SBJ/August 29-September 4, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Agency will help take NASCAR’s message to college campuses

Faced with an aging fan base and a need to develop more young fans, NASCAR hired a college marketing agency to promote the sport across 12 college campuses nationwide.

University Directories, a North Carolina-based marketing agency with a network of student employees across more than 40 colleges, developed a college ambassador program called NASCAR U Crew. Two students on campuses stretching from the University of New Hampshire to Florida International and Virginia Tech to Arizona State will develop a series of at least 10 on-campus events designed to raise awareness of the sport and drive student attendance at races at nearby tracks.

“This is about getting in front of students directly and getting them to try NASCAR,” said Steve Sweeney, NASCAR’s director of consumer marketing. “This is a test for us.”

NASCAR brought each brand ambassador to Pocono Raceway in early August and gave them a chance to experience the sport by riding with drivers in trucks during driver introductions and spending a day with Camping World Truck Series teams on race day.

Each team of University Directories employees is charged with developing a minimum of 10 marketing initiatives on its campus. Those can range from organized student tours of nearby tracks to race viewing parties.

The program is just one of a series of initiatives NASCAR has undertaken in recent years as it tries to appeal to college students.

NASCAR U Crew Track-School Combinations

Chicagoland Speedway / University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
New Hampshire Motor Speedway / University of New Hampshire
Dover International Speedway / University of Delaware
Kansas Speedway / University of Kansas
Charlotte Motor Speedway / University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Talladega Superspeedway / Auburn University
Martinsville Speedway / Virginia Tech
Texas Motor Speedway / University of North Texas
Phoenix International Raceway / Arizona State University
Homestead-Miami Speedway / Florida International University, University of Miami

Source: NASCAR


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