Thursday, September 11, 2008

Look Out New York! It's The NASCAR Media Tour

Now that The Chase For The Championship is set, twelve NASCAR drivers are going to be spending some additional time it or not.

The chosen twelve are in New York City for Tuesday night's David Letterman Show. That is a picture of the appearance above, courtesy of Jeffrey Staab from the AP. To see it full-size, just click on it.

Once Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kyle Busch finish dinner together, the entire crew will turn-in early because Wednesday is a very long day of media appearances. First-up will be the TV morning shows.

The crew will split-up to cover three programs. Good Morning America on ABC, The Early Show on CBS and Fox and Friends on the Fox Cable News Network. Apparently, NBC and the Today Show had other things to do. The drivers will appear between 8 and 9AM ET.

In the afternoon, the media attention turns to satellite radio and Sirius is going to be on-scene in NYC at the official media tour headquarters. That is no longer the ESPN SportsZone, but the Hard Rock Cafe at 1501 Broadway right in Manhattan.

A satellite media tour (SMT) is what fans often see on shows like NASCAR Now on ESPN2. A driver makes himself available for a brief live interview in exchange for an opportunity to promote a charity, sponsor or The Chase.

The twelve drivers will be doing the SMT thing Wednesday afternoon with all kinds of local TV stations and programs like NASCAR Now. That should put their faces on a lot of TV and radio that you will be seeing and hearing on Wednesday.

Please take a moment to add a comment about where you saw or heard a Chase driver on Wednesday in your area and how you think their appearance went. This will give us a good overview of who went where and what local TV stations picked-up this SMT.

To add your comment, just click on the COMMENTS button below and follow the easy instructions. The rules for posting are located on the right side of the main page. Thanks for taking the time to help us with this project, it should be interesting to see just who gets seen where across the nation.


Anonymous said...

It will be ineresting to see if New York pays the slightest attention to NASCAR . I can't think that their usual complete indifference will change this time around . The phrase " barking up the wrong tree " sure seems to apply to the annual " doins " in New York .

Anonymous said...

Hi Ya'll; I'm Matt Carey from the Carey and Coffey Show, and we are broadcasting live from the Hard Rock Cafe in NYC today from 12pm-3pm and e will have all 12 'Chase' Drivers on the show. You can listen live online at Enjoy and thanks for listening!

Anonymous said...

to anon at 5:28 am

Remember last December when the top 10 drove their racecars thru Manhattan in the morning? New Yorkers did NOT embrace them. In fact, it so disrupted mid town traffic that there was a backlash that extended into the local press.
I don't understand tis move on NASCARs part. When the NFL and Basball determine their playoff teams, they don't embark on a national media blitz with key players and so on.
This strategy from NASCAR smacks of desperation

Anonymous said...

I get that this is a publicity stunt.
However, I don't agree on it. Like anon 8:36 says, the NFL or baseball does not embark on this.

Anonymous said...

i don't remember that the pre-chase had its own media blitz in nyc last year -- but i could be wrong. regardless, i'm not enjoying it. i want those 12 drivers -- and the 32 other drivers! -- and their teams focused on the racing that remains. after homestead, if nascar wants to trot them out for the dog and pony show, have at it. but they're still in their season and this is one fan who would like to see that reality remain the focus, not the media blitz that nascar has sent them to do. (no offense, mr carey!)

and i still dislike that nascar is forcing the sport on a city that has said repeatedly, in various ways "thanks, but no thanks." if this mind-numbing series of events is the only exposure most manhattanites get of the sport, it's no wonder they're disinterested.

i did watch the letterman show last night and i was disappointed. i'm not a comedy writer but some of the "Top 12 perks of being a nascar driver" were just nonsense and i was embarassed for the drivers who had to read the line. yes, it can be a fun segment, but someone has to understand the sport, have followed the season and write jokes that relate. one of the lines (i believe, it was poor denny hamlin's) was "GPS underwear." i have not a clue as to what that means nor why it was considered funny, except that it used the word "underwear." letterman certainly understands racing but his writers certainly don't know or understand nascar.

i agree with anon 8:36 am and feel this sort of hype is degrading to our sport. save all that crap for after homestead and i might, MIGHT, feel better about it.

