sponsorship on uniforms, but that is only a matter of time before that changes.

Do professional football players get to go "practice" by playing college football games on Saturdays?

Now you have me on that one. Buschwacking stinks!

Who's the Commissioner of NASCAR?

Interesting thought, as most commissioners gets much critisism. If anything, Brian France (and his father and his father) has done what no other major sports league has been able to do, is to keep the sport's participants from forming a 'Union'. If you honeslty think that the NFL or MLB commissioners have done a better job at policing their respective sports, you are kidding yourself.

Will there now be a halftime during races?

As crazy and facetious as your comment was meant to be, you really may not have a bad idea for some tracks. 'Tricking' up the race formats at tracks like California or even plate tracks where it specific points of the race, the race is red flaged, and only a certain percentage of cars 'advance' to the next segment might not be such a bad idea. Would give TeVee their much need commercial time and might make some of these 'marathon' races have a bit more drama early on for them.

IMHO, perhaps our favorite sport needs to address a few things at home before "expanding" to foreign markets.....

Now I have read and re-read this article a couple of times and I still have to ask just what did I missing something here? Nascar has 'zero', 'nada', 'nyet', intentions of expanding the Nextel Cup series to these markets. What they do seem to be looking at is getting an early foothold on 'brand recognition' and business model that has been very successful over the past 50 or so years and forming a new series there. I still can remember that skeptics turned their heads on the idea of 'NFL Europe' lasting more than a season. Turns out they were wrong as well and NFL Europe has made the world wide market share of the NFL just that much more stronger.

Now before I get the 'hate emails' which usually follows any blog in which I comment on the goings on 'in Emporia and with the pod people', this same type of knee-jerk reaction is prevalent on a handful of other driver boards. But then again, I have never had my RV door knocked on at close to two in the morning by one of their PR/Spotters. However on a more personal note to the 'Mystic' (you have my email and an IM is just a request away), I commend you on your latest efforts to get more 'race type talk' on SFC, many might know that I to attempted this for a few years and was unsuccessful in the end. Keep it up! As it is/was needed.

And after all of this, I still have not touched on what I really intended to blog about this week concerning the 'goings on' at SFC since the end of the season.
But then again, I guess there is almost 90 days to feed that monster (Wow, and spotterman, says its 'only 3 hours to the next feeding', irony at its finest!!!!!! That might be the most honest statement he has said in years!). And as he loves to say with his famous tag line, 'have a great week'!


Jamie said...

Corporate sponsorship is all over other sports. Look at every new stadium built for the NFL, NBA or MLB. They all have a corporation as their name. IE Fed Ex Field for the Redskins etc.

Jerry Jones will sell the rights to the Cowboys new stadium to the highest bidder and laugh all the way to the bank.

Nascar's difference is the corporate presence is on the car. But see all those ads in the stadiums of other sports? Same thing

Clementine said...

Why is it that some will take a simple press release that states an intent to research and market, and they will automatically assume that it will impinge on their perception of the racing world. It has nothing to do with the way the races in the USA are marketed.

Dude, those fans over there are all new. They really have no idea of what has happened in the last 30 years, or the last 15 years. I know you want to educate them, but I get the feeling that they want to stay that way. I know you are trying, but don't be shocked if they hate on you some more. After all, you are shattering their perceptions of their comfy little world!

Gvav1 said...

Good blogating Boomer! The Nascar sponsorship puzzle is fun and exciting and enhances the sport. Vroom!

Thurman1515 said...

I think alot of people just saw the hedline of that article and jumped to an incorrect conclusion.

another great blog!

Jamie said...

Follow up. Thurman nailed it. They did not read the article. The article clearly talks about marketing opportunities ie making money. Nothing was even remotely talked about racing there.