What The Daytona 500 Can Teach Us About Marketing


Monday’s latest rendition of the Daytona 500 featured it all: A super wreck on the second lap, drivers updating their Twitter accounts mid-lap and even someone slamming into a maintenance vehicle on the track.

But I'd like to explore a couple things that the Daytona 500 can teach us marketers ...

Here are a couple selling points I’ve noticed that Daytona presents itself with that marketers within other verticals could learn from:

Element of Scarcity: There are 38 NASCAR Sprint Cup races every single season, yet how many non-race fans can actually name an event outside of the Daytona 500? That’s right: There are literally thirty seven other races to watch in the Sprint Cup Series, yet Daytona takes the cake every single year as the race.

This false sense of scarcity generates an organic super buzz around the Daytona 500 that is unseen in any other event. NASCAR does a great job of selling up their coup-de-grace; their Super Bowl, so to speak, just like Apple coyly convinces grown men and women to wait outside their stores as they release the newest version of the iPhone, iPad, iWhatever …

Communicate Across Channels: NASCAR blankets television, local radio stations and online channels with a very simple message – watch in person / on television as a group of grown men drive in circles for the next four hours. They understand that their current and potential fans consume content across a variety of different mediums and go out of their way to make sure that they have messaging strategies in place that speak to any and all potential viewers in their native media environment.

Identifying Unlikely Communication Channels: When my good friend told me she was taking her social chops to the next level by accepting a job at Phoenix International Raceway, I was a little unsure of how she could apply her unquestionably amazing skillset within the NASCAR circle. Then she reminded me: she became friends via Twitter with NASCAR movers and shakers at all levels.

Still think the NASCAR audience is still mainly an analog crowd? Social media is so popular within NASCAR that driver Brad Keselowski actually tweeted while waiting for the race to re-start following a fiery crash during the race. The result? Keselowski nearly quadrupled his follower count (from 65,000 to more than 200,000) and received nearly as much earned media play time as the eventual race winner, Matt Kenseth.

What other industries or brands are doing a great job of marketing themselves like NASCAR?

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