With new initiatives in retail, licensing and broadcasting, NASCAR is vamping up efforts to increase its teen fan base. A high profile example of this push comes with this month’s release of NASCAR Barbie (US$40). Decked out in an authentic driving uniform replete with logos of official race sponsors, NASCAR Barbie comes with her own helmet, gloves and other racing accessories. The result of a licensing agreement NASCAR signed with Barbie manufacturer Mattel in late July, the collectible doll’s release coincides with the National Association for Stock Car Racing’s 50th anniversary. The racing association hopes that the timing of the launch will endear the sport to girls.
Also debuting this month will be NASCAR Think Fast!, a new half-hour show to be hosted by racing star Kyle Petty. The co-production by Sunbelt Video, Raycom Sports and NASCAR promises to include segments that teach teens the nuts and bolts of car mechanics, as well as lessons about science and life. NASCAR Think Fast! is set to air in syndication in 80% of U.S. markets beginning on September 19. NASCAR will be promoting both NASCAR Think Fast! and NASCAR Barbie on its official Web site (www.nascar.com), and in its teen mag, NASCAR Racing for Teens.