Friday, July 10, 2009

CNBC's NASCAR Snapshot (Updated)


Updated: Darren Rovell from CNBC has been nice enough to join us in the comments section. If you have reactions or questions about this program, this is a good time to offer them directly to the person who hosted the show.

"Given the economy, NASCAR is holding up pretty well," said veteran NASCAR reporter Monte Dutton. This one simple sentence essentially summed-up the Thursday night one hour CNBC special on NASCAR.

It was CNBC's Sports Business Reporter Darren Rovell who led TV viewers through a rather elemental review of NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series. Rovell has the enthusiasm of a new fan and chose to offer this program from a very fundamental perspective on racing.

Punctuated by interviews with NASCAR personalities from Brian France to Tony Stewart, Rovell walked through the sport telling brief stories that were loosely connected by the current eoncomic issues.

Often naive and sometimes unintentionally humorous, Rovell intended this program for TV viewers who were not very familiar with the sport. He often took the time to re-state the most fundamental facts about NASCAR. That included asking Brian France some general questions about the state of the sport.

In this program, France came away as an aggressive and well-spoken executive who was clear in his message that NASCAR had worked hard to reach the level of national popularity it now enjoys. His answers made sense and ran the gamut from attendance to TV ratings. It was perhaps his best TV appearance in quite some time.

Rovell focused on the broader economic concepts of team sponsorship, including overall media exposure and brand loyalty. His interviews with marketing and team executives reinforced the messages that NASCAR fans know all too well. They are the most loyal in professional sports and support the brands that participate.

Tony Stewart was featured as a driver-turned-businessman who had to overcome the high cost of fielding a Sprint Cup team in his new venture. Stewart was interviewed and proved to be a good representative of racing in general. He presented a snapshot of an ordinary American chasing his personal dreams in the motorsports world.

In this program, there were the normal video clips of busty female NASCAR fans whooping and hollering at the track. There was a profile of a family who collects NASCAR merchandise perhaps beyond the boundaries of good taste. Kevin Costner was interviewed as someone who actually can speak about the sport with credibility.

Rovell used the All-Star race at Lowe's Motor Speedway as his backdrop. This led him to speak with Marcus Smith, to ride along in the burn-out contest and to tape his on-camera segments on the start-finish line. The editing of those at-the-track segments with Rovell on-camera was rather unique.

This primetime special accurately reviewed some of the issues and stories associated with NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series in 2009, but as Rovell suggested to TDP before the program aired, it was not meant for hardcore fans.

Perhaps, a touch of irony was that Rovell's own polo shirt may have been the only one in this program without logos. Clicking here would have taken Rovell to a beautiful polo from his parent company NBC and their sports division. Perfect for the racetrack.

Amazingly, this $29 dollar shirt is on sale for only $15. It seems NASCAR is not the only company working hard to deal with a struggling economy.

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

41 comments:

Anonymous said...

I thought it was a pretty good show. You have to understand that it was aimed at CNBC's audience, and so the approach seemed to fit the type of viewer who might be watching this - someone with next to zero exposure to NASCAR.

Mostly I came away feeling like NASCAR was in a much better financial position than I had expected given the state of the economy. I'm sure NASCAR has to be pleased with the show, which may possibly bring some new curious eyeballs while certainly not driving anyone away, like some stories on NASCAR do.

The other good thing is that if this is anything like CNBC's other specials, they will show this episode about 50 times between now and the end of summer. They did a similar special on the business of "the world's oldest profession" and another on the business of direct marketing infomercials, and I think both have been shown 30-plus times each.

darbar said...

Just watched the CNBC piece and all I can say is it was pure fluff. No hard hitting questions on the plight of the sport, no heavy questioning of France about how badly the sport is doing in both attendance and viewership just a few softball questions but no real honest answers.

But I will say, I saw a lot of heads in the sand. The Ford rep maintains that the "Race on Sunday, buy on Monday" still stands. Carl Edwards says as long as they put a good show on the track, the fans will come back.

