As we consider the existing sustainability efforts of various teams, leagues and sports in terms of fan engagement, it seems few have greater potential to involve fans than NASCAR. With an estimated 75 million fans and nearly 100,000 average race attendance, NASCAR has the ability to translate the passion of their base into significant positive behavioral change.
NASCAR? Green? Don’t be so surprised. They’ve already got the largest recycling program in sports, a well developed tree-planting program and a host of track and speedway initiatives that include the world’s largest solar-powered sports facility at Pocono Raceway. They’re entering their second year of its long term biofuels program with Sunoco in which all cars use a lower-emission ethanol.
Since they’re way out in front in the race towards sustainability, we’d love to see them offer their fans even more ways to be involved. Given that women tend to be greener than men, and 40% of the NASCAR fan base is female, they’re likely to get high acceptance of any green fan engagement program. Also, their history of integrating their marketing partners into their green efforts sets the stage for creating new green sponsorship initiatives.
Looking forward to hearing from NASCAR’s green guru, Mike Lynch, at next week’s Green Sports Summit.