Wednesday, October 1, 2008

NBC's "Today Show" A Curious Choice For Gordon


A while back, NASCAR packed-up all twelve of The Chase drivers and shipped them off to New York City. This "media tour" was aimed at putting these personalities in front of a national television audience.

The guys did the mandatory "Top Ten" list on David Letterman. The next day, they headed to The Early Show on CBS and Good Morning America over on ABC. One place they did not visit was The Today Show on NBC. There was no interest in NASCAR at 30 Rock.

NBC left NASCAR under difficult circumstances. Fans do have great memories of Allen Bestwick and the late Benny Parsons covering the sport's top series. They also have the words of Brian France ringing in their ears. In NBC's final season, France blamed lower TV ratings on the fact NBC was busy promoting its NFL agenda.

Clearly the strangest thing that happened during 2006 was the attempt by Dateline NBC to stage an elaborate sting operation during the Sprint Cup Series race in Martinsville, VA. Click here for the story from NASCAR.com editor Duane Cross about the set-up. Click here for the reaction from the law enforcement community.

This little stunt of having "rent-a-Muslims" spread prayer rugs and kneel to pray next to the Martinsville Speedway ticket office not only got no reaction from the fans but also offended Muslims nationwide.

Many NASCAR fans wrote to NBC and suggested if they wanted to start fights they could save money and simply put a Dateline reporter in a Jeff Gordon T-shirt.

It certainly seems more than a bit ironic that Gordon is being promoted for an appearance on NBC's Today Show on Thursday morning. While this same program was apparently not interested in visiting with Chase drivers like Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Tony Stewart, they are rolling-out the red carpet for Gordon and his Sprint Cup Series car. Want to know the reason why?

In the middle of The Chase, in the middle of a global economic crisis and smack-dab in the middle of a crippling fuel shortage in the Southeastern US, Jeff Gordon is changing the paint scheme on his Hendrick Chevrolet. Well, at least that is what the Hendrick gang is selling to The Today Show.

NASCAR fans have seen Gordon on TV run all kinds of paint schemes and wear all kinds of firesuits. Nicorette and Pepsi come to mind as two that are probably the most familiar. So, what Gordon is really changing is his DuPont paint scheme. Same sponsor, just different colors. That gets live coverage on The Today Show.

Over the years, Gordon has got to tool his Chevrolet through Times Square during the annual NASCAR parade before the Sprint Cup Series banquet. This one little publicity stunt tied-up traffic and was such a logistical mess that this season NASCAR has quietly cancelled it.

So, look for a COT with a tarp on it outside of Rockefeller Center on Thursday morning surrounded by some of New York's finest. Perhaps, as Gordon removes the cover and lets America see his new 2009 paint scheme he might mention a couple of topics other than DuPont and Hendrick Motorsports.

Suggestions might include Talladega on Sunday and The Chase for the Championship. That is, once all the important business is out of the way.

Update: Gordon will also appear on ESPN2's First Take after 10AM on Thursday to promote his new paint scheme.

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54 comments:

Anonymous said...

Baffling.

The show has no connection to NASCAR whatsoever.

Appearing on it will not help the show's ratings nor will it help Gordon's publicity.

All I can figure is, DuPont wanted some Northeast media exposure, and "Today" was the only network that would give it to them.

The Western New Yorker said...

Just a thought here that may be absolutely ludicrous....

Maybe Gordon will unveil a green-and-black paint scheme, possibly to encourage environmental awareness. NBC especially seems to be on a big "green" kick the past few years.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like Brian William's love of NASCAR is rubbing off on some of the tv exec's at NBC.
Come to think of it, maybe Mr. France is so ticked off at ESPN that he would be happy to give the tv package back to NBC at this point.

Miss you BP!!!

alex said...

All I can think of is.... I don't care?

Like Anon 2:39 said, that show, and now NBC, have no connection to Nascar. I don't know anyone who watches the today show, and certainly no one will be watching for this "news", unless they are diehard Gordon fans with nothing else to do in the morning.

I doubt it will even get mentioned by any of the daily or weekend shows.

Jessica said...

@The Western New Yorker

I am hearing it will be black as the main color... ymmv

red said...

