NASCAR to Push Drivers to the Front as They Hope to Relive Their Glory Days

Published 01/27/2024, 10:19 AM EST

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USA Today via Reuters

It can be said that NASCAR has been constantly striving to rekindle its lost identity and once again emerge as a dominating sporting entity. The NASCAR era during the days of Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, and Dale Earnhardt Jr was more than just racing. It transcended people’s imagination to the point of sheer idolatry. The drivers’ story, character, and journey were celebrated just like a prominent celebrity.

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While motorsport is looking to make races more absorbing, at the end of the day, it will be the drivers who help project the sport in good light. For example, even a non-American is highly likely to know who Lebron James is, but they are far less likely to know Ryan Blaney or Kyle Larson. One can easily see the parallels being drawn here. However, it looks like NASCAR is scaling up its effort to get its drivers back into the limelight and the recent Netflix docuseries, ‘Full Speed’ is one of their multiple efforts to reach that milestone.

NASCAR trying to paint drivers as poster boys in their resurgence plan

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To initiate a change of the magnitude that NASCAR is looking for, it will take some concrete steps and perhaps rebranding of the sport. Fortunately, again NASCAR has made efforts to do just that. The newly signed TV and streaming contract worth $7.7 billion is looking to attract a newer audience to the sport, thus diversifying its viewer and fan base.

NASCAR is looking to tap into the new pool of diverse audiences as a part of boosting their fortunes and at the same time putting out drivers in the front according to CMO Peter Jung. Speaking in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Jung also spoke about the primary concerns for NASCAR and what are the steps taken to resolve those concerns and issues.

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The first – and this applies to just about any major sport, it is our drivers, our athletes, being bigger names, household names, and being relevant in popular culture. The Netflix series is a good example of how we’re kind of elevating some of these younger drivers. They’re not the household names that some of their predecessors, like Jeff Gordon, a Jimmie Johnson, a Tony Stewart or a Dale Earnhardt Jr. were.”

Why ‘NASCAR: Full Speed’ May Not be as Intrusive as ‘Formula One: Drive to Survive’?

Going by how the sport has now taken the initiative to brand itself apart with a Netflix docuseries, NASCAR has seemed to turn a corner in its effort to make the series popular again.

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It will take more than just one silver bullet to grow as a brand

Netflix is a streaming giant and to collaborate with them means NASCAR could tap into their subscriber base of 247 million which is spread across the globe. During the interview, Jung also stressed that just a single offering won’t change NASCAR’s face overnight. At the same time, he hinted about more such branded content if ‘Full Speed’ is well-received and is successful in terms of viewership.

“There’s probably not going to be one silver bullet, so there need to be a lot of platforms and a lot of original content. If the show is wildly successful in terms of viewership, it’s just going to elevate everything. Our brand campaign that we’re going to be launching this year is very driver persona-focused. So it’s very complementary to the Netflix show,” Jung went on to say.

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Watch This Story – NASCAR Might Have Just Saved Themselves With the $7.7 Billion Media Rights Deal

The docuseries ‘Full Speed’ will debut on January 30 and its success will more or less indicate how NASCAR will move to position itself in the near future. Are you excited for the series to drop?

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Written by:

Chintan Devgania

252Articles

One take at a time

It was the Fast & Furious movies that acted as my gateway to the world of cars and motorsports. Later, as I completed my undergrad in Journalism, I learned how to channel my thoughts and opinions, which only helped me kick-start my career as a sportswriter. Having written multiple copies for the Scottish Daily, I am now looking to expand and contribute at EssentiallySports as a NASCAR writer, informing, enlightening, and entertaining the fans with my stories.
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Edited by:

Abhishek Ramesh

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