Survey Indicates Race Fans Are ‘One Percenters’

Charlotte, NC (December 10, 2012) – Are you a ‘One Percenter?’

We’re not talking wild, outlaw motorcycle gang members as the term has historically implied – we’re talking race fans here.

According to a new, recently conducted Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey, if auto racing is your favorite sport, you are likely to be a ‘One Percenter.’

That’s because when the survey group polled a focus group of 1,001 people, less than five percent stated auto racing was their favorite sport.

Ditto for soccer, tennis and golf fans. They are One Percenters too. When it comes to shear numbers, none of those sports peg the fan preference meter.

Meanwhile, the Rasmussen poll results showed 53 percent of all respondents indicated football is their favorite sport. Baseball – long billed as ‘America’s National Pastime’ – was a distant second in the poll with just 16 percent indicating it as their number-one sporting preference.

The hoops crowd – basketball fans – were next on the Rasmussen list totaling 11 percent while just six percent of those taking the survey indicating hockey as their top sport to follow.

The rest – auto racing and any other major sport you can think of – are in the box with the other broken sports toys at less than five percent fan preference.

Talk about things that make you stop and say, ‘What da?’

For decades, the Indianapolis 500 has been the largest single day sporting event – it’s 300,000-plus fans making it the most attended event in the world annually – not just here in the United States.

NASCAR events have also long been considered among the most attended events globally with six-figure attendance crowds the norm. In fact, a while back, we remember a survey indicating that the Indy 500 – and nine NASCAR events – were the top-10 attended events in the world that year.

On the surface, these numbers would seem to create a disconnect between the Rasmussen poll and reality, especially given that auto racing – and soccer – are the two most widely attended sports in the world today (you can also throw horse racing in there too, another sport that didn’t make a blip on the Rasmussen poll.)

But alas, we’re talking about a national U.S. poll about sporting preference – and not about attendance.

It’s one thing to plop your butt into the couch every Saturday and Sunday to watch football. It’s another to pack up the kids and cooler and head to the racetrack every week.

And frankly, we like it that way. When you consider how much traffic there already is getting in and out of the track each week, how much more impossible would traffic be if everybody listed auto racing as their favorite sport?

With even more folks fighting to get in, traffic fiascos like the Kentucky NASCAR race a couple years ago would look like the WalMart 20-items or less express lanes at 2 a.m. – wide open.

That said, we suggest you take pride in being a ‘One Percenter.’ Celebrate being an ‘outlaw.’ Break out your racing ‘colors’ and wear them proudly to the track and in public.

After all, being a part of a small, exclusive group of a couple hundred million fans worldwide that worship auto racing as their favorite sport is still pretty cool.

Start Your Engines

In case you are suffering from withdrawal now that the 2012 racing season has come to a close, don’t worry – the ‘unofficial’ start to the 2013 racing season is this Tuesday at Charlotte Motor Speedway when NASCAR teams take to the track to test the all-new Cup car that will be used next year.

The two-day test will go a long way in determining just how good NASCAR’s latest generation Cup car will be and fans will be able to have a first-hand look as grandstand admission to the test is free both days.

Last Call

Jimmie Johnson is still the champ with the media according to Joyce Julius and Associates, Inc. – a company that tracks the amount of television time drivers and sponsors receive at each NASCAR event.

Johnson was interviewed 90 times during 2012 race telecasts, nearly a third more interviews than the runner-up media darling and Cup champion Brad Keselowski (69).

Meanwhile, less than ‘media friendly’ drivers Kyle Busch (21) and Kevin Harvick (18) netted the least number of on-camera interviews among the top Cup competitors last year.

In a sponsor-driven exercise like NASCAR, it’s imperative to play nice with the media. We’re sure that’s something that both M&M’s and Budweiser – sponsors of Busch and Harvick respectively – will be preaching to their drivers this off season.

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