And then of course, what do they show as the usual Nascar fan? Weirdos, plus sized, loud and way over the top people who defy logic. Seeing that recent research has shown that more Nascar fans are college educated and earn more than the national average, I just have to wonder why they chose to focus on the people they did.

But I guess this is what they have to show to attract the Jim Cramer type viewer.

Sophia said...

I could barely stomach the show prior to the NASCAR show. CNBC full of weird talking head types I guess. I loved the station 18 years ago or whenever EQUAL TIME was on at 8pm with Mary Matalin and Jane Wallace. "Serpent head" would make some appearances, James Carville, Mary's then boyfriend's nikname.

THankfully the dizzying crawls were OFF for the show and this was a show that obviously had the NASCAR STAMP of approval. In that sense it was an ok show except for the bizarro couple that HOARDED NASCAR stuff. Honestly, for those that don't know, having that much stuff is a mental disorder but I digress.

Brian France should get an Academy Award for how he came off in the show; Well spoken and I don't think he stammered once. If only he were that real! I cringed about all the fossil fuels wasted in the race and I am not a fanatic about such things...tho I knew this sport offends many acquaintances and a friend or two of mine.

SNAPSHOT indeed but just once I would like to see clean cut, well spoken, normal sized people interviewed for such shows. No wonder when people see me and talk to me and find out I love NASCAR they roll their eyes.

In some ways the show was fine for what it was meant to be...except for the cluttered home of the odd couple.

Tony Stewart came off well and I am glad they did not dig out old footage of him cussing out, smacking around media folks. :)

Dot said...

Glad to see BF in rare form. Fortunately, he wasn't on much.

Really glad to see Tony get props for turning around a below mediocre race team.

I'm with you dar. Why do they always show the casts from My Redneck Wedding on these types of shows? Perpetuating the stereotype, I guess.

I did like the crazy fans' basement. If I had an extra room, it would look like that.

Dannyboy said...

I got pretty much what I expected from CNBC, which is to say, "typical network fluff". I'd heard Rovell on the radio on Wednesday, so I kinda knew where he was headed.

I did find the explanations of some of the business deals and revenue sharing interesting.

DARBAR: Brian France openly admitted that times were tough and there were challenges. What did you expect Rovell to ask him? In fact, Rovell pointed out that compared to other sports, NASCAR's attendance looks pretty good, and though the ratings are troubling, it's the same for a lot of other tv product. He pointed out that instead of 100,000 fans at a race, now there's 89,000; it's still a HUGE crowd paying a lot of money to see the race.

SOPHIA: CNBC has been hijacked by the same powers at NBC that run MSNBC. You are going to get the company line and that's that. (Hmmm...sounds like another organization, dunnit?)

I too enjoyed the old shows, and Mary does a great job of skewering "Serpent Head" doesn't she?

Anonymous said...

I'm a long time Nascar fan who is also a retiree from the Corporate world who also is a fairly serious 'investor'. Therefore,I'm a frequent CNBC viewer. If you go to the CNBC website and read the bios for their hosts,you'll find that most have degrees in Political Science which says it all---Fluff. CNBC did an hour long special called,I believe "Nascar Gold" a few years ago. It was hosted by Dylan Radigan who claimed to be a serious Nascar fan and showed him catching a tire during a pit stop. They described the top drivers and showed pictures of them. I rolled off the couch when they introduced Kyle Busch and flashed a picture of him---in a black, Sharpie drivers uniform!!! They got the Busch brothers mixed up! Considering all the time producing and editing an hour show takes,it makes you wonder how no one caught this glaring mistake. I did NOT watch Cnbc's latest efforts about Nascar.

Darren said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Puff piece. Thats what this was
No digging. No interviews with teams looking for non existant dollars. Not a peep about truck series.Hey, CNBC, what about the DEFENDING CHAMPION of the truck series losing his ride because of lack of sponsorship?
How about talking to vendors? Hotel operators? One of the laid off employees from Petty?
What about team mergers?
We're all supposed to feel good because Safety Kleen recycles race car oils? Wowie.
And there were factual mistakes. Tony Stewart may technically be a co-owner of Stewart Haas, but he doesn't have his own money in that game. They made it sound as though his life savings is on the line. Its all Haas' money-Tony was GIVEN half ownership for signing on to drive

Aven said...