Anonymous said...

ok, so i can't do math without more coffee: obviously, the line should have been typed as " i want those 12 drivers -- and the 31 other drivers! -- and their teams focused . . . "

i really do know they run 43 cars, not 44. math is not one of my strong points . . .

Daly Planet Editor said...

This has been an annual swing through New York before The Chase. It used to be over in the ESPN Zone and is now at The Hard Rock.

Other than the morning shows, on which the guys could easily appear by satellite, I am not quite sure if NASCAR is getting the bang for the buck on this one.

We shall see.


Anonymous said...

The mere fact that the 22 year olds in charge of the" marketing" department at NASCAR thinks these types of things are a good idea shows how badly out of touch they are with the actual fan base of the sport . By the way , the same youngsters responsible for the Fontana extraviganza each year .
In general all of the drivers look very uncomfortable and out of place on these junkets , as they do on stage at the awards . The hosts of the shows they appear on , with the exception of Leno and Letterman really have no idea who they are or what they do . And couldn't care less about finding out .
If the NASCAR marketing types can't help themselves about these embarrassing promotions , then at least concentrate them in areas that really want them . Cause after years of pushing , NASCAR is NOT going to become popular in parts of the country where it isn't already . Nor is Brian going to get his wish of NASCAR becoming as important , or even close to as important, as the major sports are in the eyes of the folks in New York and LA .

Anonymous said...

Sports is a form of entertainment; so the drivers who don't feel comfortable need to get over themselves. Visiting entertainment and cable news shows is part of the job, especially if you're a star or rising star. Not everybody is going to have a comedian-like persona, but they can't sit there with dead eyes and look bored either (hello, Kasey Kahne). I think most of the guys in the Chase this year, except maybe for Kenseth, can all handle themselves fine on most TV shows.

Do you think Letterman or Leno or Oprah knew who Olympic gold medalists Shawn Johnson, Sanya Richards, Nastia Liukin, or Bryan Clay were three weeks ago? Do you think those hosts know or care the ins and outs of the 400 meter track relay, the balance beam, the decathalon? No, but those athletes were all on their shows - in person- within the past couple of weeks - and The View, and the Early Show and a bunch of others - and the athletes and the hosts who didn't know them all did fine. Because they know it's good for them and their sport, and their personal endorsement value.

Letterman had the decathlete Clay throwing a javelin and a shot put at an empty New York City cab outside the studio (in addition to a sitdown interview). Probably something Clay had never done and probably silly, but he went along with it and it was funny.

They didn't do the interviews by satellite, they did them in person. Oprah had 175 US Olympic medalists from every sport imaginable on her show, in person, last Monday. All flown in by the show and put up at a hotel by a sponsor.

Talking to them via satellite would have lost the charm of having that huge group there on stage.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anybody see the morning shows? How did they do?

Anonymous said...

I'm recording Good Morning America and won't see it until later.

Got a text saying the drivers were only on for about a minute, once real quick before GMA left for the local news break at 8:25 and once before the local news break at 8:55.

Doesn't sound promising.

Anonymous said...

Call me crazy and not to get all kumbaya on everyone, but I don't see the value of this. Why not take a page from Tim Richmond spearheading the Hayride 500 back in the day and have the Chase drivers do some sort of community service thing. I know they drop a lot of money in Victory Junction and other NASCAR charities, but why not build a house or 2 in Loudon or surrounding areas during the inaugural week of the Chase. I know ISC has offices in New York, but why not do the media blitz in Boston since the race is in Chowd-town?

Everyone knows NASCAR by now. Some like it, some don't. What will it matter to a kid in Manhattan when he likely is not going to attend a race as there is not a really close one to him aside from what Pocono or Dover?

Anonymous said...

