IndyCar – It’s the fans, stupid!

Randy Bernard gets what no one else is the sport has for decades. To paraphrase James Carvalhal’s famous 1992 campaign slogan, “Its the fans, stupid!” For so long, the league participants and its leadership have been focused so much on pleasing sponsors and team owners, that fans and the on-track product has suffered. One great thing about having new blood in the leadership of the league is the lack of respect for how things have been done in the past. Seriously, let’s look at where the way things have been done in the past has gotten us. The Indianapolis Business Journal released an article today discussing how Mr. Bernard will not tolerate lack-luster promotion any longer.

I was surprised to hear from series sources that Bernard is seeking higher sanctioning fees for IndyCar races going forward. I pondered how he might make that demand. But after considering the state of the series, I realized, Bernard has no choice.

He needs partners that are all in, and this is why. The IndyCar Series isn’t like stick-and-ball sports that enjoy numerous hometown fan bases across the country. It’s more like a traveling circus (no disrespect meant), and its success depends on the promotion of the owners and operators of the venues it visits.

Read the rest of the article at

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What’s been obvious to many of us fans is finally being seen by Indy Racing brass thanks to Mr. Bernard. Without fans, there can be no sponsors, and with no sponsors there can be no fans. The sport is supported at its base by the fans. Their willingness to spend money to come to the tracks and spend even more money with the sponsors of their favorite team is what will move this sport, and any sport for that matter, forward. For 2011, the sanctioning fees are going up, and there will be a demand by the league that the promoters actually do their job and promote. Things certainly won’t turn around within a single season, but it is a great step forward, and hopefully we can stop having TV shots of desolate stands like we saw this year at Kansas and most recently at Watkins Glen. As for the schedule for 2011, don’t expect many of the ISC tracks back. They have been the biggest culprits when it comes to non-promotion of an event. We kinda already knew that, but even Watkins Glen appears to be on the chopping block if some other events such as Phoenix materialize. A couple of things we can count on are the absence of both Kansas and Homestead. The series according to Bernard certainly won’t be ending its season in Miami, and the hope is that the final race is in Las Vegas. It would certainly make a lot of sense since the End-of-Season banquet is in Las Vegas. Its an exciting time of the year isn’t it? Schedule rumors are always fun!

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