Thursday, November 5, 2009

Core Benefit: Affirmation

People like it when their beliefs and opinions are proven to be correct. You don't have to be a horse to want to be Affirmed.

In my opinion, Affirmation is the Core Benefit that accounts for much of NASCAR's rise in the marketplace. NASCAR focused on attracting fans who typically believed that certain things were good and right.

1. Southern Regionalism
2. Rural Lifestyles
3. Working Class Values
4. White People

The last of these is controversial. However, I continue to believe that a segregated marketplace is central to NASCAR's marketability.

Incidentally, I do not propose that IndyCar copy the NASCAR model. That particular market segment has a product that it likes, namely NASCAR Cup.

In addition, I think that NASCAR has strayed from its core Affirmations and that its departure has led to a decline in popularity. One could argue that NASCAR traded Southern Regionalism and Rural Lifestyles for Nationalism. It forfeited Working Class Values and became primarily an exercise in product marketing and corporate sales. NASCAR drivers have been transformed from Working Class Heroes into Product Hucksters.

The values that a product Affirms must remain consistent. The prospect of growth can tempt organizations into sacrificing their founding Affirmations. This is a monumental mistake.

IndyCar Affirmations

I would like to see IndyCar build on the traditional Affirmations of the Indy 500.

1. Entrepreneurship
2. Independence
3. Progress
4. Automotive Leadership

These are not slogans. They are demonstrable activities.

They draw from traditions that were established and sustained by Carl Fisher, the rearview mirror, the Duesenberg Brothers, the Straight 8, Tony Hulman, Harry Miller, the Offenhauser and A.J. Watson. They allow for participation by both Roger Penske and Roger Rager, the super-secret Mercedes Ilmor and the converted school bus engine.

Fans therefore have reasons for their fandom. They have interesting stories to tell. Better yet, those stories provide confirmation of widely held values and Affirmation to those who believe in those values. That kind of promotion can not be bought.

I welcome your thoughts.


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

IZOD IndyCar Series Announcement Thursday

*See New Info in Red Below*

The Indy Racing League will announce Thursday that IZOD has stepped up to become title sponsor of the IndyCar Series. Curt Cavin of the Indianapolis Star first reported the story in Gannett sister publication USA Today.

Cavin reports that the "asking price" was $10 million per season for a duration of at least five seasons. It is interesting that the money will be distributed to:

1. The IRL

2. IndyCar television partners

3. IZOD's activation campaign

Terry Angstadt should be congratulated. He is indeed a fine salesman.
The question that I would askis this: how much of this is "new money"? IZOD already had a multi-year deal in place with the IRL. We can probably assume that some of the new money came from IZOD's reduced payment for 2010 naming rights of the former Continental Airlines Arena in New Jersey. The New Jersey Nets will move out of that facility in the near future.

Core Benefit: Thrill

At its best, auto racing is the more thrilling than any other sport. It features a unique combination of sights and sounds. There is no halftime; racing is perpetual motion.

How best to craft a racing product that attracts fans? Visitors and contributors here are fully qualified to answer that question.

What are the most aspects of racing that you find most thrilling? I ask that you be mindful of the nature of this phenomenon. To be thrilled is not a long-term state of being. It is emotional and fleeting. I shall provide an example.

For me, the greatest thrill in racing was always the start of the Indianapolis 500. Unfortunately, race control has seen fit to allow the field to scatter prior to the green flag in recent years. Much of the thrill has therefore been extracted in the name of safety. As a fan, I would like to see the field aligned in eleven rows of three when it takes the green. Perhaps other variables might be adjusted if safety is in fact a legitimate issue.

I invite you to share the elements of IndyCar that might thrill you.


Monday, November 2, 2009

Core Benefit: Intrigue

We have established that Aggrandizement shall be one of the Core Benefits that IndyCar affords its customers. It is clear that hashing out the details will require significant time and effort. However, I think that we all generally agree that IndyCar customers should be made to feel as if they are superior to other groups.

And so we move on.

The second Core Benefit that I have proposed is that of Intrigue. Some notions that might fit within this category include the following.

  • Anticipation
  • Innovation
  • Suspense

When I think of Intrigue, I think of that which is either new or unknown.

I welcome your thoughts on this Core Benefit.