Buffer to intro NASCAR drivers this weekend
November 14, 2012
MMA Junkie reports that UFC announcer Bruce Buffer will introduce drivers at Sunday’s NASCAR event at the Homestead-Miami Speedway. The move may be seen as a way NASCAR is trying to attract a younger demographic.
This past weekend, UFC Bantamweight Champion Dominick Cruz was the honorary pace car driver at the Phoenix International Speedway. The speedway also announced a sponsorship deal with Cruz.
Bringing in Buffer to do the introductions provides a main event feel for the race. He will fly from Montreal where he will intro the UFC 154 card to Miami on Sunday.
The use of UFC notables in NASCAR may be synergy between Fox properties. It also could be a sign that the sport is looking to skew its demographic to a younger audience. A recent Wall Street Journal article notes that NASCAR business is down. Sponsors have left or have curtailed its support, attendance is down and so are television ratings. Dodge, a NASCAR and UFC sponsor is doing away with its NASCAR sponsorship after this year according to the WSJ article. No word on whether the automaker will keep the UFC as a sponsor.
Although we have scrutinized MMA and its downturn in ratings and PPV buys, this is shows that the other sports are suffering a downturn too. It appears that the UFC is lending its promotional arm by cross-promoting at NASCAR events. With the NASCAR crowd generally in its 50s, it makes sense that NASCAR promoters would like to have a younger audience with disposable incomes. Thus, the UFC demo. Certainly the Fox relationship between the two has helped foster this relationship but it will be interesting to see how much this will help both sports.