Following Saturday’s XFINITY Series race at Kansas Speedway, ninth-place finisher Ryan Sieg had some choice words on Twitter for the NASCAR on NBC post-race coverage, and as it turns out, his tweet resonated with many fans and peers in the NASCAR community.
Calling out @NASCARonNBC for some awful coverage of our team and many others today. Lots of good finishes for small teams and not even a mention. Not good for sponsors. But good thing they interviewed @ColeCuster post race for his gutsy effort with no power steering in 26th ?
— Ryan Sieg Racing (@RyanSiegRacing) October 20, 2018
This raises a question on some sponsorship issues that reside in NASCAR. Sure, the brass in charge say that there are no sponsorship issues. But try saying that to Furniture Row Racing. Try saying that to Roush Fenway’s XFINITY Series efforts. Try saying that to all the backmarkers who fill out the field on a weekly basis.
There was a time not too long ago when a viewer could hear about the MBNA Pontiac driven by Ward Burton, or the Rumple Furniture Pontiac driven by J.D. McDuffie. It wasn’t uncommon for race broadcasts to cover the majority of the field, if not every driver. In turn that would lead to television time for the various sponsors, who in turn would be inclined to spend more money on advertising and sponsorship. It was a simple formula that added solidity to the sport.
But now the broadcasts have shifted focus to Playoff points and storylines. Granted, as Sieg said, it was a good performance by Custer to maneuver his broken Ford around the track. It also helps that Custer is a Playoff driver. But should that give him the added merit? Should he be treated like he won the race when the Top-20 had guys like Sieg, Ty Majeski, Jeremy Clements, and Chad Finchum? These are guys who definitely have to work harder for position than a driver in a Stewart-Haas Ford. Guys who managed to buck their personal trends and managed to have a great day while sporting sponsors who, in some cases, barely have the funds to adorn and support a team.
That said, it’d only make sense to give those guys a nod. Viewers/readers love underdogs, and these guys shouldn’t only warrant coverage if they’re leading. They should get the nod for a good day too, and that shouldn’t have to be solely the responsibility of some of the on-track media. These guys deserve good coverage and so do their sponsors who provide much needed funds into the sport.
Thus, giving equal support to the drivers could lead to more sponsorship. Stop talking solely about the “Big Three.” Martin Truex Jr., Kevin Harvick, and Kyle Busch do not define NASCAR. Neither does Brad Keselowski and Chase Elliott. NASCAR is defined by every driver and every sponsor in every one of its divisions. Giving them all an equal amount of support could prove beneficial for NASCAR in the long haul.
On that note, there’s another reason to cover the underfunded underdogs. Better racing can sometimes happen in the back among these guys. The drivers bringing up the rear aren’t always just cruising around; there are some good races among their positions mid-pack. A race isn’t just for first-place on the track. Drivers know this, peers know this and fans know this. So when the race is a snooze fest with a driver leading wire-to-wire, there’s no reason not to give some of the underdogs good, positive coverage. The developers at 704 Games made sure to give guys like Spencer Boyd and Finchum as much love as the rest of the guys in NASCAR Heat 3, so once again there’s no reason NBC and FOX shouldn’t do the same.
Especially if they have great days like Saturday at Kansas.
I am the president of Bubba Ain’t Giving It Up, LLC… bubbabearsauce.com and Bubba Bear Ain’t Giving It UP! SAUCE has been advertising through our team sponsorship with Premium Motorsports LLC, a NASCAR team. Although, we were a primary sponsor of the #15 with Rookie driver, Robby Lyons… we were able to attain about 5 or 6 seconds of IN FOCUS air time at Martinsville in March as Robby was involved in a wreck… not once this entire Camping World Truck Series season has Bubba Bear, “Ain’t Giving It Up! SAUCE been mentioned… not once! Granted our sponsored team was not a front runner, but he was a rookie in the challenge. I can attest to what Ryan Sieg bring attention to via his post race comments… yet, I only chime in to make this point… in order to continue advertising in this medium… the ROI must come… otherwise the advertising efforts are fruitless to any company. Put more sponsorship mentions in the WHAT TO DO BETTER catagory going forward! Oh, yea… and SAUCE IT UP!
