Curtis Turner for 2016 HOF

Curtis Turner for 2016 HOF

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Sponsors, Media, & Real Stock Car Racing

Yet Another Sponsor Heading for the Door
Sponsors seem to be heading for the door more and more often the last couple of years. It was recently announced that Red Bull was leaving as a team owner with no plans towards sponsorship of another team. And now Crown Royal is heading out the door.
Let’s go back to when Crown Royal first showed up. Roush Racing had lined them up as a sponsor for the 2004 season. But due to a major case of greed, Crown Royal was snagged by NA$CAR and its incestuous twin I$C as the official liquor of their tracks and milked for sponsorship money for a full season before being allowed to continue on as a Roush sponsor. They had the reigning Cup champion as their spokesman in the #97 car in 2005 but got some bad publicity (guilt by association) from the Phoenix reckless driving incident and the residual dislike of the 2004 champion from his incident with Jimmy Spencer in which Spencer was forced to sit out for a week. The champ was released early by Roush, the car renumbered to the #26, and Jamie Mac took over the sponsorship. McMurray’s ride at Roush was pretty lackluster overall which didn’t do much for Crown Royal. McMurray left for DEI after the forced downsizing by NA$CAR and the sponsorship was moved to the #17 car, who had a previous sponsorship of another alcohol company. Matt Kenseth hasn’t exactly had a lot of shining moments since the Crown Royal sponsorship was put on his car. This is due in part to the network bias and coverage of the Japanese automaker and their drivers by Focks rather than covering all the cars and drivers. Plus it didn’t help that one of the commentators during the first part of the season has a problem with Ford and that he is “owned” by the Japanese automaker and is their head cheerleader. So even if Kenseth did good, his performance tended to be ignored by the commentators from Focks.
Another part of the problem is that NA$CAR’s blue collar fans, who made up the bulk of the fan base, were primarily beer drinkers so Crown Royal didn’t get the Return on Investment (ROI) they had hoped for. Crown Royal isn’t exactly allowed to be carried into the track whereas beer is. Plus the size of the Grand Am crowd, even though they might be more prone to drink Crown Royal, doesn’t make up for the loss of ROI on the Cup side of things. So farewell Crown Royal. Maybe you can find a sport which will give you the ROI you need and not be forced into various side deals by the sanctioning body of that sport.
Will the Queen of Hype Be Without a Sponsor?
Patrick's good run came on the same day as her sponsor announced the company had been bought by a group of private equity firms for a reported US $2.25 billion.
While Patrick did get pushed around the track well until her teammate pushed her, the future has just gotten murky. Despite what’s being said publicly by the former owner, investors generally do not spend money on racing. There are not many teams that want her in IndyCar. The Andretti gig was related to the money she brought, first with Motorola, next with Grope-Daddy. Her hope is that she has not worn out her NA$CAR welcome, so she can maybe get something put together there. However, if the new owners move in a different direction with their advertising campaign and marketing money, this could very well leave the Queen of Hype (QoH), JR Motorsports, and Slick Rick without a major sponsor. Which leads to the question of will any race team actually hire her without a major sponsor? There have been great drivers with 100 times the driving abilities and skills of the QoH who couldn’t find a ride because of the lack of a major sponsor. So will anyone hire her without a sponsor? We’ll have to see what unfolds with the sale of Grope Daddy.
Real Professional Stock Car Racing Returning to America
It was announced that the Australian V-8 Supercar Series will be racing at the Circuit of the America’s in Austin Texas in a 5 year deal. For folks who enjoy seeing stock cars racing and not just generic race vehicles, here’s a chance to actually see cars which resemble their street counterparts racing each other. While the NA$CAR TV audience has been shrinking over the last several years, the V-8 Supercar Series audience has been growing. This is the same series where Marcos Ambrose got his start and won back to back championships bringing Ford back to life in competition down under. And you’ll even recognize some of the sponsors. Jack Daniels and Jim Beam are just two that NA$CAR fans are familiar with that sponsor Aussie V-8 Supercar teams.
Just How Big is the Fan Base?
Based on some info from one of my sources, the fan base isn’t anywhere near the highly touted 75 million fans Faux King Brian likes to go on about. The fan base is closer to 7 million fans. This would go a long ways towards explaining why the normal TV ratings don’t get much above 1.5 million viewers during the majority of the season and why so many sponsors have cut back or left completely. This would also explain why so few folks go to the Hall of Fantasies in Charlotte.
How Desperate is Daytona International Speedway?
This is off of the speedway web site:
Girl Scout Summer Slumber Party

