NASCAR appeals to more than just Sports Fans!

Social Media Week

Social Media Week is a leading news platform and worldwide conference that curates and shares the best ideas and insights into social media and technology's impact on business, society, and culture.

47 days until 20,000+ global leaders come together for SMW November Conference. Learn more.

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.

Paul Dunay

VP of Marketing, Maxymiser


Paul Dunay is an award-winning B2B marketing expert with more than 20 years’ success in generating demand and creating buzz for leading technology, consumer products, financial services and professional services organizations. Paul is the Global Vice President of Marketing for Maxymiser, a leader in web optimization and analytics, and author of five “Dummies” books: Facebook Marketing for Dummies (Wiley 2009), Social Media and the Contact Center for Dummies (Wiley Custom Publishing 2010), Facebook Advertising for Dummies (Wiley 2010), Facebook Marketing for Dummies 2nd Edition (Wiley 2011) and Facebook Marketing for Dummies 3rd Edition (Wiley 2012). His unique approach to marketing has led to recognition of Paul as a BtoB Magazine Top 25 B2B Marketer of the Year for 2010 and 2009 and winner of the DemandGen Award for Utilizing Marketing Automation to Fuel Corporate Growth in 2008. He is also a finalist for six years in a row in the Marketing Excellence Awards competition of the Information Technology Services Marketing Association (ITSMA), and is a 2010 and 2005 gold award winner in Driving Demand. Marketing Darwinism, Paul’s blog, has been recognized as a Top 20 Marketing Blog for 2009 and 2008, a Top Blog to Watch for 2009 and 2008, and an Advertising Age Power 150 blog in the “Daily Ranking of Marketing Blogs.” Paul has shared his marketing thought leadership as a featured speaker for the American Marketing Association, BtoB Magazine, CMO Club, MarketingProfs, Marketing Sherpa, Marketing Executives Networking Group (MENG), and ITSMA. He has appeared on Fox News, and his articles have been featured in BusinessWeek, The New York Times, BtoB Magazine, MarketingProfs and MarketingSherpa. Paul holds an Executive Certificate in Strategy and Innovation from MIT’s Sloan School of Management and a bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Computer Science from Ithaca College.

Want to write for Social Media Week?

We're looking for individuals around the globe to contribute articles on marketing, media, technology, and more.