Friday, March 20, 2009

The NASCAR Fan Council Is Mad At Us

Boy, you know you are in big trouble when a ton of email arrives and it all contains the exact same topic. A while back, we ran a column about NASCAR's marketing survey company asking questions about our friend Digger. Click here to read it.

Little did we know just how much we hurt the feelings of that fine organization. Apparently, the TDP column and comments have spawned an email that contains a brand new marketing survey tactic. That would be a direct threat.

Here is the email sent to NASCAR Fan Council members:

Welcome! As a reminder, being a member of the NASCAR Fan Council means you are part of a special group of NASCAR fans having the opportunity to communicate with NASCAR.

As a member, your continued use of this website & your participation in the surveys constitutes your acceptance of the “terms of use” provided below. The “terms of use” include not copying, reproducing, republishing, uploading, posting, downloading, or distributing any material, topics, or information from the NASCAR Fan Council in any way. Any violation of this policy may revoke your membership as determined solely by NASCAR.

If you do not agree to these “terms of use”, you will not be able to participate any further in the NASCAR Fan Council. Please review the terms of use in the box below as a reminder before continuing with this survey.

In other words, please continue to participate for free...but don't tell anyone about it. Gee, I wonder how that is working out?

It seems a tad ironic that the Internet is the technology platform by which the NASCAR Fan Council can gather data and attract new members, but somehow that same technology is supposed to be completely avoided when discussing NASCAR survey topics with friends.

Think these guys have heard of Facebook, Twitter and Rowdy? Between the millions of blogs and thousands of websites like this one dedicated to all things NASCAR, I think the veiled threat that somehow users will be banished from the Council if they leak the top secret info is going to come up a little bit short.

So, a word of advice to the fine folks at Vision Critical Communications Inc. of Vancouver, British Columbia. When you act as the NASCAR Fan Council, there are some fundamental things to remember.

NASCAR fans do not and will not just shut-up. We like to talk, argue and then talk some more. If you want to ask questions about this sport or anything else, just assume that information will show-up online shortly after you post it.

I would be happy to tell you all the people that sent me a copy of your latest email, but that would violate the TDP privacy policy.

To comment on this post, just click the comments button below. TDP is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting. Thanks for taking the time to stop by.


Glenn said...

Thanks JD. I have asked twice who is the "NASCAR Fan Council". I'm still waiting on a response. I'm still waiting on feedback from "The Council" regarding the surveys. Thank you for posting,
So, a word of advice to the fine folks at Vision Critical Communications Inc. of Vancouver, British Columbia.
It at least tells me something about "The Council".
I did find it a little funny how that e-mail showed up shortly after your article and discussion on TDP.
They better get over it or shut down "The NASCAR Fan Council". Or then again, they could kick me out.

Daly Planet Editor said...


You can go to the NASCAR Fan Council website and get to Vision's website. They seem to be an interesting bunch of marketing types.

Just click on the privacy link.


Glenn said...

Boy I feel dumb.
Thanks JD.

red said...

and not only that, jd, but when i actually went to do the survey, i couldn't get a critical part of it to respond and had to abort it!

truth be told, there is an element of the absurd in all their posturing and it is funny that they are so sensitive to criticism. as with most things nascar, somehow the reality of this nefangled intra-net world has gotten past them and they're resorting to the tried and true threat posture to force some sort of compliance. problem for them is: i don't respond well to threats and can't tolerate bullies. hence, my immediate first thought was to toss an email your way with the text cut and pasted from the opening email.

guess i'm right behind you, glenn, in getting the boot. ah well, that would be their loss, not mine.

so nascar fan council, perhaps you'd like to explain yourselves to nascar fans and help me understand why you feel that what you ask about nascar -- whether my opinion about digger or about the truck series or about a projected book project -- should be above scrutiny and discussion. i have read nothing that could interpreted as being propriatary information (until this last survey, of course) and every survey i've filled out just asked my opinion about a topic related directly to nascar (except, again, this last one.) not sure how talking about what you're interested hearing about from fans is above discussion outside of your controlled survey experience.

welcome to the real world, vision critical communication. and for those who scoff about the impact of TDP, i gotta tell you: this read exactly like an over-reaction to the digger discussion to this fan!

(and maybe nascar can explain why they're using a canadian company to run a fan council for a distinctly american sport?!!? guess there's no US company that's capable of running such a site, huh? i'm just sayin' . . .)

Anonymous said...

Seems like the Nascar Fan Council didn't like the feedback they were getting. I mean, if all sorts of extra emails came in praising an element of NASCAR, I think they would be happy to hear the news.

But bad news? It sounds like we have a focus group with a predetermined outcome that doesn't want the participants to upset th desired results. The Nascar Fan Council should be digesting the excess anti-Digger emails they got and giving them serious consideration, instead of being upset that they received feedback they didn't ask for.

Tracy D said...

Discussing Digger related issues and personal opinions you originate is not proprietary information. It's out there for anyone who watches that idiotic rodent on Fox, and threatening emails such as the one received by you all who gave survey opinions are nothing but sound and fury, signifying nothing.

I can't believe the "Council" ptb would be so stupid. Wait, I can't believe they'd be so stupid they think they can intimidate Nascar fans. Shows how much they understand Nascar.

GinaV24 said...

Well, good, I'm happy to make them mad since NASCAR can make me pretty mad with some of their decisions. I wonder if I've been booted already since it's been a while since I've gotten any requests to respond. Maybe the fact that I tell them every time that the main reason I watch is to see "racing" not all the rest of the garbage has gotten me banned. Oh, well, I responded for a year -- maybe they're trying to move on until they find "fans" who will give them the answers they want to hear. Guess they'd better just ask Helton and the France family then.

Anonymous said...

It sounds like we have a focus group with a predetermined outcome that doesn't want the participants to upset th desired results.

The truth hurts, especially when you've been hired to "prove" a point that isn't true.

The Track Girl said...

Honestly, I was pretty amused when that popped up in the last survey. I thought it was interesting for them to think that it was ok for us to share our opinions with them, but not with each other.

Anonymous said...

I've never been part of the "council" but I have to wonder -- what kind of group would 1) nag its participants who are by definition the sport's most dedicated fans and 2) thin the numbers of its own survey pool so that responses and results are less reliable? I mean, it's the volume of responses that determines a survey's accuracy. Is the point of the council truly to collect opinions -- or just to collect names and email to develop demographic info and ultimately sell more merchandise? Maybe the council thinks your personal info is more important than your opinions.