Monday, March 15, 2010

Does this advertisement really sell tickets for the upcoming NASCAR Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway?

Photo Credit: Texas Motor Speedway via Motorsports Blog with Eddie Gossage. The caption read: Texas Motor Speedway president Eddie Gossage hesitated to go with this ad campaign, but NASCAR's decision to not suspend Carl Edwards helped him make his final decision.

The question for my readers is: Does this advertisement above really sell tickets to the upcoming Samsung Mobile 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race next month at Texas Motor Speedway and would this campaign make you buy tickets?

Last Friday was the first time I actually noticed not only the above campaign advertisement, but the “APPROVED” campaign itself and that was only after another blogger mentioned it on his blog and then again on SPEED’s WindTunnel last night.

When I first saw this campaign, I actually questioned it in saying why would a racetrack want to promote their racing by using a controversial wreck that happened at another racetrack namely Atlanta Motor Speedway?

But as I come to find out not only by the WindTunnel interview with Eddie Gossage last night and but also by reading Gossage’s article on Motorsports Blog with Eddie Gossage, this is a series of advertisements with the words “Approved” on it.

By the way, I hate “Yes men” too, I like to be creative and speck my mind. Anyway, according to his latest blog posting, he mentioned two more “Approved” campaigns. The first one was Joey Logano's car flipped repeatedly during the 2009 AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway where the ad pitch was: "Tailgating. Approved."

The second one was Jimmie Johnson had his car mangled during the 2009 Chase for the Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway. The ad pitch in this case was "Door Dings. Approved."

There are two points that I want to make here. First all three of the “Approved” advertisements campaign basically focus on the same thing, a wreck that happened either at Texas Motor Speedway or another racetrack which would be Dover and Atlanta Motor Speedway.

I don’t really understand why you would want to promote a race using a wreck as your main focus or at least that is how I interpret all three ads. But I will say that the ad is getting attention and that’s good, but what type of attention is needed to get people to buy tickets is the question. This is the debate.

Now I realize that some NASCAR fans do watch NASCAR either for the wrecks or affiliate wrecks with NASCAR racing, however for a lot of fans including myself, I watch NASCAR for the racing and while I know wrecks can and most likely will happen, I don’t expect them. Of course that statement goes against “Expect the unexpect”, that saying is the saying on CBS’s Big Brother reality show.

As the “Approved” Campaign that features the Carl Edwards, Brad Keselowski payback wreck, I will say that Eddie Gossage did say that he thought long and hard about using this controversial wreck, however since NASCAR just gave Edwards a 4-race probation and no one was hurt, that sealed the deal for that one.

In all three cases, I do find that while they are a strength campaign, they do have some interest in getting NASCAR fans to buy tickets to the upcoming NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race that the ad is promoting. But I will also say that I don’t find them offensive.

Now as for the question of whether I think this advertisement above really sell tickets to the upcoming Samsung Mobile 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race next month at Texas Motor Speedway and would I buy tickets?

Well I would have to say that first it is still up for debate as to whether it works, because the Samsung Mobile 500 isn’t until April 18th. I wish them the best of luck, I want to see racetracks sell tickets and have sellout crowds, but in this economy, that is tough to do.

As for me buying tickets, the “Approved” campaign wouldn’t sway me in the least if I was on the fence. There are two things that I can honestly say would get me to buy tickets and I should mention has made me buy tickets. Of course this is assuming I have the extra money in the first place.

First has to be the price of the seat. This ad has one thing I love, the price is “Great Seats as low as $40”.

Second is what I get for the money; that would be where the seat is and the entertainment factor including whether or not I like the racing at the racetrack. If I don’t like the racing, you got nothing.

You see last June, I was online trying to find the schedule of what practice, qualifying and races would be on Saturday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on the NASCAR weekend. However when I was looking at the list, I noticed that NHMS was selling ticket for $39 each and the tickets I was looking at for Saturday where $45 each.

That right there and the fact that you could pay interest-free payments for the tickets as we bought two is what sold me on buying tickets. That and of course taking into account where the seat is and the entertainment factor. The seats were in the middle of the Laconia Grandstand.

By the way that was the rain-shortened Lenox Tools 301 where Joey Logano won the race. It was great to be there, that is what tickets at least in my eyes. To recap, price is first, and what type of entertainment is included in the price as well as where the seat is.

I will say that if I do buy tickets again in 2010, I would buy a ticket in the Concord Grandstand. The Laconia Grandstand in turn 3 & 4 is too far for me from everything including where we parked. I felt like I watch several miles that day, of course I went through all of the souvenir trailers twice and they span from turn 1 to turn 4, yes the hole straightaway. And I even took in SPEED’s RaceDay outside turn 1.

What do you think? And be sure to check out my new lifestream on Posterous at BrianVermette.com.