I’m not a NASCAR fan at all. Sure, I am from Charlotte....so you have to know something about NASCAR the same way that people in Las Vegas are familiar with casinos...even if they don’t gamble.
Last year, I participated in a NASCAR fantasy league....and it was pretty fun [I’m in another one this year]. I like looking to see how my guys did....but I just can’t watch those races. I just don’t get it. Unless there is a wreck...there is nothing to see. I don’t understand "teammates", pit stops or any of the strategy there is in the sport.
I do understand irony.
Last year was the first season of the Nextel Cup. It had been the Winston Cup for decades. Well, its tough to get the name "Winston" out there in advertisements since there are restrictions on tobacco commercials and such. Nextel comes in...and the dollars flowed with them [next year it will be the Sprint Cup after the Nextel/Sprint merger]. Nascar wanted to distance themselves from tobacco and the negative connotation it has in today’s "fitter" society. Only Victory Brand cigarettes will be any tobacco sponsor this season...and that is for John Andretti.
After 33 years of the "Winston Cup"....Nascar will soon have Nicorette gum as a sponsor. The Nicorette logo will be on Casey Mears car this season. Fitting. After all those years of having a tobacco sponsor the entire circuit.....you bring in a "stop smoking" patch as a sponsor. That’s cool. The sport, I will admit, has done an excellent job of ridding that "redneck image" that still stigmatizes it for more of an American racing feel. Instead of just a southern thing....there are Nascar races all over the country. Nascar has really worked on it’s family friendly image.
Uh.....oh yeah....but there is this.
Earlier, Nascar lifted its ban on liquor sponsors. No tobacco....but liquor is cool! Crown Royal, Jim Beam and Jack Danielsare already stepping up to the plate.
Beer sponsorship has been all over Nascar. The biggest name in the sport, Dale Earnhardt Jr., drives a red Budweiser car. Matt Kenseth, the final Winston Cup champion , has a sponsorship deal with Smirnoff Ice malt beverage. Sterling Marlin drives a Coors Light car. Rusty Wallace drives a Miller Light car. Anheuser Busch sponsors Nascar?s minor league circuit [Busch series].
Heck, the defending Nextel Cup champion is named Busch.
There is a Viagra car. I am sure there are kids around the country with a #6 Viagra car whizzing around their room.
Remember I said that thing about trying to rid that redneck image?? Well, the reasoning for allowing the liquor ads is that the sport originated from moonshine runners in the mountains of the Carolinas, Georgia and Tennessee.. Is there anything more redneck than that?? Not to mention the irony of promoting DRINKING with ads on cars SPEEDING around a track. Brilliant.
I?m having fun here...but, what is Nascar doing sending these kind of mixed messages??
LINK TO THE GUY WHO REALLY KNOWS ABOUT NASCAR:
The Diecast Dude's (Mostly) NASCAR Blah Blah Blog