I think it was a paid Ad by NA$CAR. A infomercial pretending to be an objective show.

Darren said...

Any reason my chance to respond to critics here was DELETED?

Anonymous said...

C'mon JD

Let Darren defend his show!!

How else can he learn what fans know and want to see if he can't take part in constructive dialogue????

Bray

Daly Planet Editor said...

As you may know, we never allow anyone to post under a public or TV personality name until they contact us directly.

Unfortunately, Google also did not allow for identity verification in this case.

Now that Darren has been nice enough to contact us directly, he can repost anytime.

JD

red said...

hey darren! welcome to TDP but please be warned: we are a vocal and opinionated group and we don't suffer fools easily. we are passionate about our sport -- both its positives and negatives -- and all we ask is that our concerns and thoughts be heard and taken seriously.
i'm not saying you're not open to discussion nor that your work was demeaning to our sport so please don't read that into my comments as we go forward. as you likely found out, we are serious about our sport and want to be treated as such.

that being said: wish the report hadn't reinforced the caricatures of nascar and its fans.

gotta head to work but will play catch up later, gang! thanks for wanting to join the party, darren!

Dannyboy said...

ANONYMOUS 7:06 =

"Tony Stewart may technically be a co-owner of Stewart Haas, but he doesn't have his own money in that game."

The show specifically pointed out that Tony got 1/2 of the company with no money invested. It's a common practice: the party who has his own intrinsic value - a 2 time champion and high profile driver - is made partner because he himself is the asset.

Darren said...

Thanks for verifying my identity. Actually refreshed that you did that.

Now on to responding to the criticism.

We talked about troubles in attendance, in ratings and in the imploding car manufacturing business where nascar marketing might now work.

NASCAR attendance is down 10-15 percent, not 50 percent. NASCAR ratings are down about 20 percent over the past couple years. Some of you guys act like NASCAR has lost their entire fan base.

On mergers, Petty and the Benson (truck series stuff), this was an hour show -- 43 minutes to be exact. This isn't NASCAR NOW, it's CNBC. It requires a general introduction to people who might not know the sport -- that takes time.

As for sponsors, feel free to provide me with a list of big time sponsors that have left the sport this year or will soon and it has to be strictly for financial reasons. It can't be something like Dupont, which might be out, because they are not a consumer products company and their NASCAR proposition really doesn't work at the prices they pay.

I'd love to go back and forth with you guys, especially if you are willing to remove your "anonymous" tags, tell me who you are and whether you are in the business or not.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sophia said...

I just wanted to second or third that the show on CNBC CLEARLY stated Tony Stewart put in no money and was GIVEN half ownership.

We may be opinionated here but we also like to keep facts straight and in that aspect the show got it correct.

Actually, overall, it was a good show for it's target.

I understand folks LOVING NASCAR and wanting to follow it in retirement if that is their passion, but the overabundance of NASCAR memorabilia was just too much for me. But I don't like an overly cluttered/busy room.

Darren,

Thanks for being willing to join in the fray here.

Nobody, ever in print or on tv has EVER watched Brian France the big question.

Has he ever tried to watch and PAY ATTENTION to the races at home on tv? Aside from the great camera work from Mike Wells on TNT, the constant camera shifting of tight shots, in car cams/roof cams/bumper cams, rare brief wide shot....well, as I said before, BSPNs coverage of Daytona could've been Bristol, Daytona or Prague for all we could actually "see" . .Add to that the commercials jammed in (yes we know they pay the bills) and THAT is why tv ratings re down.

I've heard the same about college football where the games last much longer and fans in the stands sit there, while commercials are run to spoil the momentum. What a couple of OH State fans tell me anyway.

HarpAmy/Amy in FL said...

