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NASCAR to TV guys: 'No bad news..'

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  • NASCAR to TV guys: 'No bad news..'

    Drivers' uniforms are plastered with dozens of sponsorship decals, but keep an eye on the shirts of NASCAR TV announcers, because some of them are rumored to be trying to shop around the space for logo rights on their shirts to various racing sponsors - in effect offering to wear a sponsor's logo during telecasts in exchange for a fee, of as much as $250,000.

    Some sponsors who have been approached by the TV journalists have expressed chagrin; however, some sponsors are apparently willing to pay for the extra TV attention.

    A NASCAR spokesman said he was unaware of the issue and declined to say what the NASCAR's response might be. Of course, any such move could be considered an egregious violation of journalistic ethics.

    Questions about TV journalism in this sport aren't new. But at Daytona, one top TV announcer raised eyebrows when he publicly castigated the general print-and-web media for what he considered negative reporting about some of this sport's top issues, such as the controversial car of tomorrow, sluggish ticket sales, and flat TV ratings. And earlier this weekend a TV executive sent out a five-point memo to TV announcers warning them of topics to specifically avoid - including ticket sales and TV ratings.

    Sponsorship issues, of course, are a given in this sport, where the Pepsi 400 can become the Coca-Cola 400 with the stroke of a pen with enough zeros, and where even the names of the venues is up for bidding, like California Speedway's sellout to become Auto Club Speedway of Southern California. But sometimes things do go over the line - such as the proposed, but eventually canceled by NASCAR, move by Toyota to buy TV sponsorship time for Truck tour races by paying networks for the tag line "presented by Toyota." That would have made for the curious situation of, say, a Ford 200, with naming rights already paid for by that company to the specific track, being in effect renamed by the network, unless Ford or GM or Chrysler were to buy more commercial time themselves.
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  • #2
    It's very rare that a NFL crew will make note of a game being less than sold out, should that be the case.

    The ICS guys never fail to mention that it's a good looking crowd.

    In general, it makes more sense to pump up your product than tear it down.
    No man can cause more grief than that one clinging blindly to the vices of his ancestors. - William Faulkner

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    • #3
      As a longtime radio listener it's generally accepted that on air personalities shouldn't talk about the ratings, theory being that that will somehow affect the ratings. The reason for knowing this is that in Chicago ratings talk was never off limits to Steve and Garry, Kevin Matthews, Jonathon Brandmeier on the Loop. Most stations also follow the edict of never mentioning the competition another thing ignored by the Loop, but they've been around for 30 years so who's to say they're wrong.

      That said, for NASCAR announcers they are supposed to be giving race analysis and cheerleading for the sport. Chastising the print media for criticizing the sport would fall into that category not to mention knowing where their bread was buttered. It would be a stretch to say their big picture went to the tickets sales and TV ratings, the limit they would be at would be 'NASCAR is great, popular and growing' no matter the facts that would dispute that.

      Seeing Jack Buck doing Beer commercials during the Super Bowl would be in the journalistic integrity file too. So would the 20 years that Steve Stone did Cubs games and faithfully mentioned the Buick dealers that were in attendance at today's game while sitting next to Budweiser pitching Harry Carey and they mentioned every resturant and tavern they were at in the past month.

      The best solution would be for several of the NASCAR announcers on FOX and ESPN to wear sponsor patches over their mouths. then everyone would get something out of it.
      "You can't arrest those guys, they're folk heroes"
      "They're criminals"
      "Well most folk heroes started out as criminals"

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Z28
        As a longtime radio listener it's generally accepted that on air personalities shouldn't talk about the ratings, theory being that that will somehow affect the ratings. The reason for knowing this is that in Chicago ratings talk was never off limits to Steve and Garry, Kevin Matthews, Jonathon Brandmeier on the Loop. Most stations also follow the edict of never mentioning the competition another thing ignored by the Loop, but they've been around for 30 years so who's to say they're wrong.
        Small qualifier on that. Arbitron frowns mightily on jocks or station promos literally telling people to fill out ratings books with their handles. So mightily they'll toss out your numbers, and your advertising revenue will suffer because now you have nothing to base your spot rates on.

        That's why you'll never hear "If you get a survey in the mail this week telling you to write down what radio stations you listen to, make sure to write 98.6 The Gomer." Can't do it.

        Everything else, yeah, good points.
        "I didn't hear a single comment about airboxes, "carbashians", or how terrible the car looked. I did see dozens and dozens of little kids in awe of the speed and how cool the cars looked. We should learn from our children."
        --Danny Noonan

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        • #5
          Journalists vs Announcers

          I see a significant difference between "event announcers" and "journalists", thus I have no problem with the event producer having editorial rights over the production. Calling those announcers "journalists" is IMHO incorrect, they are really part of the show.

