Bridging The Gap
NASCAR sponsors are scaling back on car sponsorship and re-investing in more activation through television commercials, sweepstakes, social media campaigns.
For decades corporate sponsors have engaged in car, event, and track sponsorship to reach the "hard core fans" who attend NASCAR races and are most likely to support their favorite drivers' sponsors. This strategy was and is effective but as the NASCAR fan demographic has evolved, many sponsors are focusing on bridging the gap between the, generally older "hard core fan", and the younger more "casual fan." This translates into less focus on "at the track" sponsorship in terms of car and track sponsorship, and more intensive marketing in social media, commercials, and sweepstakes to reach the younger more casual NASCAR fans.
NASCAR has also changed their focus from growing the overall demographic to generating a new generation of upmarket fans. NASCAR's U Crew will visit 12 colleges and host events designed to garner interest in local racing tracks and NASCAR races in their area. They're holding events on campus and participating in promotional activites to offer special ticket packages, hospitality and tailgating events on race days.
NASCAR and corporations alike are bridging the gap between the older demographic and the younger, potential fan.