Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Nascar drivers in television

It always amazes me when I think of the hectic schedule of Nascar drivers and crew members have. It’s so far beyond them showing up at a race track on Thursday and leaving after the race on Sunday. Between the few days they are home, they juggle their family life while working long hours at the shop, figuring out how to make the car better and doing multiple charity events.

With this lifestyle, it amazes me when I hear of a driver taking time out to appear on a television show. I read on Nascar.com today that Jeff Burton will be appearing as himself on General Hospital. This made me giggle a little…hell, Soap Opera’s make me giggle period.

I think it is a brilliant form of cross-marketing to have a Nascar driver appear on primetime or daytime television. It brings new viewers to both the sport and the show that they guest star on.

For instance:

Bringing viewers to the sport: in February 2006, Jimmie Johnson appeared on NBC’s then hit show Las Vegas, which at the time was one of my favorite shows. I was just getting my feet wet in the crazy world of Nascar. After watching him on the show and deciding he was very good looking, I declared JJ as my favorite driver and excitedly cheered him on as he won the Daytona 500 a few weeks later. Now that I had a favorite driver, I started watching more and more races and started learning more about the sport. I don’t hold Las Vegas solely responsible for my addiction to Nascar, but that episode played a major part in it.

Bringing viewers to the show: Carl Edwards appeared on Fox’s 24 a few months later. By this time, I was traveling to a ton of races and had become quite knowledgeable of the sport. I had already left Jimmie in the dust and claimed Carl as my favorite driver (still is today). As soon as I heard he was to appear on that episode, I made sure to set up the TiVo. Mark my word; I would never have watched that episode if it weren’t for the fact that Carl was starring in it.

After a little googling, I found that Casey Mears appeared on Days of Our Lives, Jamie McMurray appeared on The West Wing and Carl Edwards appeared on Guiding Light.

So, my question to you is which show would you want your favorite driver to appear on? Would you go out of your way to watch a show you normally don’t view if your driver were to make a guest appearance on it?

1 comment:

razorbackal said...

I don't know that I have any favorite soap opera, but Mark Martin and Carl Edwards were on an episode of the "Guiding Light" together on Sept. 15, 2005.