Nashville Superspeedway announced the news on November 29 with a press release. Students in the Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management will get a behind-the-scenes look at NASCAR and the motorsports world as part of the Accelerator Summer Business Immersion program.
This program will feature the students spending three weeks at various businesses while preparing for their respective careers. Nashville Superspeedway will be the first of these businesses highlighted, and it will potentially play a role in whether there are new fans attending races at Nashville Superspeedway while gaining an interest in NASCAR.
The Course Includes a Unique Experience
The unique project in collaboration with Vanderbilt University will begin during the first weekend of June while two of the national series are at World Wide Technology Raceway and the third is at Portland International Raceway.
The students will spend the week of June 4-9 researching, measuring, and providing “possible solutions for expanding and diversifying Nashville Superspeedway’s fanbase.” They will have to come up with ways to attract new audience members for the Ally 400 race weekend at the 1.33-mile track.
The project will culminate with these students attending the race weekend at Nashville Superspeedway on June 23-25. They will get an up-close look at NASCAR while gaining more knowledge about the sport and the existing fanbase.
“We are delighted that our Accelerator students will join the team at Nashville Superspeedway to attract a new generation of fans to the excitement of motorsports,” said Cherrie Wilkerson, Assistant Dean for Young Professional Programs at Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management. “Sports and entertainment are hallmarks for Nashville, and this partnership allows our students to work hard to bring results for both the Superspeedway and regional fans.”
NASCAR & Nashville Superspeedway Have Worked To Diversify
Nashville Superspeedway has been a key location for NASCAR as it has worked to expand the fanbase and attract new audiences. For example, the 2021 race weekend at the Tennessee track featured dozens of first-time attendees that had received free tickets. The weekend also set up an important announcement.
On June 20, NASCAR announced that it had hired New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara as its first-ever Growth and Engagement Advisor. This new role featured Kamara working directly with NASCAR and its leadership group “on strategic planning and creative opportunities that support its fan development efforts.”
Nashville Superspeedway’s new partnership with Vanderbilt University will potentially reveal new methods for attracting new fans to the sport. Though NASCAR executives will continue to put their own emphasis on diversifying the fanbase by continuing to invest in multiple areas.
“The DNIF efforts are going to continue,” NASCAR President Steve Phelps told media members on November 4. “We are going to craft additional relationships that we have and partnerships that we have, doubling down on what we do with the Boys & Girls Clubs, the successes that we’ve seen for Drive for Diversity, some of the other areas we have from a partnership standpoint that really speak to what’s happening in the African American community, what’s happening in the Hispanic, Latino community, what’s happening in the LGBTQ community, frankly what’s happening with women to draw them into the sport in greater numbers than we’ve seen.
“We’re going to do that with all of what we do, whether we’re talking about content, ‘Race For the Championship.’ The audience is 10 years younger than the audience that’s watching on television. By the way, it’s 60% female, which is reversed on our television deal when people are watching. It is really working and collaborating with our industry to just get better.”