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.