Nascar Taps 14-Year-Old Director for New Ad, Stepping Up Efforts to Attract Younger Fans and Promote Education

Acceleration Nation program focusing on STEM

Whiz kids teach drivers about the science behind Nascar’s speed in the ad. - Credit by Nascar
Headshot of Christine Birkner

To attract the next generation of racing fans, Nascar went to the source. It hired 14-year-old director Amelia Conway to direct a new ad promoting Acceleration Nation, its educational program dedicated to science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, initiatives.

The ad, created with agency 77 Ventures, features whiz kids in lab coats teaching a classroom full of Nascar drivers, including Austin Dillon, about the science behind Nascar’s speed.

The Acceleration Nation program includes Nascar-themed math and science learning materials used in classrooms around the country that were created in partnership with Scholastic. This year, Nascar also started offering free admission for kids under 12 to all Nascar XFinity Series and Nascar Camping World Truck Series races.

“If we can get kids interested in Nascar and our drivers at an early age, they become fans for life,” said Nascar CMO Jill Gregory. “Our Acceleration Nation program and outreach to kids is meant to give those fans their first taste of Nascar and keep them with us over the long term. It’s a great investment in our future to keep our fan base going.”

The Acceleration Nation program is designed to be a fun and educational way for kids to interact with the sport. For instance, there are lessons on Nascar’s “Three D’s of Speed”: drag, downforce and drafting. Its website includes Nascar-inspired educational games and activities.

“With STEM, a lot of the principles in Nascar apply to what they’re already learning in school, so it’s a natural tie-in for us,” Gregory said. “Putting racing into curriculums makes it more interesting to kids. It’s a benefit for them and their teachers, and it’s a benefit for us to get Nascar in front of audiences who might not be exposed to it, so it’s a win-win.”

@ChristineBirkne Christine Birkner is a Chicago-based freelance writer who covers marketing and advertising.