NASCAR is one of the most popular sports in the United States and it has plenty of fans around the world as well. Although it isn’t considered one of the Big 4 sports in the US, it’s ratings prove that it is more of a contender than a pretender.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is just 0.03 behind the NHL Stanley Cup finals in terms of the average size of audience.
These NASCAR demographics will shine a light on who the average audience member happens to be, how often they watch races, and even what they are most likely to purchase. There is one thing that is certain about these facts: they will surprise you.
- NASCAR has the highest share of Caucasians that watch the sport than any other US sport at 94%.
- 37%. That’s the percentage of NASCAR’s audience that is made up of women.
- Only 9% of the overall NASCAR audience fits into the 18-34 age demographic.
- 1 in 2 people who watch NASCAR on a regular basis are above the age of 55. 3 in 4 people in the NASCAR demographic are 35+.
- The average NASCAR fan earns between $40k-$75k per year.
- 9 out of 10 NASCAR fans earn at least $20k every year from the work they do.
- People who watch NASCAR are just as likely to earn between $75k-$100k as they are to make above $100k.
- The percentage of the NASCAR audience that is African American: 2%.
- The total number of estimated NASCAR fans in the United States: 75 million.
- 1 in 3 households that watch NASCAR regularly has children in the home that are under the age of 18.
The generalization that a NASCAR fan is generally rich and white is actually fairly accurate. It isn’t a sport for those who are part of the minority ethnicities in the United States. Even Hispanics make up just 2% of the overall population demographic. What stands out most here is that women are the more likely to consider their favorite sport than any other sport in the US, including the NFL. In other words, a lot of people like to say that racing is boring to watch, but 1 out of 3 of those people who say they don’t watch the sport are probably lying about it.
Do The Demographics of NASCAR Hurt of Help?
- The average NASCAR fan is almost 2x more likely to be over 45 than under 29.
- African-Americans are 27% less likely and Hispanics are 20% less likely to follow the sport when compared to Caucasians.
- The average NASCAR fan is twice as likely to live in rural areas of the South or Midwest.
- 1 in 5 NASCAR fans is likely to support gun laws that are more lenient compared to the rest of the general US population.
- 1 in 4 NASCAR fans say that their religious beliefs are very important to them.
- NASCAR fans are 50% more likely to be registered Republicans than Democrats.
In many ways, the NASCAR demographic is looking for a Hail Mary pass that will help it to expand into other areas and regions. Although the salaries are relatively high, many of the consumers are either rural or in areas where $100k isn’t going to provide much leverage for spending. The differences between the average NASCAR fan and the average fan who doesn’t like NASCAR are very polarized. If the sport is going to reinvent itself and reach out into new demographics, the changes are going to need to be subtle. If they are vast and profound, NASCAR may find itself losing one set of fans to gain another set of fans, giving it a net zero change in its overall demographics.
What Is The Power of NASCAR Today?
- NASCAR is the #2 sport on television in the United States.
- 100. That’s the number of countries that broadcast NASCAR races on local television sets. Broadcasts are available in over 20 different languages.
- Over $2 billion in licensed product sales annually, making NASCAR a consistent performer among all major sports.
- 8 out of 10 people who purchase NASCAR products from local retailers ask those retailers if they’ll stock more merchandise to be purchased.
- NASCAR fans are 3x more likely to try and purchase NASCAR sponsor’s products and services than the general sports fan demographic.
- Two-thirds of NASCAR fans say that they don’t mind paying extra for NASCAR products. 89% say that when they see a NASCAR logo on a product, that they know it will be a high quality item.
- 72% of NASCAR fans say that they purchase specific products because they are loyal to a specific driver on the circuit.
- 53% of the NASCAR demographic will purchase items because they feel like collecting memorabilia is a very important part of their life.
The NASCAR demographic is spending billions on merchandise and memorabilia, but it needs to have the NASCAR logo on it in order to guarantee quality. It isn’t just merchandise with the logo, however, that fans are buying. Any business that is an official partner of NASCAR and is authorized to display the logo is viewed as providing a community with a high quality product or service. With 38% of NASCAR fans living in the southern US, local businesses who can become local partners of the racing circuit are setting themselves for a very bright financial future.
How Many Fans Go To NASCAR Events?
- 99,853. That’s the average attendance of a top division NASCAR race in the United States right now.
- 12.5 million people say that they watch the Daytona 500 every year, an event this is often called the sport’s Super Bowl or World Series. This number puts NASCAR third behind those two championship events in football and baseball respectively in ratings.
- 3.6 million people will attend at least one NASCAR race in the next 12 months.
- The average price of a NASCAR ticket: $92.16.
