Thursday, February 21, 2008

Zero to Two Hundred with No Right Turns

Watching televised sports is really not my “thing” although; I enjoy attending live basketball or baseball games. The Super Bowl, to me, represents very expensive and sometimes noteworthy advertising. Marketing during sporting events reaches its pinnacle in the world of NASCAR auto racing. Without the diverting landscapes common in Formula One events, viewers instead watch logo plastered cars drive for miles in a circle.

The hard packed sand between Daytona Beach and its northern neighbor Ormond Beach was the site of the first world-record automobile speed trials in 1902. On December 12, 1947, the National Association for Stock Car Automobile Racing met and named Bill France Sr. as its first president. NASCAR has since grown to become the second-most popular professional sport in terms of ratings, ranking just behind the NFL. It has millions of fans who purchase over $3 billion annually in licensed products. These fans are considered the most brand-loyal in all of sports and as a result, Fortune 500 companies sponsor NASCAR more than any other governing body. From Sprint (how appropriate) to Viagra, there is a wide variety of sponsors. Coors, Budweiser, and Jim Beam have already joined the race. Maybe it is time for wine to meet a new large demographic.

According to my research, in 2002, wine advertising in the United States grew to an estimated $145 million. In contrast, beer spending was $953.4 million while spirits companies spent $406.7 million. While most wineries can’t afford to spend the kind of money a national campaign costs, a large conglomerate like Constellation Brands, could send wine sales to the moon!