Ask The Best And Brightest: How Do You Make Racing Work As Marketing?

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

From Formula One to Nascar, racing series the world over are coming under pressure from automakers to make their action more relevant to the vehicles available on the market. Meanwhile, these same manufacturers are increasingly challenging each other to obvious marketing set-ups posing as races, the latest example of which is the laughable MINI vs Porsche challenge [above]. With cars becoming increasingly homogenized, racing and motorsport are some of the only ways for marketers to restore some of the automobile’s lost romance… but neither modern race series nor corporate challenges seem to resonate much with consumers. What (if anything) can make racing and performance prowess relevant in the post-Prius marketplace?

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  • Flipper Flipper on Jun 22, 2010

    Mustang vs Camaro vs Challenger

  • Rpn453 Rpn453 on Jun 23, 2010

    Autocross? Weren't they surrounded by a real track? What a waste of time. I like the Continental Tire Challenge because the cars are reasonably similar to stock. I don't know if the racing helps to market anything to me, but it shows that the cars involved can be decent race cars with the right modifications. In the GS class, Mustangs and Camaros are competitive, but I haven't seen a Challenger. I suppose that does reinforce the idea in my mind that Challengers aren't nearly as track-capable as the others. Likewise, I don't remember seeing a Corolla in the ST class. Toyota and race track are mutually exclusive terms to me.

  • Gsnfan Gsnfan on Jun 23, 2010

    I like the idea of racing cars that meet all emissions/safety/fuel economy standards, but will it increase sales? Maybe for Porsches and the like, but does the average buyer care that their car can go very fast around slight curves in ideal conditions? If cars were raced on roads that we drive on at speeds we can achieve, then it might work.

  • Autocross isn't such a bad thing. In fact, one way to make WRC, and racing, in general, more visible to the public is to bring it closer to the public. Stadium races. X-Games and WRC already use stadium tracks with side-by-side racing. The Race of Champions is held entirely inside a Stadium. Side-by-side stadium shootouts involving nearly stock cars would probably be of interest to many gearheads.