March 25, 2015
Dr. Don Roy
IndyCar was started in 1978 under the formulation of CART. CART is open wheel racing. CART was formulated when 18 of 21 teams left USAC. Tony George, the President of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, lead the way for the CART racing in the United States. In 1994 he created an open wheel league called the IRL. Starting in 1996 the IRL would compete against the CART league. Naturally a feud struck up between the two leagues. Stock car racing was the number one auto-racing venue in the United States. Open wheel racing was number three.
The IRL had continuous problems with sponsors, venues, financials, and fan basses. The league did not even have a dedicated marketing staff until 2001. The IRL tried to rebound by bringing in celebrities in to try to revitalize the IRL’s appeal.
Essentially, there are two major car-racing sports in the United States that are competing for market share. NASCAR is a stock car racing entity. They were founded in the 1950s. They currently have three racing circuits in the United States. They have 36 races annually. They primarily race on oval tracks. On the other side there is Formula 1 racing. This is an open-wheel series of racing. They have a global presence racing in countries like Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, United States, etc. Formula 1 has more international flair as opposed to NASCAR.
Tony George resigned as IndyCar CEO in July 2009. In 2010, Randy Bernard became the CEO of IndyCar. His previous tenure was with the Professional Bull Riders. Bernard brought some positivity and pumped new life into IndyCar. Viewership went up as well as race attendance. IndyCar also gained several more key corporate sponsorships.
IndyCar has a desire to gain market share over NASCAR. One of the key problems I see with IndyCar is their competition. NASCAR has an edge over IndyCar. Within that problem lies another issue. IndyCar has too much emphasis on International markets and not so much in the United States. Ultimately, I see the problem being that IndyCar has more International focus than United States concentration in their marketing. This could in turn be an opportunity for IndyCar in the future.
IndyCar is a unique type of auto racing
Open wheel racing is where cars have wheels located outside of the body of the racecar. Where as NASCAR (or stock cars) are underneath the car. Also, the engines are in the rear of the car as opposed to the front.
IRL had several celebrities endorsing IndyCar
Celebrities draw people in. People like David Letterman, Carmelo Anthony, Jim Harbaugh and Patrick Dempsey are famous faces that can help attract people to the sport.
Her presence helped gain event attendance, merchandise sales, website traffic, and television ratings during her rookie season alone. She is a standout athlete in IndyCar’s pocket.
IndyCar races in Australia, Bahrain, Brazil, Canada, China, India, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, United Arab Emirates, and the United States. NASCAR races in the United States in the United States.
New CEO, Randy Bernard
This could be a possible weakness. He has previous experience with The Bull Riders Association. This could put him in a whole new element and he may not be geared for this position. Additionally, CEOs are not known for their long term stays with a company.
The division between NASCAR and Formula 1
This could possibly hurt IndyCar. This could create confusion among potential fans.
Not enough races or not enough venues
The target markets could be off. Fan bases could not be conveniently located near a racetrack in order for them to attend.
Formula 1 has the opportunity to take NASCAR globally. Since Formula 1 has the international presence, they could carry