TMS' Eddie Gossage, Always The Savvy Marketer, Goes Old School For Race Promo
Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage appeared on ESPN2’s “NASCAR Now” on Monday night wearing boxing gloves and a robe. He stood next to a heavy bag adorned with a logo for the Sprint Cup Series NRA 500 on April 13th. Gossage touched on the on-track feud between drivers Tony Stewart and Joey Logano. Gossage said, “There’s a wild asphalt circus brewing. Stewart vs Logano. Don’t miss what happens in our center ring.” ESPN’s Chris Cotter said TMS is “no stranger to embracing controversy and using it to fill the grandstand.” Gossage said of his outfit, “Let me be clear: I'm just working out here -- normal midday workout in the speedway health club down here -- getting ready for our sanctioned negotiations with NASCAR.” But he added, “It always helps to have those guys … going at it on the racetrack and boy, they sure went at it on and off the track.” Gossage: “This is all in fun, this is all tongue-in-cheek, and what happens on the track happens on the track, but we don't want to see anybody get hurt.”
TEXAS THROWBACK: Cotter asked, “Is the promotional aspect of the sport or at least the way you go about it, is that kind of reverting back to the way it used to be before big corporate dollars took the sport into the stratospheric levels?” Gossage said, “There's a reason that old-school promotion worked and that's because the crowds loved it. They came whether you put a poster on a telephone pole or used a satellite feed to get all the television stations around the country, that kind of thing works. But when you got something natural that happens on the racetrack, you got hard feelings and it boils over. Remember the key word in this is versus, it's this guy versus that guy, and this one served up right in our laps.” Gossage was asked if other track promoters try to copy TMS. He said, “Everybody tries to up their game a little bit. This is just something that we do and it's our style. Every promoter has their different ways of doing things and we're all friends. I talked to a lot of different promoters and asked them what's working for them and they ask the same. Everybody tries to do their own thing and this is kind of our thing, and we’re just having fun and obviously it works because the crowds are coming in huge, huge numbers” (“NASCAR Now,” ESPN2, 4/1).