July 30, 2011
Calling all Girl Scouts! Enjoy a fun slumber party inside the DAYTONA 500 Club at the “World Center of Racing,” Daytona International Speedway.
Since when are the Girl Scouts interested in stock car racing? This has got to be a joke. If it's really true then they really are desperate!!
And BTW, the Boy and Girl Scouts of Volusia County receive donations from the NA$CAR Foundation as do troops near Michigan Speedway. Not to the national headquarters where the money can be even distributed but only to these local troops.
Wasn’t it Tony Stewart who blocked Regan Smith at Talladega and forced Smith to go below the yellow line to keep from wrecking and costing Smith the win?
The is No Truth in Pravda and There’s No News in Izvestiya

This is an old saying from the Cold War which reflected the view of the average Soviet citizen. Pravda is the Russian word for truth. Izvestiya is the word for news. Pravda and Izvestiya were also the newspapers approved and run by the Communist party and were mandatory for businesses, factories, and the military. Both newspapers were used to announce official policy and policy changes. And back then, the Soviet Union was pretty much a dictatorship between a front man or actual Premier, the KGB, who controlled some leaders from behind the scenes, and the Army being the “swing vote” as it were should either the Premiere or KGB become too strong.

Now, let’s look at the NA$CAR controlled media. NA$CAR is a dictatorship controlled by one man. The “official” NA$CAR media only reports what NA$CAR allows them to report, just like Pravda and Izvestiya. The NA$CAR controlled media announces official policies and policy changes, just like Pravda and Izvestiya. And while there’s some truth in the form of fluff pieces and standardized interviews (which both Pravda and Izvestiya had for factory supervisors who reached 5 Year Program quotas), there’s more smoke and mirrors and propaganda than factual information. Some folks will take offense to this, as is their right, but folks who can think for themselves will do a little research and find the comparison quite valid.
Control of the media covering NA$CAR is nothing new. It started when Big Bill formed NA$CAR according to the late Jack Flowers. Big Bill would wine and dine members of the press in order to get positive publicity and print and for those who didn’t go along with it, they were blackballed. The same control of the media has gone on through succeeding generations of the France family to include not just NA$CAR but also court proceedings regarding other members of the France family. You won’t find much in the way of Amy France, Brian’s cousin, and her violating the custody & visitation agreement of her child by the child’s father. The most recent examples of the Frances trying to control the media regarding the courts is with the lawsuit in Charlotte of Megan France by her former husband and the heavy hand of NA$CAR censoring the Jeremy Mayfield interview by Steve Byrnes on Speed TV several months back.
Then we have the continuing saga of the Double Secret Probation Fines that have been slapped on folks like Hamlin, Newman, and others which eventually see the light of day. Organizations that have to use secrecy, threats, and intimidation in order to promote a positive image in itself isn’t very positive. And even with the “happy happy joy joy” message the controlled media tries to send, the fans who can think for themselves and have longer than a 5 minute attention span know that something is very wrong with the sanctioning body and their messengers.


  1. I think the sport is in a bad cycle right now. Sonoma was embarassing; watching drivers act like 5th graders looking for 'payback'. We saw two cars transform into one at Daytona with planned partners and even team orders. When they finally tried to race at Daytona with 5 to go, they kept wrecking. Fans paid to see racing, but saw a lot of riding and wrecking.

    All this plus the loss of IRP from the Nationwide schedule made me think about taking a few months away from the sport. It's too much frustration and $ instead of fun and racing.

  2. Mike
    Good to see your articles on Facebook. I will be interested in how the numbers there compare to Jayski.

    BTW: I think Ambrose drove a Holden Commadore in Australian Supercar. Its a GM product, but I could be wrong.

  3. Thanks. I originally started using Facebook just to keep up with some family and friends but it sort of expanded into racing.

    Ambrose actually drove for Ford in the Supercar Series. I think it was the Ford Falcon, which they still use the name there in Australia. Holden is the Australian GM subsidiary there. The recent edition Pontiac GTO is actually a Holden car that was exported here. And believe it or not, they do have at least one team running the Chrysler 300 model in the series. So American fans will be able to connect with at least 2 of the cars on the track by their appearance, which is more than can be said about NA$CAR.