Sunday, February 23, 2014

When I interviewed longtime NASCAR team owner Felix Sabates for Where Charlotte magazine last year, among the many interesting things he told me (and many that I didn't have space for in the article) that he believed his league needed to do to grow is to attract younger fans. Well, one of NASCAR's newest television commercials, which began airing this weekend with the running of the Daytona 500, features kids.


In the minute-long commercial, titled "Heroes," several boys and one girl talk about what they dream of becoming. They appear to be between elementary and middle school age, and they dream "of flying," "of riding a rocket," "of being an athlete," "of being a king," and "of being fearless," among other things. Their assertions are followed by quick and exciting scenes from NASCAR races and several of the sports most popular drivers. The commercial closes with one of the kids saying he dreams of being a race car driver, which essentially is what each of the kids is saying.

When I saw the commercial this afternoon, I immediately liked it. Heck, it even gave me a little bit of that excitement we only tend to have about something as kids. Even though I consider myself an avid sports fan today, it pales in comparison to how I was as a kid. When I would watch games all day on the weekends, wouldn't miss a round of the playoffs, read the player and team stats whenever they were published in the newspaper (that's a lost art). So it is absolutely imperative that NASCAR chase these young fans, whom I assume they hope will grow to be adult fans.


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