NASCAR Has a Marketing Problem: Great! We Can Fix That!

This comes from ‘Talking Tickets’ my weekly newsletter on tickets, sports business, arts, and live entertainment. Get it free at www.talkingtickets.substack.com

4. NASCAR returns and they have a marketing problem:

NASCAR had an ugly year last year with the Bubba Wallace story

As 2021 starts, NASCAR is hoping to turn the corner and paint a picture of new energy and focus around the sport. 

I’ve been to races in the past and they are fun and exciting in a way that compares favorably to other sports so when I saw the talk of NASCAR’s marketing challenge, I paid attention because if it is a marketing challenge you are dealing with…there is a solution. 

The product is pretty fun! So it isn’t the product! 

The key part of the piece is the need for a new marketing strategy to attract minorities viewers is brought up. 

Let me repeat this for the umpteenth time today: segmentation by demographics is a bad way to segment a market. And, it turns your targeting efforts into a waste of time. 

The article lists a number of ways that NASCAR can reach out and create a more larger and more inclusive audience like by doing things like bringing in new team owners like Michael Jordan, educating minorities, and bringing back a dirt track in Bristol to replicate the golden days of track racing. 

All of those may or may not be good ideas, I don’t know for sure. And, without doing the proper research neither does anyone else. 

They sound like tactics over strategy…and that’s a no-no. 

I’ll go through this quickly. 

The first step is to focus on the customer and the market as a whole. Do some research, understand what the customers like and don’t like, want and don’t want. 

From there, draw up a segmentation of the market based on behavior. There is a great tool I use called the “meaningful/actionable” grid that helps figure out what matters and doesn’t in your segmentation. 

Target some big juicy segments that have a lot of opportunities. 

Then, position yourself in one of two ways: “about” or “against”. Meaning, what do you stand for or what do you stand in opposition against? 

An example, for my 2021 positioning I’m positioning myself and my marketing work around the idea that your marketing and strategy should be focused, effective, and profitable. I stand against folks that are spewing tactic-driven buzzwords and BS that steer you away from profitable marketing. 

Now, create a strategy with funnels for the different things you sell like tickets, merchandise, camping, even getting folks to tune in on TV. 

From there you can go into all of these things that are tactics like ownership, playoff systems, etc. Because they will help you deliver on the strategy. 

Remember, the 4 Ps of product, price, place, and promotion. 

So having Snoop Dogg may be a great move to create interest in the sport or it may not…you don’t know without some proper research and building a solid strategy. 

Strategy before tactics or NASCAR will find themselves spinning their wheels again.

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