NASCAR: Talladega Uses Embarrassing Promotional Material

Oct 25, 2015; Talladega, AL, USA; A Sprint Cup Series fan reacts during the 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. Mandatory Credit: Kevin D. Liles-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 25, 2015; Talladega, AL, USA; A Sprint Cup Series fan reacts during the 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. Mandatory Credit: Kevin D. Liles-USA TODAY Sports /

Some of Talladega’s current promotional material for their NASCAR weekend does a better job of showing off preconceived beliefs about NASCAR fans than it does actually promoting a great event.

Once again I’m disappointed about something in the world of NASCAR.

No, it doesn’t have anything to do with Kyle Busch’s dominance of the lower tier NASCAR series. It doesn’t have to do with the fact that NASCAR made a huge gaffe by publicly supporting Donald Trump for president. t definitely doesn’t have to do with the fact that the Camping World Truck Series now sports a caution clock that is timed to go off every 20 minutes.

Unfortunately, my problem is with the track known as Talladega Superspeedway. While this track is a favorite among NASCAR fans young and old for its fast action and three-wide racing and disastrous wrecks, it’s now known to me as the track that will do anything to sell tickets. Talladega Superspeedway has taken the cheap and somewhat offensive way out with a banner advertisement that is bound to offend at least a few fans.

The banner, which features a bunch of NASCAR fans in Halloween costumes, sports the caption of, “Escape from reality” and largely resembles that of a college frat party. Not only does this banner make NASCAR and its fans out to be a bunch of drunk rednecks partying, an image that NASCAR has tried staunchly to move away from over the past few years, it also acts as if one of the biggest races of the season is nothing more than a joke to be chuckled at.

Sure, I might be reading too much into this, especially since NASCAR has a long history of sporting and supporting the partying redneck image. However, if the sport is so desperate to move away from this kind of image, why would they showcase it for the world to see online (or in this case allow Talladega to do so). If nothing else, it’s a huge lapse in judgement and should have NASCAR going back to drawing board on how tracks should promote their yearly races.

In all honesty, NASCAR has come a long way in bringing their sport into the mainstream and all that progress just evaporates when tracks officials are allowed to paint NASCAR in this light. Yes, part of NASCAR’s rich heritage involves southern pride, crazy infield parties and wild fans, but that’s not all that NASCAR is about. What about a drunken frat party is inviting to a family of five? The truly sad thing here is that Talladega doesn’t need all this extra fluff as it’s already one of the most popular events on the schedule due to the racing product it provides.

In fact, NASCAR, especially at tracks like Talladega Superspeedway, it’s about intense four-wide racing, thrilling finishes and the chance to continue a legacy of young drivers stepping up to the challenge at NASCAR’s top tracks. That’s what NASCAR needs to showcase to those who view its advertisements online, not this senseless partying image that Talladega officials are trying so hard to perpetuate.

In all honesty, it’s somewhat disrespectful that the advertisement featured no images of racing, no images of drivers in victory lane and no images of what Talladega is really all about? The advertisement, which is usually seen on YouTube and other online media player websites, sells Talladega short of its true glory and that’s what’s most unfortunate to me about the whole thing.

Fortunately, not all of the Talladega Superspeedway’s advertisement banners are bad. In fact, there is one with the tagline, make your mark, and features a young fan smiling and watching her first race. The banner also advertises a discount for children for the upcoming race, which is an excellent idea to help introduce NASCAR racing to younger audiences. The track also has a plethora of other positive advertisement materials but this one above sticks out like a sore thumb.

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In the end, its up to NASCAR officials and the tracks themselves to determine what advertisements see the light of day and which ones don’t. This one ad isn’t going to be a game-changer and will not matter at the end of the day but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s an ad that never should have been created. Wild parties, costumes and such craziness are things that happen in NASCAR and that’s okay but it should not be the things used to sell the sport to fans.