ESPN’s Nascar Series Effort Gets on Fast Track

NEW YORK ESPN next week launches a campaign from independent Wieden + Kennedy here touting its coverage of Nascar Busch Series of racing events.

Two spots will air on Monday with a third to follow soon thereafter.

In “Going Fast,” several Busch Series drivers, including Carl Edwards and Jason Leffler, are shown in driving school wearing their logo-laden racing uniforms. As an instructor asks about the dangers of excessive speed, Edwards relates how a race car once crashed into his side door, or “T-boned” him. The instructor, puzzled, says “T-boned you?” to which Edwards replies, “Well done.”

The tagline “It’s the life” is retained from past Busch Series efforts.

“We wanted to help fuel more of a distinct identity for the Busch Series. One of the mechanisms is to help people get to know some of these drivers,” said Chad Blankenship, marketing director, motor sports ESPN.

Nascar is made up of a number of racing series, the three largest of which are the Nextel Cup, the Busch Series and the Craftsman Truck Series. Nextel is the top series while the Craftsman serves as a sort of “minor league,” leaving the Busch Series in the middle.

“The Busch Series is sort of like the bad kids who sit in the back of the class,” said agency cd Derek Barnes. “Once you’ve been to a race, you can see why it takes hold of people.”

“There is something about the Busch series that is more raw compared to the Cup,” said Blankenship.

Spots will run for two weeks leading up to the Feb. 17 Daytona 300 and a print component has also been produced.