I have to stongly disagree with the idea that stock car racing is entertainment thus requiring that participants get over themselves and appear on the talk show circuit . Visiting tv talk shows that have nothing to do with the sport is not their job . Media exposure for the drivers , and for that matter NASCAR , is certainly not a bad idea , just needs to be done in a form that actually makes sense . NASCAR is so desperate to be accepted as legitimate , that they stoop to almost any promotional idea they can come up with to alter the publics perception of stock car racing . Notice NASCAR no longer plays hillbilly banjo music as a backdrop , now its Three Doors Down . But the fact remains , the country has had almost 60 years to embrace NASCAR as a sport . So given all that time , if they haven't yet , they're not going to .
And though it's impressive that someone should remember so many of the Olympic participants names (and it's damn sad that more don't ) the talk show hosts you referred to didn't either until their producers gave them the names . And i imagine they have already forgotten. And that illustrates the problem with the lame , half baked attempts at promoting NASCAR to people who really don't care .

Anonymous said...

i saw them on fox and friends. very awkward as usual. it was about a 2 minute hit. stewart, burton, hamlin and kenseth were the ones on. they were standing out on the street with one of the hosts. he went around and asked each one why the other would win the championship.

for example: tony why is jeff burton going to win the championship. tony said because he's the old guy of the chase.

then he asked burton why denny would win and jeff said because of the opposite of what tony said and that denny is one of the youngest.

then he asked hamlin why tony would win and hamlin said because he has such a positive attitude. (after this weekend's comments from tony, i thought that was funny)

then the guy asked kenseth why tony would win and kenseth said well i guess you don't think i'm going to win because you didn't ask anyone about me.

all in all, a very dumb segment that help nothing to promote nascar or the drivers.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 11:25 am: Visiting tv talk shows that have nothing to do with the sport is not their job .

Then why is Michael Phelps hosting Saturday Night Live, that mecca of swimming coverage, this Saturday? Because he doesn't have anything better to do??? Or because it promotes him and swimming, which is part of his job, since he's not retiring from swimming?

And the SNL writers probably don't know anything about swimming either and probably won't care about it after this week. They probably forgot all about NASCAR after Jeff Gordon hosted the show. The fact that a host or show staff is going to forget about an athlete once they're off the show or has to be coached to interview them still doesn't make the appearances a bad promotional idea for the athlete. People still mention Jeff Gordon's appearance on SNL, and that was almost 10 years ago. (Because he was really great on the show. Not all athletes are great at appearances but it still exposes them and their sport to people who might not know them.)

GinaV24 said...

I won't get to see the shows until after I get home from work since I leave long before the talk shows are on. I have to agree that as much as I enjoy seeing my favorite driver -- seeing him in NYC for only 2 minutes depending on which talk show he's going to be on, is really silly and doesn't promote the sport all that much. As others have said, you either like NASCAR or not, and the media blitz won't change it. NYC has pretty much made it clear they aren't interested, but the powers that be that run NASCAR just don't get it. Get back to doing real racing and people will get interested again -- you just can't force it down people's throats.

Anonymous said...

I dont understand why NASCAR goes thru this charade in NY. I watched Fox and Friends this morning as usual. They spent more time talking up the intro for two hrs than they talked to the guest:Stewert, Burton, Hamlin and Kennseth. The question was put to each driver why would so and so win the championship, this was so lame. Ive seen the morning talk shows and none of them have any real interest in this sport PERIOD!

NASCAR are you listening? Did you watch the show? All two minutes of it? What a waste of time for these drivers and the fans. I just dont get it why NASCAR thinks NY is the center of life as they know it.

The way I see it NY could care less what Stewart,Burton, Kennseth or any other driver has to say. Why not send these drivers out in the real world to the rural communities where they would get the respect they deserve not some phony parade that does nothing more than degrade the drivers and the sport.

Common NASCAR would you please try something with a little more meaning for the fans and drivers next year, or is it business as usual parade these drivers in front of NY as they look down on the entire sport while laughing in the background....sigh!

Anonymous said...

I checked for NASCAR live interviews not long after noon Eastern on ESPN News and ESPN and didn't see anybody. I kept seeing Brett Favre on ESPN News.

I flipped around again for a few minutes at 1 p.m. ESPN News is still showing Brett Favre interview clips. Sportscenter, which is live, has the list of stories on the side and NASCAR is not one of the ones coming up soon. They just came back from commercial at 1:15 with a new list on the side, still no NASCAR.

