Earnhardt discusses gaining younger audience

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By Caleb Whisler, Staff Writer

As NASCAR is looking for ways to attract the millennial generation to the sport, Dale Earnhardt Jr. has an idea about how the sanctioning body should approach attracting potential fans.

“I think that there are a lot of different ways to get the fans to hit that demographic.  There are a lot of ways in social media being creative there.  There are a lot of kids that are growing up in a social media environment where as my generation didn’t. So, they are on these different platforms and we need to go there with people they relate to, to connect to them in those areas.”

As fantasy sports has grown in other sports, Earnhardt believes that platform is not as strong as it should be in NASCAR. With the connection people have in fantasy sports, Earnhardt believes it would be a great opportunity for NASCAR

“I think it’s got great potential to get there.  I think it has a great opportunity with the stage racing and so forth to become quite a booming business for NASCAR and I think there is a young demographic there as well. I mean there are a lot of fans I think that would tune-in to racing if that was… that is a catalyst for that,” said Earnhardt.

Earnhardt is an avid user of the fantasy sports applications. On Twitter, he made a post about how well it has worked for the National Football League. The reaction to his post showed Earnhardt that the fantasy sports platforms can turn casual fans into avid fans of the sport.

Although this is part of the equation, Earnhardt feels that this is just one piece. There are many ways to interact and engage with the younger fans, whether it is through social media or fantasy sports. Earnhardt mentioned how he embraces the National Football League on a weekly basis through fantasy football.

“I mean there are a lot of pieces of the pie, but that is one piece that I think NASCAR has a lot of great potential and growth.  I probably watched maybe three or four Redskins games a year considering my schedule, but now I can’t get enough because of the fantasy platform and what that has done for me.  I watch different teams and different games that I would have never have watched before, so I think that is a great area as well.

Earnhardt applauds the efforts NASCAR has done through the “Cars” movie and other avenues to gain the younger fan.

“Any kind of production like that that is going to target the youth is always amazing.  So, anytime we have a big hit like that that is going to be a big deal for us as a sport.  So, we can’t do enough of those things.”

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