Sunday, November 22, 2015

I used to be a really big NASCAR fan

If you can't see the race it's tough to be a part of the sport.

St. Petersburg, FL
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb, PhD
Coauthor of: So You Want to Blog
Wikipedia defines NASCAR: The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing is a family-owned and -operated business venture that sanctions and governs multiple auto-racing sports events.

I used to be a really big NASCAR fan. Went to the big races in Florida, Georgia and Arizona. On Sunday during race season everything stopped at my house until the race was over. In fact there is still an entire wall in my home dedicated to my NASCAR experiences including the tracks I drove with the Richard Petty Experience; Daytona, Indianapolis and Talladega to name a few.

The 16 laps I did at Daytona at over 150 miles per hour were the wildest thing I have done so far.

From the kitchen cabinets to the closets and the garage many of the products we bought were from NASCAR sponsors.

Now there is hardly a NASCAR logo on anything in the kitchen cabinet, I haven't deliberately stopped at a Sunoco station for gas in a year or so and while I still shop Lowes every now and then I haven't bought a KOBALT tool in years.

I couldn't list five NASCAR Sponsors at this point.

What happened you might ask?

It all started when my cable company pulled TBS out of my cable package. I lost half the season that year. I called and complained all to no avail.

The fine people at NASCAR, the family owned business, decided to follow the NFL chase the money in cable TV game and started farming out races to various cable networks. The next thing I know the Sunday NASCAR race is moving around my cable dial faster than Jimmy Johnson takes a lap at Talladega.

Some of these channels were in my cable package most were not.

I just gave up

In the few races I managed to catch, I noticed that there were more and more empty seats. You can tell by the number of those large signs next to the grandstand. Those are covers over empty seats.

The NFL is gradually moving its games to pay TV channels including the NFL crown jewel, the NFL network. Soon there will be no football on over the air TV or basic cable channels.

In the case of football that's really not a bad thing.

The theory here is we will make you pay if you watch our product and then sell you stuff while pay you watch it. I could go into why it works for the NFL, but I don't really want to offend anyone.

The average guy who can't afford the elite sports cable package, which by the way are getting more expensive because of the cost of growing broadcast rights, is just out of luck.

I am not sure this will work for the NFL in the long run and I think NASCAR is making a bad bet.

Stock car racing got its start among the common folk, those who would go out and buy the stuff plastered on those cars. That was how you participated in the sport and that was how the sponsors justified the expense of a NASCAR team.

If you can't see the race it's tough to be a part of the sport.

You can catch the final race on NBC.

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