First Take said in this hour they're going to interview Carmelo Anthony about the Olympics, and then talk about Merriman and Brady injuries.

I'm not going to worry about trying to see the live interviews anymore. I'll wait to see if videos are posted on later today.ESPN doesn't seem to care about the Chase media blitz.

If the drivers are going to be on talk shows, NASCAR should make sure they get to do real 7-10 minute interviews -such as the ones the folks from the Olympics are doing- or don't allow them to appear at all. They probably don't want to play favorites since there are 12 guys, but standing on a morning show set for 1-2 minutes in a big group is a waste of time. Maybe next time send the points leader to one show, the defending champion to another, and a couple of other recognizable guys to the other programs for individual interviews.

Anonymous said...

Saw them on the Early Show and Good Morning America - short and sweet. No clue what to ask. Feel bad that they have to get up for a 1 minute interview. What's the return on investment - $0.

JJ is going to be on CNN Headline News at 4pm - just advertised.

Anonymous said...

Judging by the pictures I saw, the boys will be having an ice cream toss on Regis and Kelly - the pie throw was hilarious and I bet this will be fun as well. I don't watch these appearances to see the promotion of NASCAR - I watch to see these guys having some fun and get some more light-hearted moments that show some of their true personality without having to worry about thanking their sponsors. I watched the Top 12 last night, listened to Jr on Dan Patrick's show, caught Gordon on Mike and Mike, saw Busch, Harvick, Gordon, and Jr on GMA and Edwards and Johnson on The Early Show. I thought the GMA spot was better than the Early Show - Gordon was kidding how he beat Kyle on their pinball machine that morning and that is the only time he has beat him all season. The GMA folks ripped on Kyle a bit for mentioning how many victories he had. They commented on how quiet Jr. was, lol. Those guys in that group tend to be good on TV though.

Anonymous said...

I'll get a chance to watch later but very disappointing to hear how it was handled on F&F. They've had NA$CAR guys on several times throughout the years so they definitely should know better. But yes they definitely have very "short" segments for these guys. Cousin Carl was on F&F a few weeks ago for the Office Depot/Back to School promotion and was barely on for a hot minute.

But I do agree about the sentiment of NY not "embracing" the guys. While it may be a media hotspot vs. spit on the map, USA I do see *why* they'd be in a market like that. However, spit on the map, USA is where the fans are and would embrace them. They'd line up to see the cars parade downtown or come out to see the guys talk wherever.

Yes you'll have folks who come over from Joisey and PA and other parts of NY, but NYC itself you're not going to find your hardcore fan base there.

It was embarrassing a few years ago, Cousin Carl was on Regis & Kelly and he had just won his first race. He was shown out on the streets trying to see if anyone recognized him and of course they didn't and being a chilly day wanted to get to Point B without being bothered. Then finally someone did "recognize" him (probably a set up) and then they did the little "hey man, Carl! Great win...yada yada yada" gig.

Anonymous said...

Of course these appearances appear silly to us and some of the jokes in Letterman's Top 12 were nonsensical to us because they don't reference things we know instantly.

The tour and appearances are not for us. It's to increase the profile of NASCAR and like the rest of the appearances, remind advertising people and possible sponsors that NASCAR drivers are attractive, young, and articulate.

What percentage of Letterman's viewers would be familiar enough with this season to laugh at a joke from Carl Edwards about a fuel cell cover? Probably not much. That's why the jokes seem weak to us.

A fuel cell cover joke would mean nothing to the majority of the audience inside the Ed Sullivan Theatre and their weak response would look flat to the viewers at home.

NASCAR has to bring in more fans and more advertisers. When you want to catch fish you head for a body of water. When you want to catch advertisers, you go to New York.

If the drivers turn on their charm and play along, they'll make a positive impression which has to increase viewership. It might take a few impressions to convince someone to tune into a race, but if you don't prepare the garden, don't expect to pick any vegetables.

Anonymous said...

