Due Date: November 5th (Monday), 2012
MAR 3613: Marketing Analysis and Research, taught by Professor Desiraju during Fall 2012
Brief background: This is a market research project that focuses on the Diversity and Inclusion initiative of NASCAR. NASCAR is in the Sport and Entertainment Industry selling the unique experience of Stock Car racing. Their main competitors are the NFL, NBA, and MLB. The only single events that host more live spectators are the Super Bowl and the Olympics. Unlike other sports, a NASCAR race is usually a week-long event, capturing the traveling family segment. NASCAR is the number one spectator sport and the number two most viewed sport on television. Over the past decade, NASCAR has really honed in on Diversity. Their goal is to have their brand better resemble the makeup of the US population. This includes the fan base, the drivers, and also their corporate structure.
The Problem: For the purposes of our project, we have decided to focus on the fan base specifically. The decision problem will reflect whether or not NASCAR should target a more diverse audience.
(a.) The firm is contemplating the following (potential) marketing actions:
Marketing Action #1: NASCAR should target a more diverse audience
Marketing Action #2: NASCAR should not target a more diverse audience
(b.) The decision maker is not sure of the best action because of these “demand-related” reasons:
First, NASCAR has a very large fan base deeply rooted in tradition. The idea of being a NASCAR fan has been passed down for generations. Tailoring the company to the needs and wants of this new consumer group therefore, could alienate the current long-time traditional fan. The product that has been delivered for years would be changing, and the responses of the traditional fans are very uncertain.
On the other hand, bringing in new fans of different backgrounds would heavily increase the demand for tickets, thus allowing NASCAR to charge more if they wished. Also, theoretically, NASCAR would have the potential to capture more of the upper-class market of higher spending individuals. This could increase demand in other facets of the sport, such as sponsorship and apparel, as well.
However, choosing not to target a more diverse crowd could have a negative impact on NASCAR’s image in the long-run. Although things are going very well for the sport right now, eventually things will turn the other way. Over time, the structure of the traditional fans’ lives will change. Their children may find that they prefer to watch football instead of racing. Another ten year go by, and that long-time NASCAR attendee may be taking his or her son to NFL games instead. Who will replace that fan? If the company is not reaching out to other markets, that seat could very well be left unoccupied.
(c.) The marketing research problem:
How effective is NASCAR’s initiative to target a more diverse population?
(a.) Brief description of exploratory research activities:
Library Research: We conducted primary library research to get a background on the current makeup of NASCAR’s fan base.
Expert Interviews: We chose two different individuals to interview. 1. TJ Goco- Senior Manager, Event Marketing, Daytona International Speedway 2. Edwin Walker- Manager, Diversity Affairs, NASCAR
Focus Groups: We held two different focus groups in the UCF library basically focusing on strengths and weaknesses of both decision problems as pertaining to the different subtopics of fan perception, sponsorship, media/TV, the “Drive for Diversity” program, and current drivers.
(b.) A summary of the main insights from the above activities: As far as library research goes, we found that males make up 60% of the current fan population while females control the remaining 40%. According to some studies we looked at, the