NASCAR : Have they missed the diversity marketing boat?

al asifyouknowSenior Analyst IJanuary 17, 2009

In a few days, a historic event will occur in this country, the first African-American president will be inaugurated.

This past election has to be viewed as a monumental change, not only in the diversity of the population but also a change of attitude on the issue of race.

As equality in employment and earning power have improve in the last 20 years, the Black and Hispanic population have become an important marketing target for many manufacturers and retailers.

Last weekend, I watched the NFL, arguably the most successfully marketed sport league in the history. I DVR'd the games and scanned the recording. I noticed the folks sitting in the stands actually reflected the folks playing in the field, a very diverse audience of young and old and Black, White, Brown, and Asians filled those seats.

That diversity not only fill the NFL stadiums week in and out but has also contributed in making the NFL as one of the most watched sports in the USA.

I do understand NASCAR has not needed more than their base fans to fill the seats and maybe the sport will be fine without looking for a wider audience.

The reality in today's economy demands you to squeeze every little penny you can, you must look to get every little dollar that is available, but you must be prepared to do so, if can't find that money in your traditional fans you got to look elsewhere.

Until diversity is treated as a viable way to market the sport and lure new sponsors to NASCAR that will bring new revenues, diversity  will remain a pipe dream. 

Sitting around singing "Kumbaya" and pretending the program is working is not going to get it done. Mr. France maybe has missed the boat, this cannot be done overnight.

Maybe Max Siegal, who has been hired to work with this program, and being the smart business man he is, can get the powers to be in this sport to understand there is huge money to be made, and lots of sponsors who love to sell stuff, and they don't care to whom, to them everyone is the color of money, GREEN.

The point, I hope I have gotten across, is that diversity in today's economy is not about forcing anyone to hire minorities or to have some kind of quota, is about marketing and profit, is about the potential of getting into the pockets of a 100 million folks. Now that is the diversity! THAT MOST SPONSORS UNDERSTAND, my dear friends.