Monday, July 25, 2005

Appeal To The Average Joe To Win Marketshare: An Apple NASCAR sponsorship?

Should Apple sponsor NASCAR?

This was a question posed in a recent AppleMatters article by Chris Siebold.

It is one of the more insightful editorials I have seen in some time and think it would be a great move on Apple's part!

The only way to gain marketshare is to get Macs in the hands of people with lower incomes. The low income and middle class are what drive the economy in the US - not the wealthy. The wealthy are pretty much buying Macs - get the "NASCAR" crowd in it and you'll stop hearing "I thought Apple was out of business" and "Do they still make Apples?"

My photoshop skills are limited, but I did a mockup of a car. I'm sure Apple's car would be one of the most beautifully painted cars ever to see the NASCAR circuit.

I also don't see this costing Apple a lot because of the additional sponsors they could get on board, such as HP, ATI, NVidia, IBM, Motorola, Intel, Pepsi, Canon, Epson - at the same time advertise for Apple stuff such as the iPod, iLife, Quicktime and more.

NASCAR fans are very loyal to their drivers - if they saw Apple sponsoring their favorite driver or favorite team - it would be a flood of press and sales + I believe they would be able to license out the car to be reproduced as collectible replicas and for art and TShirts!



Middle-agedman said...

Does Apple really need more marketshare at this point? Looking at the numbers, they are one of the few IT companies making double-digit profits on margin, they have no debt, tons of cash, great press, and loyal users.

One of the elements of being an Apple user that I have enjoyed over the last several years is being part of their demographic. Whenever I see another Apple user, I feel a certain kinship to them because I think we exhibit certain shared characteristics by our choice of computer platform. I'm not sure that I want that demographic deliberately watered down by the Average Joe.

There are lots of very successful companies that don't "dominate" their market but do very well. Acura is a good example of this on the automotive side.

FYT said...

As an investor in Apple stock - I hope for Apple to grow marketshare and therefore grow my stock value.

I agree about the "community feel" being diluted, but as a business man I am not exclusionary as to who I serve or who I help. I want people from all walks of life to experience the amazing ease of use with which I create on my Mac. As a business man, this inspires me that I inspire others. If Apple becomes more prosperous, so do I.

I also see a NASCAR sponsorship as unique year long opportunity for Apple - I seriously doubt you'd have any gripe that Apple advertises too little.

Anonymous said...

I'll try to avoid the whole NASCAR is for rednecks argument. I'll just ask the obvious question:

"Is this advertising effective?"

This strikes me as "brand advertising"--to let people know that the company exists. With Apple continually being shown to have extremely high brand recognition, I don't see that Apple really needs the brand advertising.

I'm not convinced that this sort of advertising is particularly effective anyway, unless you're selling something to do with cars. Yes, I might buy Pennzoil knowing that Tony Stewart uses it in his racecar. But would I really buy a Mac because Tony Stewart uses one in the pits? Or is it just a creative billboard--like the busses you see in cities which are covered with a particular ad.

In short, I'm not convinced that Apple needs the exposure or that spending the money for the exposure would add more Mac sales.

Middle-agedman said...

If JW is talking about Apple vs. PCs in terms of hardware, then I am sticking with my original comment. However, if he is perhaps alluding to more of an Apple vs. Microsoft marketshare comparison, then I am starting to see a lot of merit in broader advertising.

With the advent of Intel-based Macs and the arrival of OS 10.4 Tiger for PCs, Apple probably should start evangelizing this new OS for those still comfortable with the PC as a platform but uncomfortable with buggy Microsoft products. In this case, a markedly different advertising approach might be very appropriate. Speed has always been an issue between Macs and PCs, and whether it has been a real issue or not, the decision to go with Intel as a processor platform was determined largely on that basis. The metaphor of a racecar "powered" by Apple would stand out as a bold declaration to the unwashed PC masses. (heh,heh--I love saying "unwashed PC masses")

So let's stay snobby about our hardware, but share the software wealth with our redneck kin. Now let's all go jump in the cee-ment pond.