Darren,

As far as the owner/driver part of the show, I liked hearing about Tony Stewart but it would have been nice to do something on the drivers and owners that have their whole life savings in the game. Those could be the likes of Robby Gordon, Tommy Baldwin, Joe Nemechek. I know that the Michael Waltrip thing has been done a lot before but as a fan of his I have seen him put all in to start up his team and then continue the company. Michael did bring in a partner, Rob Kauffman from Fortress Investment Group.

The owner/driver thing is something that being covered could really help the sport and also help the little guys.

As one that does not really believe in Global Warming, I really just tuned out that part of the show. I just don't believe that anything that we do affects the temperatures of the earth. I believe that God controls it all and I rest in that fact.

It was nice to hear from the likes of Marcus Smith and hearing the revenue sharing type of numbers and that comes from the tv deal and not the tracks (if I heard that correctly).

I will admit that the airing of this program was right smack in the middle of qualifying and I went back and forth between the 2. I don't have a DVR to be able to tape one and watch the other.

I also believe that Domino's left the sport due to finances. They left back in 2007.

I am not in the business. I am just an avid fan.

Thanks for joining in on the discussion.

David said...

Some of these have pulled out, others have reduced their support in the last few years or are rumored to do so next year: Dewalt, Kellogg's, CARQUEST, Valvoline, Coor's Light, Chevron-Texaco, Netzero, Waste Management all have either scaled their involvement back or have left entirely over the last 2 plus seasons.

I don't paint all the doom and gloom some fans do, but there are some issues that have to be addressed between the competition side of the sport as well as the viewing side. Networks that have put their egos ahead of putting the best product in front of fans have fueled declining ratings in my eyes since ESPN, FOX, and TNT can't seem to agree to promote any NASCAR coverage between any of the other networks. Its as if if it doesnt air on their channel, it doesnt exist. Thats a problem.

Getting a first hand perspective from an independent team such as Furniture Row, NEMCO, PRISM, or Phoenix Racing would probably have been better than a SHR but then again I am probably speaking out of turn as I did not have a chance to see the program yet.

Though SHR is a decent example since the #39 is only half sponsored and this is an organization that is 1st and 5th in the points with 3 wins (2 points, 1 exhibition) on the season. It is an interesting story since it is true that Tony is playing with house money since his investment was not financial but his own personal imagine that was bartered for 50% of the team.

What would be an interesting follow-up would be if there was some discussion of how the economy affects the Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series' because the issue of sponsorship and true woes of the economic downturn are MUCH more evident there than in Cup.

Lisa Hogan said...

Since I had to record the show last night and won't be able to watch till this weekend, I just wanted to say:

Welcome, Darren. I'm glad that you decided to join our group. :)

Anonymous said...

Darren,I'm anon 4:33am. All you need to know about me is that i'm not 'in the business'. I'm a Nascar fan that happens to watch CNBC. My desire for CNBC and the mainstream media,in general is to just play it straight.The biases and connections of Mssrs. Zucker and Immelt are well known. I made a ton of money in the Summer of 2003 swimming against the tide of CNBC who got the Tech Bubble wrong as well as the Recovery of 2003. I can still hear Maria B. saying..."where are the jobs?Where are the WMD's?" I'd hire knowledgeable people with backgrounds in Business,Economics or Finance who handle the issues with guests in a balanced and objective way. That would go a long way in assuring that topics like Nascar are covered well.

Darren said...

David,

Thanks for listing some names of companies. Chevron/Texaco's investment is neutralized by Sunoco's official partnership. Nothing to do with finances, it just doesn't make sense anymore.

Waste Management has always been on the fringes of the sport. And Dewalt is in the exact same boat as Dupont -- they are not really a consumer brand. They sell huge pieces of equipment by the hundreds. They do NASCAR strictly for Kenseth to shake hands. The business doesn't make sense. It doesn't mean that they haven't gotten their value from NASCAR.

Not here to defend NASCAR of course, as my piece didn't either, just saying that they are part of the overall troubles with the rest of the economy.

darbar said...

