Sunday, December 12, 2010

Weekend NASCAR Potpourri

What a week it's been for big topics. It's really not the off-season for NASCAR TV and media issues. Next week should bring an update on possible TV or video streaming coverage of the December tire test at the newly repaved Daytona International Speedway.

Also, we should have dates for the return of Race Hub in January and an update on possible video streaming for 2011 racing weekends.

Meanwhile, here is a brief recap of some issues we addressed over the past several weeks. Many of these topics are going to be sprouting up again before the 2011 season begins. Click on the title to read the entire column and leave your comments.

By request: Hail to the Chief originally published November 23, 2010.

The topic was Brian France's interview with the NASCAR media in Homestead. Here is an excerpt:

"ESPN is our partner and they have been an enormously good partner, and they actually have a younger demo on ESPN network than does their sister network, ABC. I suspect we'll sit down in the off-season and talk about that and we are going to share everything with them and they have been a great partner. By the way, I think the broadcast has been as good as I've seen in a long time. I think the energy level and the calling of the action, the on-air talent, I think is top-notch right now on their network, and they have been working at that for a few years to get all of the things just right, and I think they have."

One of the most popular TV personalities this season has been Ray Evernham. A while back, he shared some news and promised some more shortly.

Waiting For Ray Evernham To Get Back In The Game was originally published on November 29, 2010.

It's no secret that Ray Evernham has been itching to get back in the NASCAR game. Confined to ESPN's Infield Pit Studio as the third wheel behind Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty, Evernham is limited to a sentence or two in his TV comments.

Sunday morning Evernham dropped the following message on Twitter: "Firming up 2011 plans and will make a formal announcement when it all comes together. Will make sure to tweet before announcement is made."

This week came news that both the NFL and Howard Stern would be heard on Sirius Internet radio next year. Online coverage is the way to go. With a full time NASCAR channel already on Sirius but not available online or by cell phone app, how much longer can the parties involved allow this situation to go on?

NASCAR's Got A Sirius Situation was originally published on December 2, 2010.

With the advent of smart phones in the marketplace the ability to open the phone, press a button and listen to Sirius XM 128 would accomplish several key elements. One, it would increase the subscriber numbers dramatically. Two, it would finally make NASCAR truly portable, a key element in today's world.

Finally, it would accomplish a goal that has frustrated NASCAR all season long. It would provide an application that would be popular with younger fans. The days of listening to MRN in the garage are long gone. Appointment viewing of NASCAR TV shows, including races, has plummeted. It's got to be portable and available now.

NASCAR has hired an outside marketing company to reshape the media interface with fans including social networking, television coverage and radio content. The sport's public image next season will be crafted by product marketers. That sounds like fun, right?

NASCAR Fans About To Be Rebranded was originally published on December 3, 2010.

Editor Greg Bailey of the Gadsden Times has his own way of explaining the changes:

"The various press releases announcing this are filled with corporate-speak gobbledegook that numbs one’s brain. Translating it into English, NASCAR is putting its media relations, marketing and team/sponsor relations efforts under one roof in hopes of better selling a sport that has fallen on hard times."

Taylor (marketing and PR company) gets to continue to represent its existing NASCAR clients. It will now also advise NASCAR on how to proceed with a marketing-driven agenda across the board. Finally, Taylor will create the systems to manage all aspects of the media associated with the sport.

Some folks want to see it all live, some think it makes no sense on TV and others only want the highlights without all the scripted speeches. So, that led us to ask the question.

Does The Sprint Cup Series Banquet Belong On TV was originally published on December 7, 2010.

Let's review the choices:

1 - No TV for the banquet. Let the NASCAR reporters, photographers and bloggers send along pictures, stories and clips but leave the night for the teams and sponsors.

2 - Polish up what SPEED tried to do. Use red carpet interviews, highlights and pre-banquet driver interviews to create an hour show and then join the banquet for the awards in their entirety.

3 - Stream the entire evening online using the website. Let the TV professionals record the events, edit a feature program and use it as the cornerstone for a final send-off for NASCAR on SPEED.

Finally, we turned out attention to the struggling NASCAR Hall of Fame. It needs new guests, repeat business and some interesting exhibit inside that changed every single day. Now, what could that be?

Can ESPN Save The NASCAR Hall of Fame was originally published on December 9, 2010.

