NASCAR’s business model keeps downsizing to the scale of Groupon and Overstock.com, with a dash of the Dollar Store.
Everyone wants to pinch pennies.
Faced with drops in sponsorships, the inability to pay top drivers, sagging attendance and drops in TV viewership, NASCAR is in scramble mode going into the 2018 season.
But that’s not just me talking.
NASCAR chairman Brian France admitted over the weekend that the sport could be in for some drastic changes as it looks to keep expenses from escalating out of control.
“There’s a lot more we can do, and we’re going to do it,” France told NBC Sports at Charlotte Motor Speedway. “That’s what the charter opportunity gives the chance to do. We’re working with (teams) to see how we can control expenses in a way that has not been done in motorsports before.”
The notion of a spending cap has been floated around. This is where things get complicated because it’s impossible to compare NASCAR to ball-and-stick sports and their salary caps.
Drivers are essentially independent contractors who work out a deal with team owners and sponsors, with NASCAR having no control over the particulars.
But those sponsorship deals — especially lucrative ones with top drivers — have been imploding in recent months. Matt Kenseth and Kurt Busch are among the veteran drivers out of a ride because they have priced themselves out of the market.
Denny Hamlin, another veteran driver, voiced concerns about revenue redistribution in the sport last week, suggesting drivers need to make more money.
“The pie has to be shifted for sure,” said Hamlin, who is fifth in the playoff standings. “The TV dollars coming into NASCAR is higher than it’s ever been, but we’re seeing fewer and fewer teams, and it just can’t survive. So it economically doesn’t make sense. The pie — the amount of TV money that the race teams share — has to go up, in my opinion.”
Good luck with all of that, Denny.
“I truly believe our guys are worth exactly what…