Dannyboy, if a show is focusing on the economics of the sport, having France admitting there are challenges is one thing, but letting it sit there after that without going deeper into the problems defies reason. If the producers of the show, and Rovell himself had done more research, they could have discovered the many reasons for the downturn in Nascar attendance and viewership (including put you to sleep races, the COT, cookie cutter tracks, boring, white break and corporate licking drivers, and the sport ignoring it's roots by getting rid of races at historic tracks) and asked France to expound on each of those ideas. But for whatever reason, they just whitewash over those very important, and salient, facts.

Darren said...

Darbar,
We have an 43 minute show and it has to be for the layperson. Doing five minutes on the car of tomorrow is not practical for our audience.

Cookie cutter cars did make it in the piece with one of NASCAR's greatest critics Monte Dutton. Did we just pick any journalist? Nope. We talked to the guy who has blasted NASCAR over the years.

cvt said...

Darren

I would have thought a minute or two to compare the ownership & governance structure of NASCAR to the NFL or MLB would have been useful to the average viewer,since they're a little more familiar with them.

NASCAR is a substantial family business run feudally in many ways. I don't believe there is another major sport where participants commit such large sums of risk capital with such little governance input.

Joe from Pittsburgh said...

How can you say DeWalt is not a consumer brand? There are tools galore for building and accessories by the truckload at every hardware store from local ACE to Home Depots nationwide,Darren. I think that Dewalt is nothing like Dupont. Longtime companies like Citgo, Valvoline,or STP just cannot afford the costs to sponsor and even others such as Interstate and Dewalt need help to keep sponsorship. This cannot be good for the sport by any means.

Anonymous said...

The show did not, in my opinion, live up to what was promised in the title.

I didn't see much at all on
"Refueling the Business of NASCAR."

I did see a lot of "NASCAR is very cool, and it has some financial troubles, which are largely a result of the economy," but that wasn't what the show's title promised.

Sure, you can argue that you had to explain why the industry is all about, but if you spend most of your show on that, then we don't see the in-depth exploration of what can be done to "Refuel NASCAR" that I'd expect from a business channel.

Then again, when the host of the show comes here and says, "And Dewalt is in the exact same boat as Dupont -- they are not really a consumer brand," well, that's very telling, I have a garage full of Dewalt tools, and all I do is fix up around the house.

If Darren doesn't know that DeWalt has a substantial consumer line, then perhaps he needs to educate himself better.

Honestly, Darren came across as a fan who was asked to try to temper his excitement for the sport with some "reality" but didn't do very well on that count.

Finally, I was not impressed that the "typical" fans shown were--of course--the standard stereotypes. There are a LOT of us who are considerably more upscale and have college degrees. But I imagine we weren't "colorful" enough.

All in all, not well done. Didn't satisfy the businessman in me, didn't satisfy the race fan in me, either.

Darren said...

Dewalt like Caterpillar and Dupont have huge business to business arms that they focus on. That's a whole lot different from selling cereal or beer. That was my point.

Thanks for the dialogue here. Always good to hear from viewers whether it's good or bad.

I'm very proud of the show we put on the air.

Jojaye said...

Darren

Just finished watching the show. Not bad. I have to Ditto the many comments about showing the "stereo type" of NASCAR fans. Please show a cross section - there are more of us normie types at the tracks - we just don't get noticed. lol

The show itself left me wanting more info so I guess thats good, I understood before watching it wasn't geared to NASCAR fans per se so it was ok.

Thank you for getting Brian France looking & sounding presentable. My worst fear was he'd show up & look & sound like he does during press conferences.

The show gave me hope that while we are hurting the sport will make it thru the downturn. At least Brian acknowledged the empty seats,yet, its not exclusive to NASCAR, MLB & other sports are hurting too.

In all it was a good overview of our sport.
I too wish there was mention of Truck Champ Johnny Benson being rideless this season - but you only had 1 hour less commercials.

Thanks for a balanced show.

Cesar said...

Sophia,
Wow, that's pretty judgmental and harsh of you to just broadly paint those folks as having a "mental disorder" for collecting that much stuff. While you have every right to feel the way you do about "cluttered" space, those people have every right to decorate their home, their basement, however they please. Without considering all their memorabilia, they came across as seemingly nice people who happen to be huge race fans, as most of us are. Just because they're not like you doesn't mean that they're "mental."

