What: NASCAR’s Chief International Officer Jim Cassidy discussed NASCAR’s strategy for Latin America.
Why it matters: The Latino audience, both Spanish and English speaking, continues to grow. The power of Latino Millennials to engage with brands and properties like NASCAR is also rising.

Earlier we talked about NASCAR’s Spanish language media expansion into more of Latin America than ever before. While the broadcasts themselves will be important to lift the awareness and engagement for the circuit into markets where races may not be held now but were some of NASCAR’s most lucrative brand partnerships to activate in the consumer space, we wondered where this could continue to go next.

Change Has Started

Some longstanding brands are exiting their NASCAR (@NASCARrelationships. Others like Monster Energy (@MonsterEnergy) are reevaluating what they would like set for ROI going forward. The push to find new brands that can use the massive marketing platform for either teams or the circuit itself is now on. Expansion into a new Latino market that has not fully embraced or understood the power of NASCAR is a smart one. The Latino audience, both Spanish and English speaking, continues to grow. The power of Latino Millennials to engage with brands and properties like NASCAR is also rising.

NASCAR will continue to expand to additional Latin America markets, with really no limit to the potential entry points.

At the helm of the growth is Jim Cassidy, (@jfcassidySr. Vice President and Chief International Officer at NASCAR. As the race and its new multicultural efforts dawn, we asked him to better explain a bit why now and where can this initiative go.

Portada: In addition to Mexico, what other growth markets are on the list for NASCAR’s strategy in terms of content in the Latino world?

Jim Cassidy: “NASCAR will continue to expand to additional Latin America markets. There is really no limit to the potential entry points. Brazil is definitely high on the list. The country has an incredible history of motorsports achievements and a strong base of fans with an affinity for motorsports to match it.”

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Portada: Is the emphasis on these new initiatives more towards getting Latino consumers to a race, to watch, to buy a product or all of the above? Is there a system as to how this will help build more Latino fans?

J.C.: “The emphasis is to establish new fans with a formula that isn’t new. As we’ve seen for decades, once you experience a NASCAR race live fans are born. That means more consumption of live events, broadcasts, digital and social engagement as well as product support.”

nascar strategy
Jim Cassidy

Portada: What does success look like for these initiatives in a year or three years?

J.C.: “Going into any market will be done so with an eye toward the long-term play. Success means introducing and establishing the sport in a sustained and meaningful way. That includes new markets that will grow the fan base and provide a pathway for drivers, crew members, owners, and commercial partners to compete at the highest level of motorsports.

Portada: What can we expect to see next in terms of NASCAR’s activation strategy?

J.C.: “Specific to Latin America, you can expect us to continue to focus on the growth of the NASCAR Peak Mexico Series. We had a great season opener at Autódromo Monterrey (@autodromomty). We’ll also continue to aggressively pursue development with other identified opportunities.”

Those identified opportunities will probably include mainstream brands like Ford and Coca Cola. Because they can best leverage existing partnerships with NASCAR and seamlessly leverage those relationships into a much more expanded presence with new consumers who will embrace the race, starting this weekend.

Check out the stars of Portada’s Sports Marketing Board, who will meet at Portada Miami on April 18-19 to discuss various topics related to the future of marketing and innovation in sports. Register now!

Cover Image courtesy Texas Motor Speedway

Joe Favorito has over 32 years of strategic communications/marketing, business development and public relations expertise in sports, entertainment, brand building, media training, television, athletic administration and business. The Brooklyn, New York native has managed the day-to- day activities in strategic communications for: Two of the world’s hallmark sports and entertainment brands (the New York Knickerbockers and Philadelphia 76ers), the world’s largest professional sport for women (the WTA Tour), the world’s largest sports National Governing Body (the United States Tennis Association) and the world’s largest annual sporting event (the US Open). He also oversaw the strategic planning, investor relations, communications and digital business development of the International Fight League during its two year run as a Mixed Martial Arts venture and a publicly traded company. Favorito serves on the boards of the Weinstein Carnegie Group, New York Sports Venture Capital, the National Sports Marketing Network, the Drexel University Sports Business program, and Columbia University’s Sports Management program (where he is an instructor in Strategic Communications and Director of Industry Relations). Joe also maintains a well trafficked blog on the sports marketing and publicity field, “Sports Marketing and PR Roundup,” on the website joefavorito.com, as well authoring the first- ever text on the sports publicity industry (“Sports Publicity” published in August 2007 by Reed Elsevier and updated in 2012 by Taylor Publishing with a third printing coming in 2018), which is used in over 60 sports management programs in the U.S. He has been a guest speaker on sports marketing, social media and communications at a host of institutions, including Princeton University, the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, Georgetown University, the University of Florida Law School, New York University, the Stanford University Graduate School of Business and many others. He is also a frequent spokesperson on the industry for publications ranging from Ad Age and The New York Times to NPR and CBS News. A graduate of Fordham University, Joe, his wife and two children reside in River Vale, New Jersey.

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