I must admit that when IZOD was named the title sponsor of the IndyCar Series, I wondered if they were a good fit. I still wonder that, but as I walked up to the Macy's on Broadway in New York City yesterday, there was no doubt in my mind about IZOD's level of commitment to promoting the IndyCar Series and the Indianapolis 500.
Every window on the storefront that I saw was promoting the 500, and one had a screen playing highlights of 500s from the past. Above the store was a banner promoting six IndyCar drivers (of course, she was one of them).
But that was outside the store. The promotion might have kicked up a notch inside the store.
Inside, the circular displays at the ceiling above the main walkway had pictures of current drivers and past drivers.
There were even old cars too.
And not to be outdone, ESPN/ABC had a giant banner in Times Square above the ESPNZone promoting Mario Andretti and Mark Wahlberg riding in a two seater behind the pace car.
I still have my doubts as to how well IZOD can help the IndyCar Series, because I seemed to be the only person in the store enamored with the cars. Sure, random tourists stopped every once in a while at a car, but for the most part, they seemed like a roadblock more than an attraction. But it was even worse when I found the IndyCar t-shirts. As I was browsing the vintage t-shirts from past 500 winners (The Marmon Wasp, Mark Donohue, etc) no one else stopped to even glance while I was there. (And the display sign called Bobby Unser's 1968 winning car the Ristone car. It was the Rislone car.)
I have to give IZOD a ton of credit for marketing the heck out of the series, because the IndyCar Series really needs the non-Danica exposure to survive. And maybe New York City and the thousands of tourists at that Macy's aren't the best market. I don't know. However, I do know that not many people seemed interested in what was essentially a department store turned Indy 500 history museum. For the series' sake, I hope it's not the case around the rest of the country.