NASCAR Fans Say “Welcome Back” to the Dodge Boys!
So, Daimler-Chrysler has decided to get back into NASCAR Winston Cup racing after a two decade absence — just how would NASCAR fans react to that news?
In a study conducted during the Winston 500 in Talladega, Alabama, NASCAR fans were asked just what they thought about it. The worst kept secret of the season lived up to its name, as nearly all of these NASCAR fans (85%) were aware of Chrysler?s decision.
But did they support it? Overwhelmingly, yes. When asked what would describe their impression of Chrysler?s return to NASCAR, almost everyone (88%) said they were “Very or Somewhat supportive” of the move. So much for Ford vs. Chevy rivalries.
To measure the extent of NASCAR fans? product knowledge, they were also asked to report the make and model they thought would be the most appropriate candidate from Chrysler?s stable to enter the competition. Clearly, name recognition is not a problem with 62% identifying, in an unaided basis, the Dodge Intrepid as the model ready to race. Other mentions included the Sebring / Avenger models (9%), the 300M (3%) and a few even mentioning the exciting new Charger concept car.
Will it sell more cars? Although it is difficult to imagine someone choosing a new car solely on the basis of a NASCAR sponsorship, it has been proven that at the very least it opens the door to consideration. Sure enough, over one-third (34%) of those in this study reported that they would be “More likely” to consider a Chrysler, Dodge or Plymouth vehicle if they were to again compete in Winston Cup racing.
But Who? These NASCAR aficionados are very in-tune with their sport?s history, as when they were asked to report the teams or drivers they would most associate with Chrysler?s return to Winston Cup, the Petty clan cleaned up. Over two-thirds (67%) of the mentions were shared between Petty Enterprises, Richard Petty, Kyle Petty, and Adam Petty with only the sure bet, Ray Evernham (33%) receiving any other notable mentions.
Performance Research intercepted and interviewed 200 attendees of the Winston 500, held on October 17, 1999. The margin of error for this study is no more than +5%.
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