@alex: hey alex? i watch the today every morning. and nbc has brian williams who is a serious nascar fan. don't know how that connects to gordon doing the today show but i just wanted to add that info to your comment.

various anons: frankly, i could care less why they've chosen the today show for gordon. what i know is that he is an intelligent, well-spoken, photogenic spokesman for our sport and he shatters the stereotype of a racer that exists "out there." he'll probably only be interviewed for a few moments but he's at ease in front of the camera and so will "represent" on our behalf.

i don't get the decision either but i have no problem with him being there. the man lives in nyc for a chunk of the year and is quite happy to be identified as a manhattanite. he's done a lot of tv over the years and is always poised and enjoyable to watch.

Village Idiot Intern said...

red said:

"what i know is that he is an intelligent, well-spoken, photogenic spokesman for our sport and he shatters the stereotype of a racer that exists "out there." he'll probably only be interviewed for a few moments but he's at ease in front of the camera and so will "represent" on our behalf.
the man lives in nyc for a chunk of the year and is quite happy to be identified as a manhattanite. he's done a lot of tv over the years and is always poised and enjoyable to watch."

Jeff Gordon is at home in this environment. Gordon is the only driver to host Saturday Night Live and represented himself well in his network television host debut. The Brian Williams connection has been established for years, and no doubt the two men know one another personally and perhaps this alone accounts for the appearance. If NBC believes Jeff Gordon is the face of NASCAR today, I am fine with that. I have never personally rooted for or against Mr. Gordon in his career in NASCAR, but I watched him win in open wheel several times before he sat in a stock car for the first time. Therefore I can say without a doubt he is one of the most talented race car drivers of all time and we all will benefit from his association with NBC and the Today Show.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

frankly, i could care less why they've chosen the today show for gordon. what i know is that he is an intelligent, well-spoken, photogenic spokesman for our sport and he shatters the stereotype of a racer that exists "out there." he'll probably only be interviewed for a few moments but he's at ease in front of the camera and so will "represent" on our behalf.

Yes, yes, he's all that, but the overall Today show audience doesn't care and will not start watching stock-car racing because Jeff Gordon shows off a new paint scheme on the show.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Western New Yorker said...

BTW, racermac1988 just posted the 1999 Pennzoil Miami 400 at Homestead on YouTube, the first race aired on NBC, some of you may remember Brian Williams hosted that race.

Adam T. Martin said...

NBC lost all credibility a long time ago (2005).

Why is Jeff doing this?

We miss you Benny.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Western New Yorker,

I worked on that race. Brian Williams had his own trailer, would not talk to anyone on the crew and was a total stereotypical New Yorker.

I was standing in the catering line next to him and I asked him how he was enjoying his weekend. He looked right through me and would not even talk to the catering crew.

It was a very weird experience to say the least. He was not the most popular guy in town that weekend.

JD

Anonymous said...

Good grief, people. You complain when NASCAR doesn't get any publicity, and now its most famous driver to the outside world (Sorry, but Dale Jr isn't as famous or as well-liked as Jeff Gordon in the non-NASCAR world) is making an appearance on TV and you complain about that? Athletes in other sports make routine appearances on these shows all the time, why not a NASCAR guy?

And those athletes don't go on these types of shows to discuss the state of the world, the gas shortage, or the economy. (They will move heaven and earth to avoid those topics, actually.) They go on those shows to promote their charitable foundation, their new cologne, or their new video game. Or their new paint scheme. Jeff is a pro, he'll mention the Chase, NASCAR, and all his sponsors in there somewhere.

Jeff Gordon is a bonafide mainstream celebrity. The paparazzi in NYC and LA take pictures of him, his wife and their baby when they go to or leave a restaurant, or when they play in Central Park. Why wouldn't the Today Show be happy to have him? It's true these shows are making clear they don't really care about 12 Chase drivers en masse on their shows. They want the star. Just like they want Lebron, they want Peyton, they want Jeter. Not the other guys. NASCAR is lucky it has a guy the media embraces.

Does their appearance on these shows make the Today Show audience tune into these athletes' sports? Maybe not. Does it give the audience a positive image of the sport which may counteract something they've seen or read? Yes.

As for Tony Stewart, the last time he was on the Today show (for the 2006 Chase, along with four other drivers), he made some risque/crude comments to Matt Lauer which may not have sat well for a show with a morning audience. I really like Tony, but I was cringing at a couple of the things he said, thinking he was being funny. (He's not a morning person.) And as I said, Jr just isn't as popular in mainstream America.

