SBJ/Feb. 14-20, 2011/In Depth

Tuning in, or turning off?

An online survey of NASCAR fans conducted by Turnkey Intelligence sheds light on issues facing the sport. Here are highlights of why they're tuning in, or turning off:

Top reasons given for watching fewer races

Avid

Casual

My personal schedule has become too busy for me to pay attention to NASCAR

31.5%

30.4%

NASCAR has become too commercialized

23.9%

22.6%

Tired of seeing Jimmie Johnson winning the points race

23.6%

12.5%

TV broadcasts have become dull

20.0%

17.9%

Too many rules and restrictions on the cars/drivers

18.0%

15.1%

Better things to watch on TV at the same time

16.1%

31.7%

The "Car of Tomorrow" and other advancements in automotive technology have made the sport less interesting

15.7%

8.7%

Find myself more interested in other sports/entertainment

15.1%

36.6%

NASCAR races are too long

14.1%

22.8%

I have been attending fewer races than in previous years

12.5%

7.3%

I don't know when and where the races are on TV

12.1%

13.5%

Casual fans are driving the decrease in NASCAR ratings. Among fans who watched at least one race in 2010:

15% of avid fans watched less in 2010 than in 2009
30% of casual fans watched less in 2010 than in 2009


Methodology
:
Turnkey Intelligence, in collaboration with SportsBusiness Journal, fielded online surveys among respondents sourced through the Toluna Group. Responses were collected from Jan. 27 through Feb. 1. A total of 793 NASCAR respondents completed the survey — 294 avid fans and 479 casual fans. Avid fans were defined as choosing "very interested" when asked "How interested are you in NASCAR?" Similarly, casual fans were defined as choosing "somewhat interested" or "a little bit interested" when answering the same question. All 793 respondents reported watching fewer NASCAR races in 2010 compared to 2009. The margin of error for all respondents is +/- 3.5 percent.

» NASCAR has become too commercialized

Avid

Casual

Disagree

20%

11%

Neutral

23%

28%

Agree

57%

61%

» NASCAR is best viewed in person at the track, rather than on TV

Avid

Casual

Disagree

22%

25%

Neutral

26%

30%

Agree

53%

45%


» Watching a NASCAR race today on TV is
more exciting than in years past

Avid

Casual

Disagree

38%

42%

Neutral

27%

35%

Agree

36%

23%

» I wish that NASCAR races focused more on the drivers and their background stories

Avid

Casual

Disagree

30%

27%

Neutral

33%

39%

Agree

37%

34%

» NASCAR races are too long

Avid

Casual

Disagree

34%

20%

Neutral

27%

27%

Agree

39%

52%


» Advancements in automotive technology, i.e. "Car of Tomorrow," have made NASCAR less interesting

Avid

Casual

Disagree

29%

27%

Neutral

25%

40%

Agree

46%

33%

» I wish that NASCAR races focused more on
the pit crew and pit stops

Avid

Casual

Disagree

35%

35%

Neutral

33%

41%

Agree

32%

24%


» If NASCAR races were offered in 3-D, I would be more interested in watching them

Avid

Casual

Disagree

36%

50%

Neutral

28%

26%

Agree

36%

23%


NASCAR
fans' interest in the NFL is increasing, but their interest in NASCAR is flat or decreasing.

Interest in NASCAR – Change

Casual NASCAR Fans

Avid NASCAR Fans

Declining interest '10 vs. '09

38%

33%

No change

50%

33%

Increasing interest '10 vs. '09

12%

34%


Interest in NFL – Change

Casual NASCAR Fans

Avid NASCAR Fans

Declining interest '10 vs. '09

16%

17%

No change

49%

42%

Increasing interest '10 vs. '09

35%

41%

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