After three consecutive years of declining ratings and viewership, NASCAR is trying to gain back lost viewers and attract new fans from outside their current demographic. One marketing experiment is the new NASCAR-branded car wash in Romeoville, Ill. Yolanda Perdomo reports for Only A Game.
Formerly a Spotless Express, the NASCAR Car Wash opened last December and also offers oil changes and full detail work. According to Lester Cochran, the assistant manager, business at the car wash has increased since adding NASCAR to its name. On average, about 300 cars complete the clean and dry circuit during the week, and weekends see about 700 cars.
“I’d have to say with us garnering the NASCAR logo our business has definitely picked up quite a bit,” Cochran says. “With the NASCAR logo it brings added incentives, a little bit more quality.”
It seems, however, that although NASCAR’s symbol might bring patrons to the car wash, it’s probably not enough to get them to a race. Dante Williams, who brings his vehicle to the NASCAR Car Wash twice a month, says he likes the service, but he remains uninterested in the sport.
“They’re real quick. I get my oil changed here too,” Williams says. “But no, I’m not a NASCAR fan. I can watch it, I just can’t watch it long. Not much excitement to me, I guess.”
“I’ve never been a fan of NASCAR,” says Adam Gaude, another patron. “You know, it’s cars going around in a circle. It’s not my thing.”
But at least for Cochran, the addition of the NASCAR brand to the business has made him want to learn more about auto racing.
“I want to be able to…sit down and have a conversation about certain drivers. I want to be able to answer [customers'] questions, I don’t want to sound like an idiot,” Cochran explains. “I’m a growing NASCAR fan. I wouldn’t say I’m 100 percent of a NASCAR fan, but I’m a growing NASCAR fan.”