NASCAR, Genius Sports Plan Live Betting Platform
Good news, gearheads: NASCAR has inked a deal that could bring live racing action—plus live bets—to a sportsbook near you. Could this be the sharp right turn that brings the races back?
On May 3, NASCAR and Genius Sports announced a deal that will bring real-time NASCAR betting to sportsbooks around the world—and maybe bring back enthusiasm for the historic, southern-fried stock car races.
Genius Sports will create a live gaming platform with up-to-the-minute odds along with a portfolio of traditional wagers and prop bets. The partnership “will create a more immersive experience for fans,” said NASCAR honcho Brian Herbst.
What’s Ailing NASCAR?
From its first stock car race on Daytona Beach way back in 1948, NASCAR became a nationwide phenomenon that was especially beloved down south. Some say it peaked in 2006, the year the Daytona 500 drew 20 million TV viewers and Dale Earnhardt Jr. was still behind the wheel.
Then NASCAR hit a wall.
According to a 2018 CNBC.com report, the rowdy sport alienated core fans by:
- Trying to become more elite
- Shutting down classic tracks down south
- Civilizing and streamlining those rough-and-ready race cars, and
- Opening up venues in Vegas and Southern California
The league wanted to shed “the Southern stigma” and good-old-boy vibe that NASCAR was known for, reported CNBC. As former NASCAR exec Ramsey Poston told the news outlet, “NASCAR (ran) run away from its Southern roots. In doing that, it’s damaged its brand identity. A brand like Jack Daniels has an outlaw connotation to it—it’s clearly from the South. And never has Jack Daniels apologized for it.”
Apparently, NASCAR tried to deny its roots—a move that backfired, big time
Turning the Corner
Maybe a stronger presence in sportsbooks will spark a NASCAR revival. Acknowledging the diehard loyalty of NASCAR fans, Genius Sports CEO Mark Locke said, “We look forward to helping them to create a deeper, more connected experience that is both safe and secure as the business of sports betting continues to evolve in the U.S.”
NASCAR may also benefit from the legalization of sports betting south of the Mason-Dixon Line—in West Virginia and pending markets like Tennessee, Michigan, Virginia and North Carolina. Let’s see what happens. It would be great to see NASCAR’s glory days come roaring back.
With 40 cars on the track reaching speeds of over 200 miles per hour, NASCAR’s official data is vital to the development of a gaming platform. Only licensed sportsbooks in regulated territories will have access to the official data, providing greater transparency, accuracy and cooperation to monitor and safeguard NASCAR events.
The timeline for all this is unknown, but let’s hope they burn rubber.