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NASCAR attempts to expand brand to target African Americans April 3, 2013

Posted by rmshepard in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , ,

In February 2013, NASCAR made a bold effort to expand its popularity. While race fans were excited about the Daytona 500, NASCAR brought in several African American celebrities to appeal to potential fans outside of its traditional white base. Performers like 50 Cent, T.I., and Ray Lewis all attended the event. It didn’t go entirely well, as 50 Cent tweeted, “Damn, I don’t see no black people lol.” As one news columnist wrote, “That was about the last message NASCAR was hoping to have hammered home to 50 Cent’s nearly eight million followers.”

By and large, the effort was praised by many. Shortly after his embarrassing tweet, 50 Cent deleted his Twitter update, and was seen posing with several drivers. He later tweeted, “DAYTONA IS THE BEST IM LOVING THIS.” As Jeff Gluck of USA Today suggested, “If NASCAR can make fans out of 50 Cent and T.I. — who was also at the race — it might help change the perception of the sport in the hip hop community.”

For more on NASCAR’s success in attracting more African American fans and drivers, see the following video:

Discussion Questions:

1.  Why has NASCAR gained a reputation of being a “white sport”?

2.  How effective might NASCAR’s effort at Daytona be in attracting fans of different races?

3.  What risks might NASCAR confront in hiring celebrities to attract fans from different demographics?



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