Some of y'all need to get out of the NASCAR bubble. Seriously. There's a whole 'nother world out there. And in that world? If four-time champion Jeff Gordon wants to come on your show to talk about whatever, you spare a couple minutes for him to hang out on the Plaza and show off his new car. It isn't a curious event at all.

Anonymous said...

Agree completely with Red's whole post as well as the other's who commented along the same lines. I don't understand the big problem with the appearance. Gordon is well spoken and comfortable in front of the cameras and one of the best spokesmen of NASCAR. Like it or not, he is the face of NASCAR for much of the mainstream media - what other NASCAR driver has had articles in Vanity Fair and People magazine, has hosted SNL, and co-hosts Regis and Kelly? JD, you comment on his various paint schemes doesn't represent the true picture. He has had 2 primary paint schemes in his 16 season career and hasn't changed it since 2001. Sorry, but this has been a topic of discussion and curiousity on NASCAR boards across the web since it was announced that he would be changing it. I remember it was a big deal when Jr. unveiled his new look for HMS. If you aren't interested, it's simple - don't tune in. I'm sure he will be also discussing the paint scheme change on Trackside and Wind Tunnel this weekend as well.

Anonymous said...

And in that world? If four-time champion Jeff Gordon wants to come on your show to talk about whatever, you spare a couple minutes for him to hang out on the Plaza and show off his new car. It isn't a curious event at all.

Bull. The "outside world" doesn't know anything about Jeff Gordon.

They don't know his record, what his car number is, or who his primary sponsor is.

Why should I "be thankful" that he's randomly appearing on an NBC morning show? This will NOT bring more people to the races, or to their TVs during races. There's no real-world benefit for him to suddenly appear on a show that ignores stock-car racing even when it is in their backyard.

Why is NASCAR "lucky" that NBC embraces Gordon? Again, what's the benefit?

If you're going to argue he's a bona-fide outside-the-sport star because he's married to a model, what possible good does it do for him to appear on TV in New York, showing a car that people who know him for his wife don't care about.

You're part of the Brian-France-driven problem here, bud--you really, really want non-NASCAR fans to "accept" the sport.

That attitude's done a lot of damage lately.

Anonymous said...

The Harris Poll® #75, July 16, 2008

According to the recent Harris Poll conducted online by Harris Interactive® among a nationwide sample of 2,454 U.S. adults between June 9 and 16, 2008:

U.S. FAVORITE SPORTS STAR

1. Tiger Woods Golf

2. Michael Jordan Basketball

3. Brett Favre Football

4. Kobe Bryant Basketball

5. Jeff Gordon NASCAR

Anonymous said...

I would think Dupont had a HUGE amount of say where this took place> NY City, BUSINESS capital of the world, might outweigh any unveiling in NASCAR country>
Just a thought, maybe more location than the actual show it takes place on

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 6:15PM,

You should have kept that list going, I am pretty sure Kyle Busch was #6...right?

JD

Anonymous said...

You will not be surprised that the next person on the list is Junior.

Those two are the only NASCAR drivers in the top-10 of the poll results.

Nan S said...

Jeff lives in New York and is in the business of promoting Jeff Gordon. Why should it surprise anyone that he is going to be on the Today show? Jeff's made it clear that he wants some "media" role when he stops racing and that's why he is on day time tv shows. As far as the Today show, they are not trying to promote Nascar they just have to fill up slots and Jeff will be a fine guest.

Anonymous said...

Oh, boo hoo, the Today Show didn't have a place for Gordon a month ago -- so now that they do he should just turn down the national audience out of spite? Why? To teach them a lesson? Oh, puh-leaze!

I think most every driver on the Cup circuit would LOVE to unveil their new paint scheme live on the top-rated morning show on network television. Carl Edwards had to unveil his new paint scheme for next year in front of maybe a half-dozen print journalists in a trailer.

Good for Jeff Gordon and good for NASCAR. Not everything that happens in New York City is awful.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
He has had 2 primary paint schemes in his 16 season career and hasn't changed it since 2001. Sorry, but this has been a topic of discussion and curiousity on NASCAR boards across the web since it was announced that he would be changing it. I remember it was a big deal when Jr. unveiled his new look for HMS.
October 1, 2008 6:00 PM


Good point about Earnhardt Jr's paint schemes being a very big deal. The difference IMO is that Jr's audience is the primary hardcore NASCAR audience, so the unveiling was live on SPEED. I can't remember if he was also on ESPN or ESPNews live.

