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Racing...Something We Watch Between Commercials...

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Stock Car Racing Topics:  NASCAR, Subway Fresh Fit 600

Racing...Something We Watch Between Commercials...

Jeremy T. Sellers
Jerm's Joint
April 11, 2010

You know, for some odd reason, I really enjoy watching racing at Phoenix. It is definitely not the most exciting track on the circuit, but I always get a kick out of watching the competition here. However, something steered me in a different direction this time...a mad chemist's experiement, if you will. I cannot explain what made me take this direction, but I thought that I would give it a try. Indeed, we know that sponsors contribute a great deal to the modern NASCAR, but I decided to break it down during Saturday night's event. As a disclaimer, I must throw out that it was great to see Ryan Newman pull it off in the last laps, but this self-imposed assignment definitely left me sleep-deprived, but nonetheless left my eyes wide open!

First, if you decide to leave out the local television programing, it is worth noting that we were inundated by FORTY different sponsors during this event. Thirty eight were of national recognisance, two attributed to local businesses, throw in the local FOX schecule brings it up to FORTY ONE! In total, there were 110 commericals that we were force-fed during the Phoenix race and I have broke it down into several different categories that should leave us both smiling, AND shaking our heads in dismay.

Here was the initial criteria, and this was done on a whim. All commercials were counted AFTER the drop of the green flag to victory lane. The break down went like this: from the drop of the green to lap 100, there were 28 advertisements. Then, to lap 200, we were bombarded with 27 commercials only to be one-upped by lap 300 with a repeat of 28. From that point to the end of the race, we only suffered through 18 advertising ploys. However, it was amazing to me that after the drop of the checkered flag to the winner's circle, we suffered through NINE commericals when during most of the race we were only subjected to an average of FIVE during all other breaks throughout the event! Fox, on average, broadcasted an average of 20 green-flag laps between commercial breaks.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that GOING to a race is the BEST way to view it, but in my opinion, the viewers are owed a little something more. It is unrealistic to expect every fan be able to attend EVERY event. We have to surrender to television network coverage, and with that, we expect sponsorship- like commercials. However, don't sell us short but covering a mere 20 laps of green only to insult us by an average of a five commercial assault therein.

Even more surprising is the fact that though the race was titled the Subway Fresh 600, the title sponsor only accounted for SIX of the 110 commericals we were bombarded with during the event. Local scheduling led the standings here with a total of TWELVE displays! Seriously?

I have to admit, I will never do this again! (insert laugh here!) I have too much respect for racing that to trudge through this again and insult my viewership as a race fan. However, I will break it down for you if so interested to see how it panned out in terms of how many commercials per sponsor:

Case IH-1
Toyota Racing-5
2010 Census-4
NOS Energey-1
Droid/Verizon- 3
Appliance Mart (local)-2
Value City (local)-2
Direct TV-2
Home Depot-2
NASCAR.com Super Store-3
Movie advertisements- 2
Go Daddy.com-1
Vitamin Water-1
Progressive Insurance-1
NASCAR Foundation-1
Speedway (Gas Station/Convenience Stores)-3
Local/FOX Scheduling-14
Cialis/Pharmeceutic als-3
Video Games-1
Fed Ex-2
Burger King-1
Donatos Pizza-1
Time Warner Cable-1
Great Clips-1

Shwew, that wore me out. SO, if you feel exhausted during a race due to a magnitude of advertising, at least you know it's not in your head. As I said, I will never again waste my time tallying such numbers, but I thought it would be a point of interest to see just how inundated we are with advertising during the average NASCAR event on television. Congrats to the Rocket Man, and see you in Texas!

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