Anonymous said...

I'm very proud of the show we put on the air.

Perhaps so, Darren, but you weren't your intended audience, were you?

Actually, having worked in TV news for over 20 years, I can say this attitude is one of TV news' biggest problems: Not understanding that producing a show that satisfies those who produced it is NOT the same as doing one that will satisfy the viewers.

Andrew Giangola said...

As someone who is pleased to know the fan featured in Darren's NASCAR special, I want to add something. Julie is an extremely passionate NASCAR fan. The sport is a big part of her life, bringing her great joy (especially with her driver Tony Stewart tearing it up this year.) She and her husband Russ began collecting merchandise, primarily focused on Dale Sr., as he was vying for another championship. When Dale was killed at Daytona, that part of their collection grew, and they created a separate (and amazing) Dale room in their basement. They also continued to avidly collect interesting and rare NASCAR stuff, adding to the wondrous museum-worthy bunch of swag you saw on CNBC. Julie and Russ host a giant Daytona 500 party in that wonderful basement (if you're a Jeff Gordon fan, don't park next to Russ's truck), as well as viewing parties for every single NASCAR race. Each week, Julie welcomes friends and family into her home and cooks up a storm. She is a generous, kind, giving, fun lady who absolutely loves NASCAR. She had a big health scare but is thankfully recovered. She says tending to the NASCAR collection, and making a video which helped her win the NASCAR FAN OF THE YEAR CONTEST was therapeutic as she waited for crucial medical tests and then serious surgery. I wanted everyone to know this before judging a individual I'm proud is part of NASCAR nation, but more importantly, to call my friend.

Andrew Giangola
Director of Business Communications
NASCAR

Anonymous said...

While that's a glowing endorsement, and Julie probably is a great person, all the "layman" viewers (as Darren put it) have to judge her--and the others fans shown--by is what they saw on the TV show.

Keep that in mind.

Anonymous said...

Dewalt like Caterpillar and Dupont have huge business to business arms that they focus on.

And my point is that Dewalt is not in NASCAR to market to those people.

Their products take up a great deal of square-footage in big-box home improvement stores, aimed squarely at the consumer.

The fact that you refuse to acknowledge that tells me a good deal about your understanding of NASCAR marketing.

Delenn said...

Oooh. Isn't this thread gaining some posters. First Darren, then the Director of Business Communications for Nascar. Welcome both.

For disclosure - I like in England. I spend every other weekend at a racetrack here.

Now, if the documentary managed to get over those in power in Nascar burying their heads in the sand, then it sounds pretty good.

My concern with those in charge is that they are blaming the failing economy for fans staying away, when clearly there are problems elsewhere (CoT, TV coverage except TNT, overly corporate drivers etc.)

I find the choice of name interesting - the suggestion would be future rather than past or present. Sounds like there was not too much of that.

Finally, I would love to get to interview Brian France. He appears to be ruining the sport we all love - his public persona is that of an idiot. I would love someone - anyone - to put him under pressure during questionning to see who he really is.

Darren and Andrew - please stick around. We all love Nascar, and want it to be right and successful. JD gives us a voice - it is good to know someone is listening.

SallyB said...

I taped the show and just watched it today. It was obviously not an in depth piece, as it generally skipped lightly over some of the problems/questions. There was some interesting information about sponsor/driver relationships, but not much more than a quick overview. I must say I was pleasantly surprised to see Brian France appearing coherent for a change. That's the most sense I've heard him make...still without really saying anything...in years. I realize there was a limited amount of time, but there wasn't much in the way of answers, other than Nascar assuring all of us that everything's just fine, thank you.

I'm sure that the folks used to represent Nascar fans are wonderful people, and are obviously dedicated fans. But that also tends to perpetuate the myth that all fans are that extreme in their interest and spending. It doesn't exactly give a realistic view of fans in general, or even that most fans probably don't spend that much of their income on Nascar 'stuff'. In fact, with souvenir sales dropping drastically the past few years, it would seem those nice folks are the exception these days. It was an interesting overview, but lacking in much substance or depth. But a nice try.

