Fan Profile: Who are NASCAR fans and how do they respond to sponsorship
March 15th, 2024, Rishad Dsouza

Fan Profile: Who are NASCAR fans and how do they respond to sponsorship

With the 76th season of NASCAR well under way, we dive into YouGov Profiles data to draw up a profile of fans of America’s most popular motorsports event, focusing chiefly on demographic characteristics and their attitudes to adverts and sponsorship.

Relative to the overall American audience, NASCAR fans hold a slightly younger profile. A quarter of them are aged between 18-29 compared to just a fifth of all Americans (26% vs 20%). On the other hand, older people – or those aged above 65 – are under-represented (16% vs 21%). Looking at other sports league fans, only NBA fans have a higher proportion of people aged 18-29 (29%) than the NASCAR.

Three-fifth of them are men (59%), who by contrast, make up only 49% of the overall American audience. Still, at 41%, women make up a sizeable portion of NASCAR fans – which is quite comparable to other sports leagues. For reference, women make up 42% of NFL fans, 39% of NBA fans, 40% of MLB fans and 39% of NHL fans.

Compared to the national audience, NASCAR fans also have a slightly higher proportion of urban fans – 44% say they reside in cities compared to the national average of 37% who say the same.

Sponsorship attitudes of NASCAR fans

YouGov Profiles also gathers hundreds on tons of behavioral and attitudinal datapoints, including on attitudes towards sports sponsorship. A look at NASCAR fans reveals how they view and respond to sponsorship.

An overwhelming majority of NASCAR fans see value in sponsorship as a tool of keeping companies socially relevant (69%). Among major sports leagues, only NBA fans are more likely (marginally) to agree with this statement.

But not all brands are suitable for sports sponsorships – they are among the likeliest to agree that sometimes the brands that sponsor sports teams don’t make sense (67%).

Two-thirds of them also say they love seeing that their favorite team has cool sponsors (65%) and equal share say they take notice of sponsors (63%). Sponsors that stick to sponsoring just one team might have a better chance of connecting with NASCAR fans, who are the most likely to agree with that statement (55%).

So what type of brands would make for suitable NASCAR sponsors?

Perhaps the best way to look at this is by understanding relative upcoming demand for various product categories among NASCAR fans relative to all US adults. For instance, NASCAR fans are nearly twice as likely as all US adults to say they are likely or very likely to purchase a car or truck in the next 12 months (37% vs 20%).

A similarly strong difference is observed with respect to financial products (45% vs 26%) over the next six months. And, they are also markedly likelier to be in the market for electronics over the next one year (54% vs 39%).

These distinguishing features and attitudes relevant to each sector can be key to determining sponsorship suitability and designing advertising strategies for NASCAR audiences.

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Methodology: YouGov Profiles is based on continuously collected data and rolling surveys, rather than from a single limited questionnaire. Profiles data is nationally representative and weighted by age, gender, education, region, and race. Learn more about Profiles.