As fans of the movie Talladega Nights would know, stock car racing in the United States has its origins in bootlegging during Prohibition, when drivers ran bootleg whiskey made primarily in the Appalachian region of the United States. Bootleggers needed to distribute their illicit products, and they typically used small, fast vehicles to better evade the police. Many of the drivers would modify their cars for speed and handling, as well as to increase cargo capacity. Some of them soon came to love the fast-paced driving down twisty mountain roads.
The repeal of Prohibition in 1933 largely dried up their business- but today, NASCAR is the largest sanctioning body of stock car racing in the United States.
The audience that follows NASCAR racing is a very loyal bunch of followers that average over 30 million, which is on par with many sporting events such as the Stanley Cup, the World Series, and the NBA Championship.
But when we think about the advertisers to that audience its mostly CPG brands: Skoal, Budweiser, MillerCoors and M&Ms or more Retailer brands such as: Home Depot, DuPont, Caterpillar, BF Goodwrench and Lowes.
So we thought it would be interesting to track and analyze the social data surrounding NASCAR over the last 30 days in order to reveal audiences segments that are under-loved by brands. We then took it a step further to suggest brands that should be advertising that aren’t on NASCAR by looking at what else that exact audience talks about.
As expected what we found in the social data was quite interesting. The audience beyond the NASCAR sports fans actually ranked well with one of our audiences that we call “Fashionistas” this audience has a great interest in fashion and they love finding ways to get fashionable brands for less. Next most popular audience was the TV Fanatics, which seems reasonable to us, perhaps MTV or USA Networks could have their own car. Home Owners was obvious since may home owner brands already advertise on NASCAR. However the Consumer Electronics audience was a bit of a surprise to us. Our thoughts ran wild thinking of the Samsung Galaxy II car or an Apple iPhone car. And then Millenials and Gamers were the next most popular audiences. And brands like Monster headphones and World of Warcraft we big with those audiences.
The point being that for a brand like NASCAR with such broad appeal, using a stereotype for an audience description can be inaccurate. Pockets of highly engaged fans that could make great targets for some brands will be overlooked. For NASCAR, this is a lost revenue opportunity and for brands this is a lost awareness opportunity.
Paul Dunay is the Chief Marketing Officer of Networked Insights, a leader in social media analytics, and author of four “Dummies” books: Facebook Marketing for Dummies, Social Media and the Contact Center for Dummies, Facebook Advertising for Dummies and Facebook Marketing for Dummies 2nd Edition. You can learn more here.