David said...

"Refueling the Business of NASCAR"

I want to throw an idea out here that probably isn't something that would have been realistic for this specific show but maybe something the devoted demographic would like. How about how the "Business of NASCAR" effects the smaller local track levels of the sport. With the massive real estate boom of the last 10 years tons of long standing short tracks have closed their doors, not to mention many more as a result of the economy. NASCAR, in an attempt to play for ratings the last decade have moved more and more events into the Friday/Saturday night windows which directly affect these local tracks which take the direct hit as a result.

This becomes directly tied to a phenomena that I've really seen over the last 6-7 years in ALL motorsports.

Drivers getting rides because they are directly tied to sponsors. Drivers such as Brent Sherman with Serta, Paul Menard with Menards, Eric McClure with Hefty, and Ken Butler III with Aarons. You see drivers in Nationwide, Trucks and even Cup get replaced by drivers that come with money who may or may not be the best driver for the job which puts certain teams behind the 8 ball. Sherman himself single handedly put BAM in such a hole they shut their doors as a result of being outside the Top 35 in points. McClure is the only thing keeping Rensi-Hamilton going when the best he can muster is a 25th place run in a car that ran top 10 in the points last year. Yet drivers like Kelly Bires, Johnny Benson to name a few wind up in start and park situations or completely out of a job since sponsors want certain types of drivers for their image.

That is something that can turn many a fan off when someone who is a fan favorite like JB can't get a ride because he may not have a sponsor tied up to his back pocket. Take TJ Bell, his teammate at Red Horse for example. He was 18th in points I believe when Johnny got released. Johnny was 6th or 7th in the standings, yet since his family didn't own a company that could throw their name on a truck, he got the boot. It opened a door for Timothy Peters which is neat, but took a fan favorite and defending champion out of the series which is a much greater loss to that series as a whole.

On the Dewalt thing, I get what your saying Darren but they are a consumer brand because at the end of the day if consumers in both business and a home don't purchase the product they cannot be viable. Dupont is much more dependent on business to business relations than a Dewalt but thats just my own personal opinion.

Gymmie said...

@Darren--I was not able to watch as I'm TVless right now but just wanted to say Welcome :) and thanks for taking the time to read the comments and respond. Hopefully the two cents given can help if you do another feature :). Oh I do see there are some highlights on the site, I'll check them out :)

Vicky D said...

I was just a bit disappointed with it but I guess I shouldn't expect too much for just an hour show. Not enough owners were interviewed and why did we have to see that family with their basement full of Nascar junk. BF said all the right things but when he does press conferences he stumbles a lot. Thought his father was much more dynamic.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Thanks to everyone for the great comments and thanks to Darren for taking the time to stop by and leave his observations.

Anonymous said...

JD
Allow me one more please.
Darren , I have been in sports tv in cable and broadcast for many years.
My primary complaint abbout your ahow is that it did not deliver on its premise. Refueling, as in restarting, resurrecting, rebuilding.
What you delivered was a "state of the business" report, which is okay to do, I suppose, but hardly what the program title said it would be.
Most of the talking heads-even Brian France, simply said "yeah, there are problems and challenges"
but nothing about how severe the challenges are or any insight into how they have a cause and effect dynamic. Case in point, you interview Max Seigel, a black man, on his initiative to increase minority participation in the sport. Yet you failed to note that he had been the highest ranking minority in the sport, as CEO of Dale Earnhardt, Inc!
The state of the sport forced him, a minority, out of the job! Now he works for NASCAR trying to raise the level of minority participation in an industry that is in such bad shape it "fired" him. Pretty poignant stuff, particulalrly juxtaposed to the Pennsyvania based fan of the year.
In sum, what NASCAR wants to promote as the new fan base vs the current fan whose image NASCAR has been desperately trying to replace for years. I think you missed the boat. But thaks for engaging in the chat