No. 946
May 16, 2018
 

About The UjianNasional

Author, commentator, influencer. The Consigliere. Minister of the High-Octane Truth. Editor-in-Chief of .

Peter DeLorenzo has been in and around the sport of racing since the age of ten. After a 22-year career in automotive marketing and advertising, where he worked on national campaigns as well as creating many motorsports campaigns for various clients, DeLorenzo established Ujian-nasional.info on June 1, 1999. Over the years DeLorenzo's commentaries on racing and the business of motorsports have resonated throughout the industry. Because of the burgeoning influence of those commentaries, DeLorenzo has directly consulted automotive clients on the fundamental direction and content of their motorsports programs. DeLorenzo is considered to be one of the most influential voices commenting on the sport today.

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Fumes


Tuesday
Jul012008

FUMES #452

July 2, 2008

Publisher's Note: We're taking this week off, but since this column has resonated around the Internet and been bashed on the NASCAR-oriented radio shows (that are bought and paid for by NASCAR, of course), it is with great pleasure that we leave it up another week so that all of the so-called NASCAR "fans" out there can get pissed-off all over again. People can label this column as fiction should they choose to, but if they do, they do so at their peril. Anyone who actually believes that it will be "business as usual" for the Detroit manufacturers and their NASCAR programs going forward from this juncture on are not only dreaming, they're displaying a level of naivete and flat-out ignorance that defies all rationally reasoned thought. I will repeat the basic premise of last week's column again for those of you out there who just cannot fathom a NASCAR without the Detroit Three being present and accounted for. The Detroit manufacturers are on the brink of disaster, to the point that their very existence is in question. Everything, and I mean everything is subject to change - up to and including budget cuts and even elimination of programs altogether - even sacred cow programs such as NASCAR. - PMD

 

NASCAR is about to feel Detroit's chill.

By Peter M. De Lorenzo

Detroit.
It's no secret that the worst automobile market in 20 years has the Detroit auto companies reeling. It's in the national news and in newspapers across the country, and it's often the lead story on network newscasts and prime time business programming. And, of course, it's prominent on the Internet too. This isn't just a mild "adjustment" to Detroit's fortunes, either; rather, it's a dramatic, fundamental shift in how the business will be played out from here on in. And Detroit finds itself under the gun like never before.

At this very moment key players of the "Detroit Three" are evaluating every facet of their businesses, right down to the last dollar. That means every product program and every promotional/marketing/advertising program - and everything and anything between - is being placed under the microscope and being scrutinized for ways to shrink expenditures. And for the first time in a long time, Detroit's substantial NASCAR budgets are being included in the process.

In the past, Detroit's NASCAR programs usually escaped scrutiny at cost-cutting time, simply because the sport was on an upward trajectory and participation was not only a given, it was never even questioned. Well, the climate has changed dramatically, and all of NASCAR's negatives - declining attendance, declining TV ratings, the dreaded "Car of Tomorrow," which has destroyed brand recognition and differentiation, the never-ending schedule, and the spike in costs due to the influx of Toyota spending - have the powers that be at the Detroit automakers seriously questioning their NASCAR programs.

How will it shake out? The peripheral programs that NASCAR fans never think about - the track sponsorships, the promotional support programs and other components that go into the Detroit car companies' NASCAR programs - will be the first to go. Programs that are coming up for renewal now - mid- to late summer being prime sponsorship program renewal/extension/evaluation season - will be the first to be cut.

Then, the national advertising and high-visibility NASCAR-based promotions that have become so ubiquitous on networks such as SPEED will be cut back.

And finally, the actual s with the teams will be closely analyzed for value, and this is where it will get very interesting, because these manufacturers could easily just "cherry pick" one of the three NASCAR series (Sprint Cup, Nationwide & Craftsman) to compete in, rather than continue blanket participation, or, there is a very real possibility that at least one of the Detroit manufacturers will pull out altogether - which I've been predicting for two years now - even if it means NASCAR becoming a one-make series (Toyota).

At the very least, I can assure you that some of NASCAR's sacred cow teams - the ones that heretofore would never be considered to be on the block - will be left by the side of the road by the Detroit manufacturers in the interest of saving money.

Suffice to say that the marketing mavens in Daytona Beach will be in for a shock when these Detroit car companies begin to pull back on their NASCAR spending, because they will be ill-prepared for the depth and breadth of the reductions that are coming.

The days of Detroit's "automatic" involvement in NASCAR are coming swiftly to a close.

And NASCAR is about to feel Detroit's chill.

 

Publisher's Note: In our continuing series celebrating the "Golden Era" of American racing history, here is another image from the Ford Racing Archives. - PMD

mtrsptshist_1399_HR-2.jpg
(Ford Racing Archives)
Bristol, TN, 1968. David Pearson gets cozy with "Miss Bristol" in victory lane after winning the Bristol 250 NASCAR race at the Bristol Motor Speedway.

 

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