Perhaps, the solution to this problem might be a little TV show called NASCAR Now. As many of you may know, the Hall is connected to the NASCAR Media Group (NMG) television production facilities in the same complex. Showtime tapes Inside NASCAR in one of the NMG studios.

Reporters like Marty Smith, Ryan McGee, David Newton and Shannon Spake all live in the Greater Charlotte area. Briscoe does as well. Add Dale Jarrett, Andy Petree and Rusty Wallace to that list. You get the point. It only makes sense to originate the daily program covering the sport from where the news is happening.

Thanks again for staying with us during the off-season. Feel free to leave comments on any of these topics on this post or add them to the individual comments on the posts. Thanks again for stopping by The Daly Planet.


51 yr. fan said...

Last week Evernham commented about
when the truth comes out about
Gillette situation. If he is
a genuine ESPN reporter, why doesn't he break the story? Or are
there some things that we shouldn't
know. Where are all our good columnists who should also be pursuing the "truth"?

Anonymous said...

JD, do you know when ESPN will announce any changes to their on-air lineup? Years past its been sometime in January.

Unknown said...

Mr Editor -
Thanks muchly for the capsules on important topics doubt NASCAR and its partners understand they have at their disposal what it takes to restore fans' trust and interest in the product thought is that they are so anxious to put their own 'brand' on any changes, they overlook or refuse to adopt the obvious ...perhaps, to say overlook is to say they have the common sense to realize what they're doing now just isn't working ...they haven't proven that just yet, have they? ...seems as though they only want to line up at the 'pay window' without the realization of what got them there.

GinaV24 said...

These were great topics, JD. I sure hope that some day Brian France reads your column. I don't know where the fan council surveys to except maybe into a black hole.

Then instead of having to ask himself -- what do NASCAR fans want? He'll find the answers right here.

In the meantime, maybe some of the powers that be at ESPN should act on the feedback they get here.

Darcie said...

In another post on the NASCAR HOF thread, someone mentioned that the HOF was located in a bad area. Who was the bozo that chose that site? If it's so dangerous, did not someone figure that out?

Doesn't take a PhD to know a safe area from a bad one.

Anonymous said...

Mr. France said that everything is hunky dory with ESPN and race coverage. I guess that's it then...

You might as well shut down your blog now since, apparently everything is well in hand. Nothing left to report.

Anonymous said...

All good topics JD, but I have no hope on any of them. It is pretty easy to see where nascar is going. Any decision equals Brian (money) or racing (fans). What I do not get is how some in the nascar media can say to just ignore the decline in ratings and attendance? MC

Anonymous said...

HofF in a bad area? It's in uptown Charlotte among all the banks and hotels. The only real danger I can see is if you park off-site and have to cross the street during the business week. I've experienced no problems or concerns except for the rabid Jimmie Johnson fans you encounter.

So....have you ever been there? Plan a trip and see for yourself.


KoHoSo said...

GinaV24 said...

I sure hope that some day Brian France reads your column.

That will never happen, Gina. I have a bad feeling that Brian France won't ever read anything that doesn't come with a lot of pictures...and maybe some free crayons, too. >:-)

Anonymous said...

51 yr fan---you ever hear of a non-disclosure agreement? Ray probably had to sign one, if he gives up certain info in a certain time, he can probably be sued.

Darcie--land is cheap in those places (if it even is in a bad neighborhood, as opposed to simply being in a city), that's why many stadiums/venues are in those type of places. And usually the danger is exaggerated by suburbanites who are afraid of their own shadows. If you follow the basic safety rules, you would probably have no issues.

racingfool said...

Most stupid idea award.
Allowing shorts and open toed shoes in the garage for 2011. It used to be a gentleman's sport and ladies sport.
Imagine all the head turns at women in shorts and flip flops walking through the garage?
I wonder if they will have a short-short policy? Maybe they will have a template to measure the proper short height above the ground.
I'll bet my long legged woman will fail inspection.

Anonymous said...

racingfool...your curly tail is showing. It's not a woman's fault if some idiot can't keep his mind on his work.

I don't know why the shoe thing, but when it's 100 degrees in the shade, if there's no safety concern (this is for cold pits) then both men & women ought to be able to wear shorts.

The Mad Man said...

Even with cold pits there are activities going on in the garage area which could result in toe or foot injuries. Not to mention there are people with two left feet who manage to be walking examples of Murphy's Law. So we'll see what happens when the first set of toe or foot injuries happen.