How Nascar Plans to ‘Own’ Father’s Day

New campaign builds on brand's multi-generational legacy

Headshot of David Griner

The brand marketer frenzy known as Mother's Day is only a few days behind us, but Nascar is already revving up for the holiday's under-celebrated spouse: Father's Day. 

Family is a recent centerpiece of the stock-car circuit's marketing, anchored by Ogilvy & Mather's "Heroes" spot that debuted earlier this year. But family, especially the connection between fathers and sons, has long been central to Nascar's legacy, and now the brand is building on that connection for a campaign leading up to Father's Day on June 15.

"We are all about lineage—fathers and sons, grandfathers. It makes absolute sense for us to put a stake in the ground and own Father's Day for our fans and our brand," said Matt Shulman, Nascar's managing director of marketing platforms.

The "Nascar With Dad" promotion, beginning today, will encourage fans to share their Nascar memories through social media, but it will also center on a giveaway offering one father-and-child duo a unique Father's Day experience: riding together in the Goodyear Blimp over the Homestead-Miami Speedway on Ford Championship Weekend.

"We sat in the room and said, 'What's the coolest Nascar prize we could give away that would be a  memory that would last a lifetime?'" Shulman told Adweek, "and we decided that being high above the race with your father or your child would definitely be it."

Ten runners-up will receive prize packs that include a chance for father and son or daughter (if over 18) to drive a race vehicle on a real Nascar track. 

While Nascar hopes fans will share their own stories through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, the brand has also created several videos to drive home the role of fathers in its past and present. In-house studio Nascar Productions made the anthem spot below, and will roll also out a YouTube interview with legendary father-son combo Ned and Dale Jarrett and a video featuring Father's Day memories from Ford Racing drivers like Greg Biffle, Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski.

@griner David Griner is creative and innovation editor at Adweek and host of Adweek's podcast, "Yeah, That's Probably an Ad."