The Least Popular Banner in NASCAR

NASCAR-on-TNTIf you’ve been watching the last two races at Pocono and Michigan on TV, then you’ve probably noticed TNT’s new addition this season. The sponsor banner. Covering a whole line on the top of the screen is this large banner which advertises for multiple companies over the course of the race. It has been a nuisance to fans, because it tends to cover up a good portion of the live race. TNT is always trying to slide these little things in during their Summer Series of racing and once again this year, their new aspect to the race broadcast has fans up in arms.

Through twitter, fans have voiced their opinions against the banner. TNT likely was handed a lot of negative feedback after Pocono regarding the banner, so they downsized it before the Michigan race. In my opinion, it shouldn’t be on the broadcast in the first place, but it was much less of an annoyance during the Michigan race.

The cost of the banner this season has come at the fans expense however. With less room to watch the action on their television screens, they feel as if they are being robbed of the racing that feeds into their living rooms every Sunday and TNT is not a first time offender.

There have been issues regarding TNT’s NASCAR coverage in past years. Most notably was last June at Kentucky where commercials overhauled the actual race. It seemed as every five minutes, fans were being informed of a battle within of a family of which side to have from KFC, mashed potatoes and gravy or mac and cheese? That was TNT’s first stir of the NASCAR fans’ temper and with the new sponsor banner this season, they rekindled that fire. Except this time, it isn’t tied to one race; it’s likely to affect all 6 since the marketing levels in NASCAR continue to rise.

Most everyone is aware of the fact that NASCAR has turned into a marketers dream land. Getting your product advertised to millions of race fans can be cost worthy, but it is worth it. With that, many companies take advantage and it is rewarding to the television companies, but not race fans. Fans now have to sit through an abundance of commercials during each race and every season, television companies are finding new ways to add to the marketing-frenzy.

The sponsor banner just happens to be this season’s version of the sneaky marketing going on behind the camera. What could come next and what could it cost race fans? Losing even more race time would not sit well at all. The simple answer to this problem would be for television producers to put a limit on the amount of marketing going on during the race, but that would cost the television companies lots of money. If the world of NASCAR marketing has come to this, it may start to get ugly when the backlash from fans increases.

Not many people are a fan of the sponsor banner, so TNT should recognize that and move the ad to somewhere else on the running order display. Fans do not want to keep seeing these advertisements overhauling the race broadcast and some believe that TNT is on the verge of crossing the line with it all and they should just stop before they end up costing themselves. Don’t expect any changes in the four remaining races TNT has this season, but NASCAR should start to consider what the fans are thinking of these race broadcasts before signing the million dollar TV contracts. Fans just want to be able to watch the races without being attacked by companies trying to advertise their product, so is it too much to ask for NASCAR to step-in and fix the situation?

By Jason Schultz


19 thoughts on “The Least Popular Banner in NASCAR

  1. Go to YouTube, and find a race from the 1990’s that aired on ESPN. Why can’t we get that anymore? I don’t need fancy graphics, overhead cameras, etc., just show me the damn race.

  2. And a another sneaky way they get a plug in is when one of the announcers say’s “like I mentioned on “Countdown to Green” sponsored by Kelly Blue Book.” . They must have said this at least 10 times during the race.Nothing like shoving more ads down our throats.And here I thought T.N.T would provide better coverage than Fox.Silly me!

  3. I have a solution to the problem. I don’t watch the races on TV much any more. Sponsors don’t get my attention because NASCAR and the TV partners have lost it. These days I follow the races via my computer using Raceview, the radio feed and twitter.

      1. bowyer13, I hear you, but if I can’t get the coverage I want from the TV, I’d rather enjoy the coverage I can get from radio and the computer feed. Many people I know have cancelled their cable coverage. I’m thinking about it myself.

  4. Until NASCAR goes pay per view we are going to be stuck with the realities of advertising. It is a pain but I would trade Fox and boogity boogity boogity anytime for TNT because I think the announcers are so much better and more informative than FOX

      1. We do not have to have commercials in NASCAR and pay-per-view will not work. F1 does not disrespect racing with advertisements. I can be done. We just have to protest enough. I boycott all companies advertising during races.

  5. One way to skip the commercials all together is to actually attend the race instead of watching it on tv. Nothing compares to watching a race in person!

      1. sure, being at a race is far better than watching it on TV since you can see all the action, but it isn’t practical for most people due to the cost. I’ve also been to some races where I was sorry I wasn’t at home where at least I could get something else done during some of it. Even being AT the track doesn’t make up for a race where there is little passing or side by side racing.

  6. I never watch a race live. DVR the race and fast forward through all commercials and slower fast forward for the race unless something interesting happens. A 2-4 hour race last about 30-45 minutes. Much better!!

  7. Because of the disrespect commercials are in motorsport. I make a list of of the companies advertising during NASCAR races and make sure I do not patronize them. European TV does not disrespect motorsports with ads.

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