Last weekend’s race at Texas Motor Speedway was dubbed the Duck Commander 500. The race was endorsed by the Robertson Family of Duck Dynasty fame. In fact, the Robertson family was on hand during the races pre-race festivities.
As a result of the race’s name and Duck Dynasty link there were some unique camouflage themed items on sale for those attending the race. Some of the most popular sellers were camo shirts, hats, feather flags and bandanas.
How good were sales?
According to a report released by Texas Motor Speedway, souvenir sales were up an astounding 81 percent from last year’s event. Granted, last year’s event was the NRA 500. Aside from the controversy that the race created from having the NRA as a sponsor, there really wasn’t an opportunity to push NRA themed gear anyways. The more telling number from this past weekend was that this was the tracks best souvenir sales weekend since the 2000 season and best overall since 2009. Track sales were not the only numbers that were up; online sales were also up a staggering 900 percent for the race.
The fans weren’t the only ones who got into the camo spirit. Clint Bowyer and his No. 15 machine were decked out in special camo colors to honor the race.
Although 2014 has produced some of the best on-track action in years, ratings continue to fall. Some of the drop in ratings this season can without question be attributed to the weather. It’s hard to expect fans to sit through hours’ worth of rain delays and watch a race into the late hours of the night. That being said, the few races not impacted by rain still saw a decrease in ratings from previous years. One of the ways that NASCAR can help ratings is by continuing to bring it current pop culture names to their events, such as the Duck Dynasty crew.
While sponsors, Grand Marshalls and guest appearances alone won’t do the trick; Texas is proof that it’s part of the equation. The Duck Dynasty guys didn’t send TV ratings through the roof but they did help sales at the track and who knows, they might have helped sell a few tickets as well. The result of what happened at Texas should lead NASCAR down similar paths at other tracks in 2014.
Source: Jeff Owen, Sporting News