See, I saw the Regis and Kelly with Carl and had a completely different reaction. Everybody sees things differently. I thought it was rather cute and Carl looked like he thought the whole thing was a blast. He wasn't expecting anybody to know who he was and wasn't getting upset or rude when people walked by him. I thought the fan who finally recognized him really did recognize him, not a plant, and Carl's reaction was great. Some New Yorkers keep up with NASCAR despite what people from 'spit on the map USA' believe. Have you ever seen the Cup champion get mobbed for autographs on the floor of the NYSE when he rings the bell. Those floor workers that come up to them are real NASCAR fans. some of them even bring merchandise to get signed.

I think NASCAR fans are ultra-sensitive about "respect" to the point it's gotten ridiculous. They're more sensitive than the drivers. Not that NASCAR should accept 60-second appearances for drivers, but the complaints about how having fun on TV shows is beneath their dignity or degrading are really reaching IMHO.

P.S. I also saw the ice-cream throwing pictures (thanks for mentioning them 1:34 PM) and Kyle, Denny and Dale Jr looked quite happy - and handsome - as they practiced the detailed skills of whatever it is they're doing.

Anonymous said...

People still mention Jeff Gordon's appearance on SNL, and that was almost 10 years ago. (Because he was really great on the show.

It was just over five years ago, but I agree with your point. ;-)

"I work at the...Super...Wal...Mart!!"

JG was awesome.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone with any intelligence think that these appearances will increase NASCAR's viewership by a single person, let alone an measurable number?

What a waste of time and money.

Anonymous said...

IT really makes me laugh that NY people are viewed this way, like we do not care about Nascar. There isn't a day that goes by that I do not see someone with a drivers # on their vehicles or wearing their favorite driver proudly. I have lived in NY all of my life and there are many many Nascar fans here who also enjoy seeing the drivers. Most NY fans have to go to Dover or Pocono to see races because we do not have a local track ( this is why NY gets the bad rap because Staten Island government didn't approve a track to be there). Watkins Glen is too far away 6+ hours away, so people need to realize NY Nascar fans were also disappointed about not getting a track either, I just don't think NY should always get knocked by everyone, there are fans here who enjoy seeing the drivers here too. My hubby and I spend alot on Nascar every year and I am sure I am not we are not the only NY fans who are tired of hearing NY doesn't care about Nascar. nascar fabs are everywhere and are supposed to feel like the "Nascar family" but when people talk about NY like this, it isn't fair to NY fans.

Daly Planet Editor said...

You should hear the complaints of the NASCAR media who have to go all the way to NYC to sit with the same guys and ask the same questions they do every week at the Track.

Two days later, there they all are again in Loudon and the entire NYC thing seems almost comical.

Don't you think that one appearance as guests by Dale Junior and Kyle Busch together on Letterman would have been better than the top ten list?

The way NASCAR is going about this is over twenty years old.


Sadie said...

I agree wholeheartedly with the post above me. Many of us New Yorkers love NASCAR and are thrilled to entertain the drivers twice a year.

I hardly think this minor stopover on the way to New Hampshire is too much of a distraction for these drivers.

I also wanted to relay that I attended the Question & Answer session today at the Hard Rock Cafe and had a blast. I wouldn't be surprised if the drivers did too.

I was a bit disappointed that more people didn't show up, but I feel that is due to poor PR on NASCAR's part. I had to dig to find out about this event.

Why didn't they post it on

Sadie said...

Wait, not the post immediately above me. The one before that. :)

Sadie said...

The NASCAR media complain about having to visit NYC?

Yeah, what a pain (said dripping with sarcasm).

Anonymous said...

Daly Planet Editor said...
You should hear the complaints of the NASCAR media who have to go all the way to NYC to sit with the same guys and ask the same questions they do every week at the Track.

Those guys (and gals) are lucky that still have jobs allowing them to travel with NASCAR. Some former NASCAR folks who I used to enjoy reading from Jayski don't have the luxury, due to budget cuts. I doubt the current media folks are that upset about it. If they are, they need to find a new line of work or get called into management's office to experience a "workforce reduction" to appreciate how good they have it. They have to be in New Hampshire Thursday night anyway, don't they? It's not that far and at least they get to see how the drivers react in a different atmosphere.

