Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
When it comes to the world stage the sport of soccer rules the land. If you’re in the United States it’s the NFL for the most part while some parts of the country still hold MLB close to their hearts. In Canada it’s the NHL and the rest isn’t even close. While NASCAR is still watched and loved in all of these places it falls well behind the other sports that were mentioned. Although NASCAR might lack the brand appeal that is the NFL or the popularity that is soccer, NASCAR does one thing better than any other sport in the world.
NASCAR brings its fans the closest to the action and no other sport can even come close to competing with them in that area right now.
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In August NASCAR will roll out with new digital dashboards for their cars. The dashboards are essentially tablets that are built into the cars and allow for drivers to see a variety of information and displays at one time. The new technology will be great for drivers as it will put more critical information about their cars at their fingertips. The technology will also be great for the fans as they will have the opportunity to see the same information that the driver is seeing in the car on their own handheld devices.
The new dashboards and the fans being able to see them as well is just the latest example of NASCAR bringing the fans close to their product.
NASCAR makes it so that fans can hear radio communications throughout the entire race. If your favorite driver is Jeff Gordon, you can listen to everything that he says in the car for the entire event. NASCAR has cameras inside of the car so that you can not only hear what he is saying but you can also see him and what he is doing in the car. Those cameras are also on the cars which allow for fans to see what the driver sees out on the track.
Additionally, NASCAR offers and unprecedented level of access to their athletes.
On any given race weekend a fan could be hanging out on pit road and in the garage area for hours or even days. NASCAR fans have access to those areas during qualifying, practice and even on the day of the race. Heck, NASCAR allows fans to be on pit road with the drivers and their cars during the pre-race festivities. Then once the race begins fans with certain passes are able to remain in the garage area and get as close to the action as standing mere feet from a drivers pit box. NASCAR allows fans to be around for drivers meetings which some might find interesting. This is of course all on top of the fact that the sport still does autograph sessions and meet and greets like other sports do. These are just some of the ways that NASCAR allows fans to interact with drivers as there are even more that have not been mentioned.
Last time that I checked if you tried to approach Tom Brady on the field during warm-ups you wouldn’t have much luck. Heck, if you tried to walk the NFL sidelines during a game you would find yourself in jail or the parking lot in a heartbeat.
Now this isn’t to say that other sports don’t offer access to their fans because they do. However, none of them offer what NASCAR does and for that reason NASCAR is able to accomplish something that no other sport is able to do.