Ground(ed) Effects

Indycar and general autosport opinion


“Now is the summer of our discontent
Made glorious winter by this sun of Anton;
And all the clouds that lower’d upon IMS
In the deep bosom of racing buried.”



In paraphrasing Shakespeare’s Richard III, I am comparing the rise and fall of not only the oft-maligned leadership of Indycar by Anton Hulman George, but Indycar itself. 

It is interesting to me that nobody is more narcissistic or wants to believe just how fantastic Indycar is more than the sport itself, its fans, and its leadership. 

NO-body. 

Hubris, people… hubris.

A fantastic and wildly unpredictable race on Saturday at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana Cali-forn-aye-ay, and subsequent social and traditional media storm in the following 48 hours was as exemplary a modern Indycar event that you’ll ever see. 


If it were possible to quantify this statement, I’d proclaim the 2015 MAVTV500:
 
the single-best, highest-quality, overall Indycar race ever, that was seen and appreciated by the fewest people in modern (post-1979) history.

Talk about exclusive. For better and worse. 

That’s Indycar ‘in a nutshell’. 
It’s in my nature to be inquisitive. Perhaps to a fault. Maybe I should have gone to journalism school and become an investigative reporter, like this guy who brought down the massive FIFA scandal. Journalism bad-assery of the sports variety at its best, but I digress.
I’d like to suggest that the most important thing we might do to help is to challenge ourselves to take a huge step back and look inward at the sport from the outside. I’m talking big, big wide-angle view of Indycar here.

Imagine you are NOT one of the approximate 500,000 (or 00.0083%) humans on this planet who follow Indycar. If you’re reading this, it’s quite likely you are a fan already, but please try. 
~ IF we are to take the leap and assume my posit about the quality of this race relative to the total audience worldwide is fairly accurate, my question is, “WHY?”
~ IF Indycar has such great racing (even applauded publicly by much more famous drivers from other disciplines – via Twitter et. al.), why is it not wildly successful and more popular?

~ Why does Indycar struggle to gain any TV ratings of significance (which, as we know, serve primarily to bolster media ad buys, increase exposure and sponsorship for teams and the league, leading to better financial stability and security)?

~ Why does Indycar struggle with ticket sales in such low demand to the degree that venues have little desire or financial incentive to host a race?

Which, therefore, leads me to wonder – does it matter that Indycar exists at all? 
“Why does Indycar exist and for what purpose?”  

Here’s where I ask for your thoughts. In the comments please try to step waaaaay back from the sport and clearly, concisely, and honestly illuminate your answer for me in one or two sentences/less than 50 words.

I have a thought in mind already, but I want to see what you say.  No snark, no bile, no humor, just honestly and succinctly answer the question.

If the Indycar ownership could also do that for me, we’d be well on our way to solving some things.




2 thoughts on “"I have but one question" – Existential Ennui In The Summer Of Our Discontent

  1. Anonymous says:

    IndyCar exists because people want to go open wheel racing, and fans want to watch that kind of racing. Those fans will still be here without an IndyCar Series. The sport needs to realize that it is bigger than the series.

    Like

  2. Anonymous says:

    One thing to add: You have to spend money to make money. The ICS need capital investment and a marketing budget that should be 10x the current budget. The proof is in the pudding; the series is not doing well on TV. If the racing is great, but the ratings suck, one can only assume the issue is getting viewers to the broadcast. That seems like a marketing problem and not a competition issue.

    Like

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