Is My IndyCar Fixed Yet? Stay On Track

Andy BernsteinCorrespondent IApril 17, 2010

Two brief housekeeping notes:

After receiving 20 "kill it" votes about my first entry, concerning the upcoming Versus Long Beach rebroadcast, the article disappeared into the ether. Obviously, I haven't.

This blog will be continuing under the title of "Stay On Track". That's the title I have been using for a series of technical, regulatory and promotional initiatives commencing last September. And since my thoughts are original, it was important to make sure that this blog was titled accordingly and not confused with any other.

The growth of social media does that sort of is a Grand Hotel, filled with hundreds of individual rooms and the ideas locked inside them. So the housekeeping was in order.

Social media gets a lot of credit these days for spreading the word about various special interests. You and I are both here because or our special interest today.

Who else stops by? Does anybody come to this hotel, and knock on a random door to see what's going on inside?

I have learned so much in recent months from surfing online, by finding links to an interview or a topic that I hadn't stumbled across myself. But I was already here looking for information about my special interest.

We can go this website, or that Facebook page and sometimes track the activity of the number of folks who stopped by. In the case of the IndyCar community, how many of these are new fans?

The fans today are treated to an array of connections that unlock doors to all sorts of video clips, statistics, advertisements, op-ed pieces...almost anything except detailed technical information.

But there's only a small group of us. The longer we stay in this room, the easier it is to forget that fact. If the bombardment of information never extends to the public at large, there will only be an incremental growth in the fan base as a result.

This is not the time for incremental change.

Stay On Track is about fixing stuff. Following is an initiative I floated in March, with no apparent effect. I'd be very interested to read a comment about it from you.


Proof of Concept: Promotional DVDs
Monday, March 1, 2010 at 12:56am
Friday in a note about Barber testing, I mentioned a previous idea about circulating free promotional IndyCar DVD's to generate interest and attract new fans.

Preliminary research indicated that a program of this nature would not be prohibitively expensive, and my belief is that mass mailings to a local market in advance of a racing event would be a beneficial promotion. Obviously the mailing cost adds a significant component to the program.

Sunday, I'm watching the Nascar race from Las Vegas. A commercial comes on for Amp Energy Drink, and they are activating their sponsorship of Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s car in an innovative way. Included on each retail four-pack of Amp Energy Drink is a free DVD, showing fans an inside look at the car prep which takes place at Jr.s' shop between events.

So the free DVD's sounds like a valid idea, and the cost must make it an affordable investment. Deleting the postage charges by packaging them with an existing sponsor's product is a great idea: I had developed a similar program for a different promotion, but circulation of the DVD's in this manner is a win-win too.

This is the sort of promotional incentive that I think is necessary to attract new fans to IndyCar. Perhaps Dr. Pepper/ Snapple or Coke would have an interest in participating in a similar initiative, to boost their local sales and hype the next IndyCar event at the same time. IMS Productions creates the video, the sponsor includes it in packaging, and the costs are shared. So are the benefits.

My concept goes a few steps further, in that additional benefits for both the IICS and the fans can be realized through this promotion . And others. There are a lot of ways to get this job done, and I am anxious to help.
That's why I'm here today on April 17. A long time ago, I got a free CD ROM in the mail from America Online. I didn't have to knock on the door at the computer room in the library to see what was going on, and what I was missing out on.
I got a free invitation to the Hotel instead. That's the kind of invitation people need to come check out IndyCar racing... not a link from a photo of a tweet that 500 or 50,000 existing fans might see.
This is a special interest that everybody on the outside needs an invitation to. When they check out IndyCar racing today, they'll realize they have been missing out on something very Grand indeed.