As a professional marketing copywriter, I always want to know 1) What the customer benefits are for any product, and 2) What the key differentiators are. Differentiators amount to "why buy Product A instead of Competitor B?"
The company that can communicate clear, compelling benefits and good differentiators usually gets the sale.I think we're seeing some real product differentiation in racing. And I think that is good.
I've never been convinced lack of IndyCar oval consumers has been a question of poor promotion. I increasingly think it's a product differentiation issue, as in there isn't enough differences. Consumers of racing only have so much time and attention to give. When IndyCar is basically NASCAR without fenders, it's not going to prevail. Just not different enough. In fact, masses of people seem to LIKE the contact in NASCAR. Even if you don't like the crashes, which I don't, I am intrigued by the sort of give-and-take contact on the track that is part of the racing. Danica Patrick articulated it very well here when she said:
pressdog: Drivers seem to know -- they sort of have an unspoken or universal knowledge of what is good, and what's acceptable and what's not acceptable. Do you find that to be true?
Danica: Yeah, I do. I think that while things happen on the track and you might not even tell anyone about them, because guess what -- you'll just go out and fix it the next weekend. I mean, it's just as easy as that. And I think that probably happens within stock car racing quite a bit, and you kind of deal with it out on the track yourself, and that's the best way. Sometimes, it's also what feels the best, too, as a driver is to be able to take it into your own hands.
Given recent comments about the lone 1.5-mile track left on the schedule (Texas Motor Speedway), I now think IndyCar will soon stop racing at those size tracks. Go ahead and grieve if you have to. I know I have. But I think that's a done deal. IndyCar's differentiator, of course, are the road-and-street races. NASCAR does maybe two twisty races, so that segment is all IndyCar's.
Whether or not that is a good business proposition for IndyCar has yet to be seen. But at least the differentiation is clear. IndyCar is the 500, the road-and-street and maybe a sprinkling of small ovals. They are, pretty much, the most versatile drivers in the world. NASCAR is full-contact oval racing. They are all about contact and circles.
If you like open-wheel pack racing ... condolences. Personally, I've moved on to get my oval jollies the only from the only avaiable outlet. It's not personal, it's business.