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Everything We Know About NASCAR’s New Driver Marketing Incentive Program

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One of the hot-button topics in NASCAR is how to promote the sport. Many people say that NASCAR drivers do not promote the sport enough or are not accessible enough. NASCAR appears to see that, as they are in talks to put together a driver incentive program for promoting the sport according to Adam Stern.

This is obviously a big deal. However, what do we really know about this program and the state of NASCAR drivers promoting the sport as it is right now?

What We Know About the Incentive Program

According to Stern, this is something that has been talked about privately between the drivers and NASCAR. Nothing has been totally confirmed on this yet either, as they are still waiting on the next TV deal to fall into place. However, Stern did say that NASCAR is preparing to put “millions of dollars” into the program with the current estimate being about $20 million.

According to Stern, the specifics about the program have not been determined. However, there is an idea out there to have drivers earn “credits” for promoting the sport, with bonuses from the program paid out at end end of the season. Stern also reported that the idea “Could be scrapped entirely.”

Long story short, this is just an idea at this point, and it does not seem to be at the very top of NASCAR’s priority list. This makes sense because the new TV deal has to be in place to make sure that this program makes any sort of financial sense. If NASCAR does not have the money for this program, then it cannot be done, simple as that.

NASCAR also has other considerations with this next TV deal that are just as important or even more important. These issues include how they split revenue up with race teams and other things NASCAR wants to invest in.

That being said, this could be a positive for NASCAR simply because of the struggles that NASCAR has had with promoting the sport through the drivers in recent years.

NASCAR Drivers Promoting the Sport Nowadays

People often complain nowadays about the lack of superstars in NASCAR. They look back on the days when Jeff Gordon was on Saturday Night Live or NASCAR drivers were routinely on big-name talk shows. Those days are long gone.

Nowadays, the general population does not know the NASCAR grid as well as they used to. If you were to ask anybody on the street to name a NASCAR driver, they may name someone from the old guard like Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr., or Tony Stewart.

The reasons for this are aplenty. Some of it is because NASCAR drivers are just not as popular as they once were, so what’s the point in bringing them on to some of these programs? Some of it is because some NASCAR drivers do not promote themselves or the sport.

It’s wrong to throw every NASCAR driver under the bus for this for two reasons. One, it’s not all their fault. Two, some drivers do put themselves out there.

Some drivers have podcasts. Denny Hamlin has “Actions Detrimental”, and he tends to be a lightning rod for fans because of his controversial opinions. Other drivers like Ryan Vargas are incredibly active on social media platforms like TikTok.

Dale Earnhardt Jr., who is one of the drivers from the “old guard,” has an entire media company that he owns, Dirty Mo Media. NASCAR drivers put themselves out there, but it seemingly does not happen enough.

That is probably what NASCAR is looking at with this new program. Incentivizing drivers to put themselves out there in some way.

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Picture of Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

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