Gordon's audience is broader, though not among hardcore fans where Jr is WAAAAY more popular than him, probably by a huge amount. Because of Gordon's broad appeal, he has an opportunity to unveil his scheme on The Today Show, knowing that it will also be shown on NASCAR Now and other shows later in the day. That's where Gordon's hardcore fans, and he does have some, who don't watch Today will see it, too. Different approaches for different fanbases.

With his approach, Earnhardt Jr hits one extremely large fanbase. With his approach, Gordon hits two smaller fanbases - casual and hardcore - which, when combined, can be very potent; possibly more potent than Earnhardt Jr's.

If I had access to three to four million viewers (Today) as opposed to 100,000 or less (SPEED or ESPN2/ESPNews during the daytime hours), I'd take it too.

Anonymous said...

You have to understand, it won't just be the Today Show that covers this, either. They are right there in Rockefeller Plaza, and I would bet there is a photo of Jeff leaning on his new car in either People or US magazine next week. True, readers of those magazines don't seem like NASCAR fans, but you never know.

Anonymous said...

--Phone Rings--

Jeff Gordon: Hello?

DuPont: Hi, Jeff. We're so glad that we re-signed you to a multi-year extension worth millions of dollars. How are things?

Gordon: Great. Hey, guess what, The Today Show called. They want me to unveil my new DuPont paint scheme live on the air.

DuPont: Wow, that's the most-watched show on television in the morning ratings book. That's great.

Gordon: Oh, don't worry. I turned them down.

DuPont: You WHAT?!

Gordon: Yeah, I turned them down. Listen, I drove my car through Central Park a year ago and people got so mad at the traffic, so I turned them down.

DuPont: But, Jeff, the publicity!

Gordon: Eh, NASCAR fans don't watch that show. No one will care.

DuPont: Actually, Jeff, millions of people watch that show and also watch NASCAR.

Gordon: Yeah, but NBC's news division wanted to put some Muslims at Martinsville next year. I thought it might be better to unveil my paint scheme at the Talladega media center. I hear David Poole and Jenna Fryer will be there, and one of them usually always has a tape recorder.

DuPont: But, Jeff, our company is part of the Dow Jones and our stock is taking a major hit. We spent millions on sponsoring you. Won't you please reconsider?

Gordon: Sorry, dude. I was on Letterman last month - that's too much New York publicity for now. Maybe next year.

Vince said...

The very few times I've watched any of the drivel called the Today Show, the demographic seems to be females aged 31-49 which would explain why Jeff Gordon is on.

You can fit any actual news shown on this show in a thimble. Years ago this show was all news. Now it's pure entertainment geared towards the morning soccer Mom audience.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 7:17PM,

It might have been nice of The Today Show to pick-up the phone when NASCAR called with twelve top drivers in tow promoting the NASCAR playoffs.

JD

Anonymous said...

Gordon: Great. Hey, guess what, The Today Show called. They want me to unveil my new DuPont paint scheme live on the air.

Bzzt. Wrong. If you think anyone at NBC called anyone--Gordon, HMS, or DuPont-- to ask if they could have the privilege of showing the unveiling of the new paint scheme of a stock car, I have a bridge in Alaska to sell you.

Gordon and the HMS publicity crew asked if the Today Show would be willing to let them be on for a few minutes.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Since the entire Chase is on ABC and Good Morning America welcomed the drivers a while back, I wonder why Gordon went to NBC?

This is especially interesting since Gordon will then be on a liveshot with Dana Jacobsen for ESPN2's First Take after 10AM.

If I was a GMA Producer, that would get my attention. Just wondering...

JD

Richard in N.C. said...

I'm not really a Jeff Gordon fan, but I do have a great deal of respect for all he's accomplished - including toasting the Big E with a goblet of milk at the awards banquet 1 year. He's a fine ambassador for NASCAR and if he can get on a niche show like Today I say more power to him.

Anonymous said...

Since the entire Chase is on ABC and Good Morning America welcomed the drivers a while back, I wonder why Gordon went to NBC?

Uh, because the Today Show ratings smash those of Good Morning America and has for the last, oh, 30 years!

Anonymous said...

*Anon@7:17 PM: I'm LOL at your "conversation"!! Funny, esp:

"I thought it might be better to unveil my paint scheme at the Talladega media center. I hear David Poole and Jenna Fryer will be there, and one of them usually always has a tape recorder."

