Nascar Fans Embrace Patriotic Brand Loyalty

NEW YORK As the Big 3 American automakers attempt to change public perception and get their cars back on the right track, Nascar may be the best sponsorship vehicle.

Not only are the top five drivers in the Sprint Cup Standings all driving American, but also Nascar fans, long known for their brand loyalty, are staying patriotic when it comes to their vehicles.

According to data from Nielsen’s People Meter sample and stats from MRI’s Survey of the American Consumer, Nascar race viewers in Q1 2009 were more likely than the average consumer to drive American:

• Drivers of Chevrolet, sponsor of Tony Stewart and Hendrick Motorsports, had 70 percent higher ratings compared to the composite.

• Drivers of Ford, who sponsors one of Nascar’s brightest stars in Carl Edwards, had 64 percent higher ratings.

• Drivers of Dodge, which is now partially owned by Fiat, is still considered by many an American car, and had 59 percent higher ratings.

It should be no surprise that Nascar’s racing teams work closely with the automakers not just under the hood, but also on ways to increase sponsorship visibility — including car signage, uniform apparel and training the drivers to weave audio mentions into their interviews — all in hopes of moving the needle when their fans head out to their local car dealership.

Adweek is s unit of the Nielsen Co.

Nielsen Business Media