Does NASCAR need the Barstool Sports audience?
It’s a simple question with a pretty simple answer. NASCAR needs a younger audience, it’s plain and simple. The NASCAR fan base is older, it is aging and with that it is also declining. Whether it be the length of the schedule, the product on the track or the stereotype that comes with being a NASCAR fan. All of those likely contribute to the fact the ratings and attendance have declined.
Barstool recently dipped their toes into the NASCAR world by sponsoring the #37 car driven by Chris Buescher at Las Vegas nearly two weeks ago. Barstool came to NASCAR, not the other way around. NASCAR likely never batted an eye at Barstool before that. For myself I was very excited to see what they were going to do with the sponsorship and the experience. Unfortunately I don’t think they capitalized on the opportunity for themselves and NASCAR. But that’s not to say they didn’t try.
Barstool owns Old Row, a southern frat/bro/college brand that is huge in the south. That is who should be doing NASCAR stuff and they should be doing it at Talladega. Just a suggestion, feel free to steal it.
This tweet last Thursday is a prime example for how out of touch most NASCAR fans are. That type of NASCAR fan is the reason the sport hasn’t grown beyond the fans it has now. NASCAR fans are generally fans because their parents are fans. Creating a brand new fan is difficult and something NASCAR doesn’t necessarily excel at.
Whenever wrote that "Barstool viewership will help NASCAR" should have their keyboard taken away
— it me (@Turn__Five) March 16, 2017
That tweet is annoying. It most certainly will help NASCAR. More importantly NASCAR needs Barstool and their audience more than Barstool needs NASCAR. There is a “hipster” portion of the NASCAR fan base who kind of likes racing, but really likes mocking the sport while being a fan. It’s a weird phenomenon, and they seem to have this idea that allowing “bro culture” into the sport is bad. Just a heads up, bros already come to races and their money and eyes are worth the same as yours.
According to Barstool Sports marketing page the website reaches 6.7+ million different readers a month and over 200 million plus monthly pageviews. Staggering numbers for an independent sports blog. Out of those readers 50% are in the 25-34 age group, 76% have a college degree or higher and 47% have a household income over $100,000.
THIS IS THE TYPE OF AUDIENCE NASCAR NEEDS.
How people don’t understand that is baffling. Like Dee didn’t know Lil Kev was retarded, these people can’t see the obvious either. NASCAR needs to grow their young adult audience the same way baseball needed to grow theirs in the not so distant past. Millennials spend money, look at all the people that buy Barstool merch, thousands of young adults. They just hand over $25 a shirt. Connect with that type of base and NASCAR could sell tickets and merch. They need better merch but that’s a whole different blog.
Barstool is huge on college campuses. You have a Barstool guy attend 10 races a year, make some videos of the infield, interview some people, show some clips of the race and put it on the website. That will get college kids to look at NASCAR. Also I’m a firm believer that there are a lot of closet college/young adult nascar fans. Barstool would make it alright to be a NASCAR fan. Sounds like you’re talking about telling your boys you’re gay. It’s very strange but completely true. Plus it’s 2017 bro, it’s cool.
Media is being consumed in different ways. The long form race recaps will be a thing of the past soon. Hence why this blog does bullet point recaps with clips of the race. No one want’s to read 1500 words on a 3.5 hour race. Barstool does a great job of taking a game/event and making it funny yet surprisingly informative in a quick read.
There are already some stoolies among the NASCAR driver ranks, most notable Ryan Blaney who Barstool should have sponsored. You get Blaney, Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott and some of the other young guys on board and things could really look up for NASCAR. As well as Barstool who would have an in with the sports biggest drivers.
Eventually these guys who have been around 15-17 years will be retiring or just phased out. When they leave so does some of the audience, you need new blood that joins this sport because of a driver or whatever peaks their interest in it. You can’t rely on Dale Jr. forever.
Barstool viewership will 1000% help NASCAR. Allow them to do their schtick and let them attract a younger audience. Watching the old guard of media members complain and gripe about what they did at the Daytona 500 media day and at Las Vegas only exemplified how old NASCAR has become.
My suggestion to NASCAR, welcome them with open arms and be happy someone that can connect with a younger audience is here. Invite them to Talladega, have them at the big races and give them access to the drivers. Because the NASCAR social media team is rather awful at their jobs. My suggestion to Barstool, give it a chance, hire a NASCAR guy and see where it goes.
Saturdays are for the boys and Sundays are for being hungover watching NASCAR while football is gone. Seeing SAFTB flags flying in the infield definitely wouldn’t be a bad thing.
Follow me on Twitter @MattNiehausAO