And discover good little tidbits, like Jenna Fryer discovering why Junior was FINALLY dressed so well:

"Saks Fifth Avenue sent him a new blue Zegna cashmere sweater that all the ladies seemed to love as he wore it from stop to stop. Even talk-show host Kelly Ripa complimented it during a six-driver appearance on "Live with Regis and Kelly."

Anonymous said...

Let the NASCAR media complain all they want - I really don't care. Many fans in NY enjoy this stop there. Yes, there are in fact NASCAR fans in NY even if some want to act like they don't exist. I can also name three drivers off the top of my head that have houses/apartments there.

It seems to me that some of the guys really enjoy this opportunity to let loose a bit before the stress of The Chase starts up. I've heard many driver talk about the good times that they've had together doing the media tour because they are all allowed to just have fun with each other for once instead of being focused on the next race.

Anonymous said...

The shows, including Letterman, were totally lame. The GMA spot looked like it was some sort of last minute substitution. The guy on CBS Morning show called Carl Edwards, "Everett" in the pre-interview tease. Fox and
Friends was an embarrasment.

The best was listening to Tony Stewart on his Live show on Sirius, broadcast from NYC.

Daly Planet Editor said...

By this point, the traveling NASCAR media have been on the road since February with only a couple of weeks off.

My column is asking a very simple question. Where did you see the NASCAR drivers on TV and what did you think of the appearance?


Vicky D said...

JD, I have missed every last show the last couple of days. I just don't seem to be home when these shows are on and forget to record them. The picture of the guys on Letterman is great though. I have seen Jeff Gordon host Live with Regis & Kelly and he's done a fantastic job, like the commercial he does.

Dot said...

You won't get a comment from me regarding the driver appearances. As I said yesterday, these shows just don't work with the drivers. That's why I don't watch them. And I'm a fan!!

Regarding the NY fans who posted. I'm curious to know if they're from Manhattan or other parts of the state.

Anonymous said...

When are the Dufusus from Daytona going to learn. That the people of New York think of NA$CAR(when they think of them at all) as something of a cross between Ths Clampets, & Deliverance.
Talk about beating a dead horse!


Newracefan said...

Watched the DVR of GMA it was OK a Nascar fan would have gotten the inside jokes, like JR is under under the radar, or Kyle saying don't back into the 88 car I'm not sure the people who interviewed them did. I also saw the Today show, it appeared that the guy who interviewed Carl and Jimmie tried to do some research but his fake excitement and interest made me nauseous, Jimmie and Carl did well.

Kenn Fong said...


I think you're right, Letterman could have done an interview with either Kyle or Junior or Jeff Gordon (probably the only drivers with general name recognition, although Kyle gets there by leading into the Chase). But the Top 12 has become a tradition for him with the Chase drivers and changing it would require original thought.

Red, I understand the new media is coming at us like a runaway freight train. But there's a lot of old school media left. Most the interview shows don't like to do satellite interviews or phoners, unless there's no other way to do it, or the celebrity is a lot more high profile to the general audience. A minute on one of the morning shows is probably worth 6 figures, and a lot more on Letterman. NASCAR probably got millions of dollars of free advertising. Yes, I know, it's not free, because it costs to bring them to New York City. But I'll bet it was a bargain.

None of this is specifically designed to win over individual fans in Manhattan and the outer boroughs, although I would think they made stops at the ESPN Zone in Time Square. Woodward and Bernstein said, "Follow the money," and New York City (or Jersey, right across the river) is where advertising, public relations, and a lot of live national television is right there.

I realize, J.D., that everyone would rather have the days off. If I were in charge of NASCAR, I'd schedule an off-week, like the NFL does before the Super Bowl. Let everyone rest for a few days, and then on Monday and Tuesday do the rounds in Manhattan before starting the Chase.

Left Coast Kenny
Alameda, California

Anonymous said...

I know Arizona is far from NYC but I didn't see any advertising as to where the NASCAR guys were attending their events those two days in the city. The "morning" shows didn't seem to advertise it the day before--so we could have set our VCRs for the various times. I was very disapointed I missed out on seeing the activities. Am I the only one who was unimformed????