While some of NASCAR‚Äôs promotional strategies make a lot of sense for the sport ‚ÄĒ like popularizing their young, up-and-coming talent as veterans continue to exit racing ‚ÄĒ others conjure up the famous¬†30 Rock GIF of Steve Buscemi asking: ‚ÄúHow do you do, fellow kids?‚ÄĚ
This latest move ahead of the 10-race, 16-driver playoffs falls into the latter category.
Although it has yet to be formally announced, the playoff drivers will have emoji decals of themselves or their brand on their race cars to help promote playoff hashtags. As the SportsBusiness Journal‚Äės Adam Stern reported, the promotion will be announced Wednesday, but some teams began sharing images early.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. had possibly the best reaction to this odd promotion.
Indeed, what is going on here?
Putting emojis on the sides of race cars ‚ÄĒ which few will be able to recognize once they‚Äôre going 200 miles an hour ‚ÄĒ seems like a peculiar way to promote the playoffs, especially considering anyone who can identify the emojis mid-race is likely already watching that playoff race.
Emojis at the end of playoff-related hashtags are not new ‚ÄĒ and everyone has those nowadays ‚ÄĒ but putting them on the actual cars is.
But this seems like a gimmick that‚Äôs pandering to a younger crowd, and NASCAR fans are not digging it. Dale Jr. continued to win with his reaction when he responded to a question asking what emoji people would put on their own race cars.
UPDATE: This is what they look like.