Texas Motor Speedway's Gossage Moves Race To Avoid Conflict With Final Four Games
When NASCAR moved the Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 to Sunday to "avoid a direct conflict" with Saturday's Final Four games in Arlington, it was "another sign of an emerging trend in NASCAR," according to Nate Ryan of USA TODAY. NASCAR recently has "shown more of a willingness to embrace other national sports and their success after long trying to differentiate itself from them." It is a "tacit acknowledgement that stock-car racing is no longer the white-hot upstart of the mid-1990s, but one of many sports entities competing for the increasingly fragmented and short attention spans of America's fans." Ryan: "Piggybacking off the exposure of the NCAA tournament is part of this year's strategy for the Texas track, which has taken steps to celebrate the basketball extravaganza and woo its fans rather than compete with it." Gossage's staff since Selection Sunday on March 16 has "marketed heavily to college hoops fans through various schools' alumni and fan websites." Gossage said that it is "too early to judge the impact on ticket sales, but several sponsors have increased their hospitality spending for Sunday's race" (USA TODAY, 4/4).