Good stuff (copyright Ryan Burr).

*Daly Planet Editor said...
Since the entire Chase is on ABC and Good Morning America welcomed the drivers a while back, I wonder why Gordon went to NBC?

Probably because he was just on GMA less than 3 weeks ago, even though it was with other drivers. He was on at least three times last year. I don't think anyone NASCAR has been on the Today Show for quite a while. His PR folks probably want to get on as many shows as possible. Mixing it up is good. Last year he was on CNN morning show for the Chase also, along with GMA.

I don't think GMA has any issues with Jeff, or vice versa. Diane Sawyer absolutely singles him out among the other drivers if they are also on there ("Our old friend Jeff!"), to the point where Jeff gets a little embarrassed sometimes. They also probably realize he'll be back on GMA in early December as part of Champions Week. So I doubt there's a producer/Chase on ABC exclusivity issue.

*Anon@8:01 said: "Gordon and the HMS publicity crew asked if the Today Show would be willing to let them be on for a few minutes."

And, what's wrong with that? That's how PR works. Anon 7:17 was making up a funny conversation, I doubt he/she intended it to be vetted for accuracy.

happymom said...

OK, I have a lot of non-Nascar friends, and most of them can at least identify Jeff Gordon as a driver, and some of them even know his number! Likewise, I despise football, but I certainly know who Brett Favre is (and I can even pronounce his name!)

It's a little thing I like to refer to as "cultural literacy."

It also doesn't hurt that Jeff is pretty easy on the eyes, speaks well, is generally clean cut, and, did I mention he's easy on the eyes? I know a 15 year old who has a crush on him and reads everything she can find about him!

The choice of NBC is not surprising to me--they often choose these cultural "icons" to fill the hours and hours of show they insist on spoonfeeding us!

happymom said...

So what I meant to say was I can see why NBC would be happy to accept Jeff as a guest when his PR people came to call.

Newracefan said...

I'm OK with it and the DVR is set. Although I am new to Nascar I've known who JG was for a long time so he is a more mainstream driver. I think his being on the show is good for the sport any publicity may help a sponser to decide the sport is worth investing in and and with what's going on lately that's not a bad thing.

Village Idiot Intern said...

Daly Planet Editor said...
"Western New Yorker,

I worked on that race. Brian Williams had his own trailer, would not talk to anyone on the crew and was a total stereotypical New Yorker.

I was standing in the catering line next to him and I asked him how he was enjoying his weekend. He looked right through me and would not even talk to the catering crew.

It was a very weird experience to say the least. He was not the most popular guy in town that weekend.

JD"

What was that Anonymous Coward posted under the RW headline about journalists? Oh, here it is:

"Some of those guys use the word 'journalist' as if it were an attribute."

Seriously, though, today's mail brought my AARP magazine for November/December 2008 complete with a story on Brian Williams. The magazine claims here on page 106 in a story attributed to writer Joe Conason, and I quote: "That other nine tenths would include the avid NASCAR fan who used to race cars and once owned a share in a stock car team;..."

I am not in the industry in any capacity, but you are, JD and as such you are in a better position to chase down this information. I hope that bringing this to the attention of you and the other readers, we can do the necessary fact-checking. I have more interest in this if it is proven to be true than I have otherwise.

BTW, this arrived in the mail after my post earlier today.

And you, Anon 7:17, you have a career awaiting you in Hollywood. Please post again soon.

Anonymous said...

Daly Planet Editor said...
Anon 7:17PM,

It might have been nice of The Today Show to pick-up the phone when NASCAR called with twelve top drivers in tow promoting the NASCAR playoffs.

JD

October 1, 2008 7:58 PM
--
Asking them to showcase 12 drivers is likely part of the problem. Morning shows and other shows aren't built for 12-person interviews. They make an exception during the Olympics maybe for a winning team (and in that case only 3 or 4 or them talk), but otherwise it's one or two people. NASCAR was trying to put, what, six drivers together on most shows, and 12 on letterman? It doesn't work. They needed to send Jimmie Johnson (defending champion) to one, Jeff Gordon (active driver with most championships) to another, and Kyle Busch (points leader) to another. Send Carl Edwards and Dale Jr to the late night shows.

NASCAR was trying not to give special treatment to any of the 12, but the media doesn't see all 12 Chase drivers in the same light because they don't have the same accomplishments or media appeal. So NASCAR needs to be more practical. The driver who actually wins will get the most interviews after the season, so if he's one of the ones who gets a little less attention before the Chase starts, winning will make up for it.

