When Danica Patrick announced she was going NASCAR racing in 2010, two things came of it. One was high expectations, the other was a great promoting opportunity.
Already one of the most highly promoted faces in the Izod Indy Car Series, the exposure from NASCAR would already help everyone involved. GoDaddy.com had a great relationship with Patrick prior to her entering the sport, so it was just going to grow.
Although the high expectations were a bit much, Patrick showed that she was learning, and that was to be expected.
She brought in a whole new realm of fans, both male and female, into NASCAR. There was very little that needed to be done by the advertisers and track promoters. If she was racing, the fans were attending.
But come 2011, she will have the ultimate competition.
That competition won't come from the track, but in the aspects of promotions. Last week, freestyle motocross icon and rally car champion Travis Pastrana announced he was making his debut in NASCAR.
Now, who do promoters decide to advertise more?
It could be a nightmare trying to figure out which persona would bring in more fans. Patrick has her fan base that is unlike any in the sport. She attracts the kids with her Hot Wheels products, women appreciate what she's doing, and men... well it's obvious why they are fans of her.
Who is going to have more fan appeal next year in NASCAR?
Pastrana brings in an attitude that is almost that of Kyle Busch, but has an appeal just like Patrick.
The freestyle motocross star has become as popular on four wheels as he was on two. His numerous X Games medals speak for themselves, and he has his own television show, Nitro Circus.
His extreme antics have gained him national exposure, and also landed him a deal with Red Bull. Last year, he drove his own monster truck in competition in Las Vegas, finishing in the top five in the freestyle portion of the show. Then, as part of Red Bull's "New Year, No Limits" deal, he jumped his rally car over 300 feet to set a new world record.
Now, he's in a sport where if the wheels come off the ground, it usually means problems.
How's a promoter to decide which to advertise, especially if both are competing at the same track over the same weekend?
On the one hand you have Patrick, who's sex appeal drives the male audience to watch and see how she competes. On the other you have Pastrana, who's no limit attitude appeals to the younger generation.
Any aspect in advertising and promoting for both of these drivers is tremendous. The fans are forced to choose between the young lady or the no-limit man.
It will be a nightmare for any promoter, whether it's the track trying to bring in the fans, or the sponsors trying to get buys. Being forced to choose will be tough, and trying to promote both at the same time could be chaotic.
No matter what, the winners will be the fans.
Whether the people cheer for the "GoDaddy Girl" or Pastrana 199, they all will be victorious in 2011.