Sports properties around the globe are laser focused on building fan loyalty among the millennial generation. This is particularly important for NASCAR since the vast majority of its fans are baby boomers. One way that NASCAR has started to do this is through the Spongebob Squarepants 400 Race at Kansas Speedway. This race was run last month and was sponsored by Nickelodeon. It was marketed as an event that the whole family could come out and enjoy. At the race there was face-painting stations, jump houses for kids, clowns, and many other fun family and kid friendly activities. This unique marketing strategy was aimed at repositioning NASCAR as family/kid friendly.
According to USA Today, "This is not a joke. The 400-mile race at Kansas Speedway... is called the SpongeBob SquarePants 400. After the race, one driver will climb out of his car and tell a Fox Sports reporter how happy he is to win SpongeBob SquarePants 400, and then probably thank Napa Auto Parts. SpongeBob characters will appear on the cars of David Ragan, Greg Biffle, Casey Mears, Michael McDowell and Ty Dillon."
Check out the awesome SpongeBob-themed cars here: http://s.al.com/8yS5zyS via @aldotcom [Link broken as of 3/9/2020]
Note: This blog post was partially written by Samford University student Alec Hulmes.