The NHL is starting a new $5 million TV ad publicity campaign with four guys from four teams. I'm sure some other players feel left out, but you have to get the public's attention with a few names they can remember, and move on from there. 12 is too many, and all the NASCAR appearances are awkward (all or most have to stand up during interviews, etc.)

Anonymous said...

Uh, because the Today Show ratings smash those of Good Morning America and has for the last, oh, 30 years!

Nice try, but do your research before you make statements like that in the future. You look dumb when you just make up stats that are wrong.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:57 said:
"Nice try, but do your research before you make statements like that in the future. You look dumb when you just make up stats that are wrong."

Well, except for a period of time in the late 80's early 90's, the Today show has dominated the ratings since its debut almost 57 years ago. It currently has been the highest rated morning show every week since late 1995. Here are the most recent reported morning show ratings:
For the week of Sept. 15:

Total Viewers: NBC: 5,267,000 / ABC: 4,302,000 / CBS: 2,685,000

So I ask, what exactly did he say that was so "dumb"?

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 10:11AM,

The drivers were split up in advance with the shows hosting only three or four.

No one said 12 guys were going to try and appear on Today.

The question is valid and continues to be despite the comments. Why did The Today Show duck The Chase drivers on a promo tour and not welcome Jeff to unveil a car?

JD

Anonymous said...

Well, except for a period of time in the late 80's early 90's,
That's it right there. You just showed why the poster was incorrect.

Poster said, "Uh, because the Today Show ratings smash those of Good Morning America and has for the last, oh, 30 years!"

Nope, wrong is wrong, whether a reporter makes an error of fact or a poster does.

GinaV24 said...

I have to laugh at the post that said the "outside" world doesn't know who Jeff Gordon is, his car number or anything. I very much disagree with that because Gordon has appeared on a wide range of shows, along with magazines and various ad campaigns that are not targeted to NASCAR fans only. I would bet that Jeff Gordon is still the face of NASCAR with the corporate world, even if Jr is the focus for NASCAR.

darbar said...

All I have to say is Big Flippin' Deal. Not really all that different. No more blue, just black where the blue is right now and neon yellow. Because of all the hub bub, I was really expecting a real design change and it's nothing. Same flames and the big DuPont on the front with bright yellow on the bumper and partially on the hood. No major change IMHO. And, he was lucky to get all of maybe 2 minutes. No biggie whatsoever.

Anonymous said...

As the majority of Jeff Gordon fans are twelve year old girls , i don't think his appearence on the Today Show has much to do with them . His fan base is in school at that hour . I suspect it has everything to do with the marketing department of DuPont trying everything they can think of to milk the new paint scheme . Theres no such thing as bad press .

Anonymous said...

daly planet editor said...
"The drivers were split up in advance with the shows hosting only three or four.

No one said 12 guys were going to try and appear on Today."


Not necessarily. Last month on Regis and Kelly before the Chase started, the top six drivers appeared at the same time. 6 or 12, it makes no difference: Still too many. The point remains that NASCAR tries to put multiple drivers on each show, which are made for one or two guests at most. They put all 12 on Letterman (as they did the year before, and 10 the year before that) which is why he doesn't spend any time with them.

Last year, the drivers were divided into two groups of six for most pre-Chase appearances, including GMA and the CBS Morning show, and during Champion's Week, they were divided into two groups of five - plus all 10 at one time on GMA. There were no smaller groups than that, except for some individual appearance on smaller shows by Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Burton, etc.

In 2006, the 10 Chase drivers were divided into two groups of five for the major morning show appearances. On all of these appearances, everyone stood up; no one sat down.

The Today Show (which had five drivers on in 2006) may not have been interested in that many people, and based on the steadily decreasing amount of time the Chase drivers get on talk shows (just compare 2005 appearances to the ones they get now), it's a sign that what NASCAR is doing with multiple drivers is not working.

The Today show doesn't have to explain "ducking" anybody. They're in charge; they book the guests they want. They have no obligation to choose several Chase drivers over one very popular Jeff Gordon and his car. What obligation do they have to NASCAR? What power does NASCAR have to insist the Chase drivers appear?

