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SBD/June 2, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship
NASCAR Hopes To Broaden Fan Base Through Driver Cameos On TV
Published June 2, 2011
Four NASCAR drivers will appear in the June 26 episode of A&E's "The Glades," and NASCAR Managing Dir of Entertainment Marketing & Business Development Zane Stoddard indicated that it is "part of a year-long initiative to maximize exposure on original and reality programming,” according to Nate Ryan of USA TODAY. In this Sunday's Sprint Cup Series STP 400, Tony Stewart "will drive a Chevrolet promoting the second season premiere of 'The Glades' that night." Stewart will "make his acting debut" in the June 26 episode, alongside drivers Carl Edwards, Brian Vickers and Joey Logano. In the past year, NASCAR content also has been featured on "Undercover Boss," "Breaking In," "Necessary Roughness," "American Pickers" and Cartoon Network. While NASCAR “has movie projects in the pipeline,” Stoddard said that TV "offers more immediacy and is less speculative than a big-budget film.” Ryan notes TV product placement “offers NASCAR a shot at broadening and diversifying a fan base that has grayed in recent years.” Similarly, A&E Senior VP/Marketing Guy Slattery “hopes NASCAR will help boost 'The Glades' audience, which is 56% female.” The network will "spend more than six figures to sponsor Stewart at Kansas" this weekend, and Stewart-Haas Racing "will promote the show through social media sites and Stewart's Eldora Speedway." Slattery: “If it brings a few more guys to the show, it’ll be a bigger success” (USA TODAY, 6/2). Stewart said that he "has not seen any advance previews of the episode, nor would he disclose the plot of the show in which the drivers appeared." Stewart: “It will be a lot of fun come June 26 to see if we’re ever asked again to act in a TV series. ... Acting is the hardest part of it, having to remember lines, and it’s not just stuff that would roll off your tongue. You actually have to memorize lines and try to remember what you’re supposed to say. That’s the hard part" (K.C. STAR, 5/31).