So far, NASCAR’s latest promotional strategy to try and relate to its younger fanbase has been a swing and a miss. At least if you take a quick scroll through Twitter. The strategy? Adding emojis of drivers’ faces to their race cars ahead of NASCAR’s 10-race, 16-driver playoff series. The response from fans? Not all that positive.
Per For the Win:
Although it has yet to be formally announced, the playoff drivers will have emoji decals of themselves or their brand on their race cars to help promote playoff hashtags. As the SportsBusiness Journal‘s Adam Stern reported, the promotion will be announced Wednesday, but some teams began sharing images early.
Emojis at the end of playoff-related hashtags are not new — and everyone has those nowadays — but putting them on the actual cars is.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. has been the most prominent professional racing personality to take issue with the move, and his sentiment has been pretty loudly echoed on social media by a number of racing fans.
This is clearly a calculated move on NASCAR’s part — as more and more older drivers begin to retire and the younger guns rise to prominence — to encourage their social media-driven fans to get more excited about the sport.
Of course, a lot more than just slapping a few barely visible emoji decals on stock cars will need to be done to really engage with younger demographics. Hopefully, NASCAR realizes that. But considering some of their past promotions, you never really know.
What do you think about NASCAR’s latest promotion? Is it 🙂 or 🙁? Or maybe even 🤮?