I will have to agree that the TV coverage is extremely poor. They have forgotten that there are 30 plus other cars in the field. They seem to just concentrate on the playoff teams , seems that the only time you happen to see another teams is when the camera is on a leader in the area. And one other thing I heard the other week from one of the announcers (the one who’s way to hyper from the drop of the flag) was he called the cars in the rear of the field stragglers . Now how would you like to be killing yourself physically and financially to run and be called a straggler. No class.
It doesn’t help that NASCAR has sold for extreme top dollar the tv rights and that viewership, ticket sales and sponsorships are in rapid decline. NASCAR is to blame. Extreme greed, no passion anymore for the sport, which is and should be about the small teams as much as the playoff contenders.
To the point of the author, previous races used to have this feature called through the field. This would take place usually 3 times a race depending on the on track action. If the racing was good it would only be a couple times since there was on track action.
This feature covered all of the team/drivers/cars that started the race and at the end would mention all the drivers at least who had fallen out or were in the garage as a group.
The couple through the fields I have seen this year only covered the top 15 or so or the cars on the lead lap only. This is not thorugh the field it is “through the lead lap”. Again, to the point of this article, to the detriment of those cars and teams working hard to be on track without the resources yet to run on the lead lap consistently. The races might not be “so boring” if all the drivers running are highlighted a couple of times a race with an interesting factoid about the driver, team, or sponsor. It also has the added benefit of showing some of the racing referred to as well.
The funny thing with the old feature was as they were doing it the cars would fall off the lead lap in the process so it would throw a fun impromptu curve ball to the reporters to adjust to. Shows the professionalism of the media crew as well.
This needs to be brought back.
The problem is if a sponsor does not pay the TV folks, they don’t get a mention. We have David Hill when he brought Foux into the sport to blame for that one. They can cloud the image or change the camera angle not to show the car.
This has ruined the sport and caused shops such as Bud Moore, Junie Donlevey, (though both have passed away), Richard Petty (I know his name is on a team owned by investment bankers), and others to leave the sport.
That needs to change. Remember when Howard Wheeler was going to tow out the NBC trailer from his facility for not mentioning the name of the race sponsor or the Charlotte track when it was known as Lowe’s Motor Speedway?
The TV goobers are to blame. PERIOD.
That’s an understatement! In every race, coverage seems limited to the ‘playoff’ teams to the exclusion of all others. So much time is spent irrelevantly covering ‘points as they run now’ that they neglect to actually cover the action on the track. I don’t care about points until the checkered flag. In fact, I really don’t are about points at all. This new system has made counting point even more overwhelming than ever. Not a fan.
This has been an ongoing problem for years. As I recall years ago wanted to give coverage only to those sponsors who bought ads on the broadcast. That bombed thankfully.
It is not the media’s responsibility to make sure all sponsors get coverage. It is the responsibility for a team to perform well enough to get it. The problem lies in the production planning of a a telecast. The lower level teams just aren’t planned to get any coverages during the broadcast. You either have to be a front runner or a popular driver to get decent coverage. May I mention Danica Patrick in this. Very popular, big sponsor but not so good behind the wheel. Even though she didn’t perform well she got more then her fair share of coverage, Fans wanted to know where she was on the race track, Jimmie Johnson just experienced his poorest year in Cup but has gotten far more coverage then he deserved this year. Again Jimmie is very popular and fans want to know where he is during a race. Very few fans care what is going on in the back of the pack with cars that have to depend on a big wreck, or wave around, to get a good finish. Another factor that I think is missed is that the big teams have the necessary personnel to keep their drivers and sponsors in the limelight. Nothing is going to change.