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« My Cactus-Based IndyCar TV Ratings Rapprochement | Main | The IndyCar Road & Street, NASCAR Plate Track Paradoxes »

April 11, 2014


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Ted Wolfram

You want to build a "brand", better have a product!

What do we have for IndyCar to build a "brand" with?

One race the "500", the rest don't pay, aren't watched, and don't excite,

"Spec" cars, all the same, sound the same,

Owner controlled series,

Fans ignored....we set the rules, you better like it.

Ignoring history, what worked for years is ignored,

The home for old drivers, young ones with talent go to NASCAR or can't find rides,

And trying to build a "brand' from that is fool's work.

To build a "brand" better first have a saleable product!!

The Speedgeek

Sigh. OK, Ted. Thanks for your "input".

As I said on Twitter, great post, 'Dog. Thought provoking stuff.


I think IndyCar has a HUGE opportunity to make "fan access to drivers" a POWERFUL brand attribute. If only they would work on marketing the backstage access that they do offer, which might be unique in all of sports. IndyCar inexplicably refuses to emphasize access to the paddock, however.

Chris Lukens

P-dawg, you may post as often as you did at one time, but you still hit them out of the park.

As far as the IndyCar brand, I’m not sure IndyCar itself knows what its brand is. They are not called SonomaCars, they’re called IndyCars, but the drivers today are more suited to Sonoma than they are to Indy.


Well, Ted convinced me. In spite of the fact that I enjoy watching Indycar, like most of the drivers, like Chevy and Honda, Firestone, use Verizon, love the 500, really like at least half the twisties, like the close racing and competition, like Doug Boles, Mark Miles and the new month of May and am actually one of the few who has hope for a great future for the Verizon Indycar Series...I'm done. Ted's argument is (always) so convincing that I'm not watching Indycar anymore.

(I pick Power to win again on Sunday.)

Ted Wolfram

redcar.....Well said and I love sarcasm.

Just because I dislike the direction of the series doesn't mean I don't watch.

I never miss a race either in person or on TV....but having been involved for years with race teams that helped build the Tony Hulman legacy. It confounds me when the current management at 16th and Georgetown...has abandoned almost everything that worked and worked well.

Since 2003 we have been promised better things are coming....and the contract for the DW12 runs till 2018 with an option to expend till 2021, and at my age green banana's are a stretch.

We have been promised aero kits for 2015...have you seen any announcement of the rules for those packages?

I have said this many times before....I don't want the past back...I just want a better tomorrow and building on what worked, and not on what has failed, seems only logical to me. I want my grandkids and great grandkids to wander the museum and point out the cars they fell in love with and relate to their kids the magnificent sound of the engine like I've done with so many cars...even those that failed. There is no sound on earth like the Novi at full song, or the look of George Salih's #9 laydown driven by Sam Hanks, or Smokey's side-car that was a total failure.

Building a "brand" needs to start with a better product.....the drivers themselves can not do is about the cars, the engines and the drivers.....we are missing the mark on the first two.

Ron Ford

IndyCars are fast and dangerous. Nascars are neither. That's pretty much all you need to know.

Ron Ford

Ted, your second post is excellent. The first, not so much. Just MHO


IMO, Ron, the "fast" part of IndyCar's brand is fading fast due to the majority of twisties on the schedule.


I made a quick list, then went back and noted positve/neutral/negative
-Indy500 (positive)
-History (positive)
-Selfish shortsighted team owners (negative)
-Indianapolis Motor Speedway (positive)
-Robin Miller (neutral)
-Fan negativity (big negative)
-Verizon (Huge positive)
-Precision (positve)
-speed (positve)
-Foreign drivers (too many=negative)

- WWE rigged (negative)
- American drivers (positive)
- drama (neutral)
- Jimmy Johnson (positive)
- Smart leadership (huge positive)
- slow/cumbersome (negative)
- big sponsors (positive)
- races too long (negative)
- popular (positive)


Interesting and thought-provoking post 'Dog.

For me, and likely many others, there is a huge disconnect between an Indycar brand from the past and the one we have today.

If we use Apple as an example, you might also recall a time similar to Indycar when Apple was not so mighty (c. 1990s, abt the time Microsoft dominated 90% of the market). When Apple returned to (or gave the perception of returning to) and serving what made it popular, it's stock quite literally rose. This also coincided with the return of iconic Steve Jobs to the company.

Obviously comparing products to services directly is problematic, but the branding issues/goals are no different. Indycar appears to suffer greatly from its split-personalities of the past and present.

In my view, Indycar's primary/urgent need is to figure out how to leverage its unsurpassed variety and versatility among its venues and drivers while maintaining the 'ancient and popular' ties to vehicular innovation and speed.


I only have one constant to say--All the marketing in the world wont make people watch, attend or become fans if they simply are NOT interested? Whether they used to be fans but aren't any longer or the new fans looked in and didn't like the product or the "Brand" your discussing--that's it--NO sale. Remember the old adage "you cant change a book by its cover" same here. its still Indycar, previously the IRL--and its been loosing fans interest for yrs because well--the GP or mainstream America simply doesn't care & NO re-branding will change that.

You forgot one BIG Brand factor regarding Nascar, Indycar or any sport needs to be successful? The sport or auto racing in this case being discussed MUST have popular drivers the fans love to draw them into the sport, to watch, attend, buy their merchandise & cheer for etc & the racing itself, good or bad may not be that important after all?

Indycar has little to NO drivers who are popular enough in mainstream capable of drawing in those fans in comparison to Nascar as example. Despite other problems with the series it self, Indycar simply has too few American drivers & far too many foreign drivers for an American racing series & that IS one of the main problems. If mainstream America has no one they care to follow and cheer for, then they wont watch or attend & that's happening and has been for yrs in Indycar--end of story.

BTW to back up my statements on too many foreign drivers look at F1 as its ratings are as low as Indycar also HERE and they have almost all foreign drivers. Course F1 succeeds even being far more expensive then Nascar simply because it is hugely popular overseas where most its drivers hail from etc--that's all.

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