Media Tour rolls into Concord; teams talk sponsors | Business
CONCORD - The green flag on the new NASCAR season is still a few weeks away, but this week the sport's top drivers and teams are in Concord and Charlotte for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway at the Embassy Suites.
This week NASCAR drivers just dive right in as journalists from all over the world ask them about everything from the upcoming season to who they like for the Super Bowl, and this week, many of those questions come with a foreign accent. Sergio Lago of Fox Sports Brazil says all NASCAR races are now shown in his country.
"I believe it's becoming more and more popular, it's doesn't compare to Formula One where we have world champions from Brazil, but it's growing more and more popular," Lago told WBTV.
During this media tour where drivers show off sponsors and new deals made over the off season.
"Without them we wouldn't be able to do what we do," said NASCAR driver Martin Truex, Jr.
This year, it's as important as ever as the sport tries to buck a trend of lower attendance and lower TV ratings.
"I think we're putting as good or better a product on the racetrack as we've ever put on a racetrack and I think that NASCAR is doing a good or better of a job as far as media, social media, reaching the fans, I know this year they'll do upgrades to facilities," said driver Brian Vickers. "So, everything on the NASCAR front is going in the right direction."
Reaching more fans at the track and on the tube is the key to the sport's growth. In 2008 thousands of local workers lost their jobs when sponsors left and teams shut down. It's better now, but the sponsor relationship has changed greatly.
"When I first started, the sponsors they got a spot on the car, here's how much it cost them and you went racing, now it's quite a bit different than that, we have to show them the value, they're looking for a lot more value out of their dollar and we have to figure out a way to show that," Truex added. "The sponsor atmosphere has changed, sponsors want more for less and I think one of the things Michael (Waltrip) started is overachieving, over delivering for your sponsors and that's something we work very hard on."
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway continues through Thursday. The new season kicks off in Daytona Beach with the Daytona 500 on February 24th.
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