- 36% of NASCAR fans are able to name every sponsor that is on the Top 30 cars that are racing in any given year.
Not only are NASCAR fans spending $2 billion on officially licensed merchandise, but they’re also spending over $3 billion per year to gain access to the track in some way. This is why being a sponsor of a car or driver on the circuit is so important for the modern business who is looking to do some effective mass marketing. 1 in 3 people can name all of the sponsors of the top drivers. That’s amazing brand recognition that will directly translate into sales when someone from the NASCAR demographic encounters the brand. When even Monday races can generate a nearly 2.0 rating on television, you know that the NASCAR fan is a loyal, dedicated fan.
Are Minorities Approaching The Sport More Often?
- Hispanic viewership of NASCAR races broadcast on Fox was up 30% from 2012-2013.
- About 1 in 10 African Americans state that they have watched at least one NASCAR race in the past 12 months.
- Younger demographics tend to not be attracted to the racing format because races require 4 hours of viewing on average, which is longer than the average baseball game.
- In 2009, 1 in 5 minorities said they were at least casual fans of the sport, even if they didn’t consider themselves to be part of the regular viewing demographic.
- When Wendell Scott became the first African-American NASCAR winner in Charlotte in 1963, the circuit did not recognize it as a victory.
- There has yet to be an African-American driver in the Sprint Cup series, NASCAR’s biggest stage, since 2006, and black drivers have run just five total races since 1986.
- The number of African American fans grew 12% between 2005 and 2009.
NASCAR has a problem that could easily be compared to the Republican party in the United States. They have a solid, loyal fan base, but it’s a static fan base. That means as the economics of each region fluctuates, the fan base will either increase or decrease in relative numbers to the improvement or recession of the economy. The figures in minority demographics are encouraging to see in the sport, but the figures are still minimal. The reason is most likely because there isn’t someone that the minority base can relate to in the driver field. If more minority drivers could find success on the circuit, then more minorities would likely become fans of NASCAR.
How Engages Is The NASCAR Fan Base?
- Nearly two-thirds of Avid Fans 18-34 say they are more interested in telling others about NASCAR than they were a year ago.
- Avid fans of NASCAR are 3x more likely to choose their favorite drivers based on who is sponsoring the driver.
- 63%. That’s the percentage of Avid Fans who will use Facebook to share information with their friends about NASCAR, their favorite drivers, or their favorite sponsors.
- 28% of the NASCAR demographic that own a smartphone or a mobile device have a NASCAR app installed that they use regularly.
- 79% of the NASCAR demographic uses the internet on a very regular basis to get updates about races, drivers, and other circuit information.
- 18% of Millennials who are NASCAR fans say that they would love to have more races to watch throughout the year.
- 91% of NASCAR fans will share at least some information about the sport on their preferred social network.
- The percentage of Millennial fans who would recommend watching NASCAR to their friends: 83%.
NASCAR fans are as engaged as the fans of other sports and this especially so when it comes to the younger fans. Interestingly enough, YouTube is actually the second most popular place on the internet today when it comes to sharing information about the sport. The younger demographics are nearly twice as likely to use YouTube instead of Twitter to talk about their favorite sport. All fans are also attracted to the idea of racing icons staying in the sport and continuing their career, even as they get advanced in age. This is where NASCAR has a definite advantage on all other sports. You can’t play football at 60 on a professional level, but you can still potentially race cars at a professional level.
What Is Important To The Average NASCAR Fan?
- 51% of the NASCAR demographic feel as if buying a sponsor’s products allows them to contribute to the sport.
- 83% say they somewhat like or like a lot the relationships that are created through the systems of corporate NASCAR sponsorship.
- 93%. That’s the percentage of the NASCAR demographic that states the system of corporate sponsorship is very important to the existence of the sport.
- Unaided sponsor awareness of businesses involved in NASCAR averages 48% across 9 different product categories.
- The NASCAR demographic is 7% more likely to be married than the general population.
- NASCAR fans are 13% more likely to purchase a computer in the next 12 months, but they’re 39% more likely to purchase a satellite radio system.
- NASCAR fans are 80% more likely to own an ATV.
When it comes to brand loyalty, there is no sport that is better than NASCAR. The same could be said about brand recognition as well. This is because the NASCAR demographic takes a different approach to sponsorships than other sports. Fans feel like when they purchase items or see advertisements during a race that the sport benefits from the funding. They are willing to spend money at official sponsors because they feel like they’re helping their sport or even their favorite driver. Instead of consumerism, the NASCAR demographic sees sponsors, driving teams, and themselves as part of a very large family that is working together to create a sensational product.