Media moves the NASCAR meter. We all know that. Now there’s a new way to quantify one of the most important metrics in the sport.
A public relations agency released how much media exposure drivers generated in 2013. To the surprise of some, Jimmie Johnson led the charge. To the surprise of none, Danica Patrick finished second. The entire list is here, and the takeaways are numbers for your favorite Sprint Cup driver.
Michael Waltrip is where?
Above Brad Keselowski, Carl Edwards, Kasey Kahne and others who should be the face of a sport. And get this, Mark Martin is ahead of Michael Waltrip.
Maybe Richmond Gate and Martin’s retirement drove traffic. Maybe Michael Waltrip Racing is a marketing juggernaut. But for two drivers who don’t race every week to be ahead of 75 percent of the field that does every week suggests NASCAR has a marketing challenge.
Matt Kenseth is where?
Matt Kenseth had one of the best seasons in NASCAR history. He has one of the most high profile sponsors in the sport. The ownership situation is rock solid.
So how can Matt Kenseth not be in the top 15 on this list? How was Kevin Harvick ninth after all his activity? Contending for the Sprint Cup doesn’t mean mainstream American media cares, and that’s a massive problem for the sport.
New blood is where?
While old guards and established names have some issues, it’s refreshing to see Austin Dillon and Kyle Larson both in the top 15. The more young drivers get exposure, the better it is for the entire sport. Rookies need a place to thrive in Sprint Cup. This is an important sign in the right direction.
Here are the full media metrics. Let’s transition from media movement to car movement as Daytona approaches.