Instead of sticking with the old methods, maybe NASCAR should actually meet with the shows' booking departments and figure out what works. That way they'd avoid colossally stupid mistakes like last year: agreeing to a schedule where the new Cup champion and other nine drivers appear on talk shows the morning after the Dancing With the Stars finale - when the winner (in that instance, it was Helio) was going to be the complete focus, especially on ABC's Good Morning America.

Since ABC is the station carrying the Chase, NASCAR should work with their schedule, not the other way around. Since they're shortsighted, NASCAR had already decided long before that day in December was going to be NASCAR media appearnce day in New York, no matter what else was going on. So their coverage was virtually nil, everywhere, b/c shows -including sports talk shows on ESPN- were talking about Helio.

If they'd had the drivers on just two days earlier in the week (the drivers were already in town so they could do this), they likely would have gotten more focus. NASCAR shows no flexibility in its media planning, including insisting on multiple driver interviews, and the lack of coverage is the result. Blame NASCAR, not The Today Show.

Anonymous said...

Theres no such thing as bad press .


Whoever said this first was wrong, as are the people who repeat it..

Just ask Aaron Fike or Shane Hmiel.

alex said...

So after seeing a picture of the new car on Jayski, I have to say I'm pretty disappointed. Yes it's black, but the other 2/3 is still the same flaming pattern from the past several years.

If they're going out of their way to unveil it on a TV show, I would have expected something a bit more drastic from the current paint scheme.

Anonymous said...

The fact that we remember Aaron and Shane , and know who they are , illustrates that there really is no such thing as bad press . Because without the many news reports of their tribulations , we wouldn't remember them at all . Sad , but oh so true .

Anonymous said...

The fact that we remember Aaron and Shane , and know who they are , illustrates that there really is no such thing as bad press . Because without the many news reports of their tribulations , we wouldn't remember them at all

Why is it good that we remember them? We remember that they've been thrown out of a sport for doing illegal drugs.

Just because you remember someone's name doesn't make that a "good" thing. We remember Jeffrey Dahmer and John Wayne Gacey, too.

GinaV24 said...

Vince said: The very few times I've watched any of the drivel called the Today Show, the demographic seems to be females aged 31-49 which would explain why Jeff Gordon is on."

So, you don't like the Today Show because it targets things that interest women? Interesting -- you sound like you have misogynistic tendencies. Considering that NASCAR touts the fact that 40% of their fan base is female and quite a few of those are Jeff Gordon fans, it doesn't seem so strange to me that Jeff and Dupont would want to be on a show that a lot of women watch. There are certainly a lot of shows that target male interests and well, each to their own.

Jim Crooks said...

I have to admit, the "Today Show" is a curious place for Jeff Gordon to do the unveiling. I'm guessing it's a personal connection to Brian Williams or someone else on the staff that caused this.

I do not watch the show, and am not a fan of Mr. Williams. I'm not much of a fan of Gordon, either, but I do have more appreciation for him now than I have had in past years. To me, ABC, ESPN, or the SPEED Channel would have been a more logical choice to unveil his new paint scheme. Just my 2 cents.

Great job as usual, JD!

Anonymous said...

Wow.....what's with the hostility towards the Today show?

Who knows is Gordon's people approached GMA and were told no....or if they even approached them....whatever. Who cares. The top rated morning show is having NASCAR's most recognizable driver (note he's a top 5 sports figure of ALL Americans) on to show his new paint scheme. That type of publicity is worth HUGE $ for sponsors. Does anyone even remotely think that DuPont is upset that it's on the Today Show? DuPont is bound to be ecstatic.

I also love how many people know the TV industry....it's an absolute hoot.

Trust me, if you haven't worked in it, you don't understand it. And if you have worked in it, that still doesn't guarantee you know it.

Gymmie said...

@JD--that's disappointing to hear about Brian :(. I hope he's over that now...he's the only mainstream News guy I liked because of his NA$CAR love :(.

I didn't "get" the hoopla over paint scheme either. It didn't look all that different...Sam did a good job as always but it didn't look to be worth the hype. They should have let Dan show it when he was on FRFO a few weeks back. I don't know if they were joking or not, but the "seriousness" of the "do not reveal or there will be serious consequences" thread wasn't worth what was revealed...IMO.

Anonymous said...

Now that I see the paint scheme, I realize what a PR coup this was. It's the same darn paint scheme with a little more yellow in the front and a little darker black in the back.

To get a non-new paint scheme on NBC live as a new paint scheme is marketing genius.