Tuesday, June 29, 2010

IndyCar Future: the macro view

The gentleman pictured above is Herbert Hoover, the 31st President of the United States. Fairly or not, his is the face of Great Depression.

You might be asking yourself what President Hoover has to do with IndyCar racing?

If a growing number of economists and hedge fund managers is correct, then we might just be headed toward the type of deflationary recession that prompted your grandparents to hide cash under the mattress and to wear the same overcoat for 50 years.

Keynesians and Austrians are beginning to agree that the risk of a global economic depression has never been greater. For those who are not familiar with economic schools, I shall say only that these two typically agree on exactly nothing.

If the economists are correct - and I note that they frequently are not - then what should IndyCar do in order to prepare? I have indicated my preference for low cost leadership positioning in the U.S. motorsports marketplace. Others have thoughtfully disagreed.

If the bottom really is falling out of the global economy, then what is IndyCar's best course of action?

I look forward to reading your thoughts.


Another reason to cut IndyCar Costs

In the past, I have worked hard to explain here why increasing television ratings should be jobs one, two and three for IndyCar management.

Simply stated, there is no other metric that can be leveraged in so many different ways to increase revenue to the league, its promoter-customers, and its suppliers of racing teams.

Reaching this conclusion is easy. However, accomplishing the objective is extremely difficult.

I invite you to read this fascinating Ad Age story about the value of prime time television ratings.

What might we be able to extrapolate from the article with regards to IndyCar racing sponsorship value? Is this good news or bad news?

I invite you to answer the question before I provide quantitative analysis.


Monday, June 28, 2010

Dario does his part at New Hampshire

That Dario Franchitti is an outstanding IndyCar driver is obvious. He is a two-time Indianapolis 500 winner and the defending series champion. His accomplishments speak for themselves.

Therefore, it would seem to follow that Franchitti should be a huge racing star in the United States. However, attendance and television ratings appear to indicate that he is not.

Like most IndyCar drivers, Franchitti is not from the United States. He must therefore work that much harder to establish himself as a competitive product in the U.S. motorsports marketplace.

In that regard, Franchitti has had a very good summer. He seems to have made appearances just about everywhere since May, when he won his second Indy 500.

Franchitti's latest promotional effort was Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, where he drove three laps in his Target Ganassi Indy car to promote the series' return to NHMS in 2011. Witnessing a fast race car on the New Hampshire oval no doubt shocked many of the NASCAR Cup partisans.

Personally, I look forward to seeing IndyCar's return to NHMS. I am rooting for Jerry Gappens and Randy Bernard to pull off a highly successful event.

They will need lots of help from IndyCar's "stars". Dario Franchitti appears to be working hard to become exactly that.

Let's hope that Dario becomes the most widely known Scot in the United States since Adam Smith.

Kudos to you, Dario. Don't stop now. Come down here and mingle with the Citizens. Get to a county fair or two this summer. Try the pork tenderloin.

You've only just begun!