          What I found interesting was the "this space for rent" offered by the announcers, I am surprised that they have a choice at all.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Mark521
            I see a significant difference between "event announcers" and "journalists", thus I have no problem with the event producer having editorial rights over the production. Calling those announcers "journalists" is IMHO incorrect, they are really part of the show.

            What I found interesting was the "this space for rent" offered by the announcers, I am surprised that they have a choice at all.
            Surpised anyone has a problem with it in this day and age either. The programs themselves are already sponsored by this company or that. Who cares if the announcers are as well?

            Comment


            • #7
              Journalists??? This is racing!!
              We flipped our finger to the King of England
              Stole our country from the Indians
              With god on our side and guns in our hands
              We took it for our own!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by athletics68
                Surpised anyone has a problem with it in this day and age either. The programs themselves are already sponsored by this company or that. Who cares if the announcers are as well?
                I do. The stick and ball guys regularly criticise team owners and the League if it is warranted.

                If these guys are nothing but a bunch of shills and cheerleaders, their comments have a lot less value to me.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Jim Wilke
                  If these guys are nothing but a bunch of shills and cheerleaders, their comments have a lot less value to me.
                  Luckily, I don't think this is possible for me.

                  As I was watching the beginning of the Vegas race yesterday, my wife came into the room, listened for a couple of seconds and said, "How can you watch that, the announcers are so annoying."

                  My response was that it was the only racing on television right now so I didn't have any other options. To be fair, I think she came in right when DW was doing his little "Boogity, boogity, boogity" thing. I wonder if we could start a petition to get that retired. I have to belive even the hardest of hard core NASCAR fans have to roll their eyes when he says that. It was cute the first couple of times, now it's just embarassing (IMHO).

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I don't think he likes it, either, but like Jimmy "Dyn-O-Mite!" Williams, it is part of his persona now.

                    Ricky Gervais did a vicious take on the whole catchphrase phenomona on 'Extras': "Are you having a laugh?"

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Jim Wilke
                      I do. The stick and ball guys regularly criticise team owners and the League if it is warranted.

                      If these guys are nothing but a bunch of shills and cheerleaders, their comments have a lot less value to me.
                      Jim, you are so right. Steve Stone and Harry Carry might have pitched Buick, Budweiser, the restaurants and bars they visited, but they also called the Cubs out whenever they needed it. They were the best broadcast team in baseball. Also, you should hear Ron Santo. He always calls it like he sees it.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by JohnMc
                        Jim, you are so right. Steve Stone and Harry Carry might have pitched Buick, Budweiser, the restaurants and bars they visited, but they also called the Cubs out whenever they needed it. They were the best broadcast team in baseball. Also, you should hear Ron Santo. He always calls it like he sees it.
                        I love listening to Santo agonize when the Cubs fall apart. I can just hear him now groaning and yelling, "AW, JEEZ".
                        No man can cause more grief than that one clinging blindly to the vices of his ancestors. - William Faulkner

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by pb
                          I love listening to Santo agonize when the Cubs fall apart. I can just hear him now groaning and yelling, "AW, JEEZ".
                          pb, Santo is my all-time favorite ballplayer and as a Cub fan he makes it that much better because of my admiration and the fact that as bad as I can feel after a bad game or losing streak, he feels worse. I also love to hear him shout out when the Cubs score a walk-off winning run. You can tell that the Cubs have won just by that. I saw a picture of him at Spring training talking with Lou and he looks great. Also, thanks to XM Radio I will be able to hear him again this year call the games at Wrigley. Hopefully he will get the votes needed for his long overdue induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

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                          • #14
                            It's cool listening to him. And, you're right, he's every bit as into it when the Cubs pull one out.
                            No man can cause more grief than that one clinging blindly to the vices of his ancestors. - William Faulkner

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Jim Wilke
                              I do. The stick and ball guys regularly criticise team owners and the League if it is warranted.

                              If these guys are nothing but a bunch of shills and cheerleaders, their comments have a lot less value to me.
                              I certainly agree that the tv cheerleaders' opinions don't mean much to me either.

                              I think that local announcers act more like journalists (or actual fans) and the "national TV announcers" are "part of the show". Usually the "TV color man" will say something critical once and a while, but the national announcing is pretty plain vanilla.

                              As far as I know Nascar does not have any "local announcers" (maybe some local radio?), thus we're stuck with the company line announcers.

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