A client of ours is active in NASCAR racing, so I was watching a race recently to see how the brand was performing in activating its sponsorship strategy. Watching a race with a clear business reason once again, I started thinking about the similarities between NASCAR racing strategy and business strategy. Once you get started, it’s clear there are many points tied to business (beyond sponsorship strategy) you can learn more about from watching NASCAR racing:

  • You may think you know the rules, but they’re always subject to change by higher authorities.
  • The fastest and best competitor may not always win. They need to be smart too.
  • The person on the track gets the attention, but there’s a great team behind any success.
  • A lot of success happens because of good testing, good notes, good practices, good processes, & good prep.
  • Partners are great, but don’t build your whole strategy around partners being there when you need them.
  • It’s always the same people that crash, and it has nothing to do with bad luck.
  • You have to both go hard AND protect your equipment if you hope to be around at the end.
  • Even the “good guys” would do well to show some fire & passion so you know they care.
  • There are multiple generations involved, and each generation has something to learn from the others.
  • Wins are important, but consistent, strong performance turns short-term winners into legends.
  • It may feel like you’re going in circles, but it’ll end at some point & somebody’s gonna win.

How about it NASCAR racing fans? What else would you add to this list? –  Mike Brown

The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategy options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement. Email us at [email protected] or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can help you enhance your brand strategy and implementation efforts.

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Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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6 Responses to “11 Ways NASCAR Racing and Business Strategy Are Similar”

  1. #12.) There are a lot of people cheering (or not) from the grandstands (or sidelines). Some will be cheering for you to win (or succeed) and some will not. As a NASCAR racer (or business leader) you cannot let either distract you from your job at hand.

  2. tannerc says:

    Great list Mike, I would add: you have to be in it to win it. There’s never been a NASCAR winner (to my knowledge) that didn’t actually participate in the race.

    • Anonymous says:

      So now we have:

      12. Don’t be distracted by those cheering for or against you from the sidelines.
      13. You have to be in it to win it.

      Great additions Cheri and Tanner! Thanks!

  3. I have made the NASCAR analogy for training in corporate recruiting processes as well. My point being that nobody wants to go faster than a NASCAR team and yet the #1 priority of the team during routine pit stops is quality, not speed. The process is more important than any one member of the crew and the quality of their work comes first, every time.
    Being qualified for our roles only means we’re ready to perform within the guidelines and definitions of our jobs (this is the way zoomed out view, of course!). Our actual roles exist whether or not we show up, so it’s the process outlined for each role that then enables teams and organizations to go for the win.
    Great post!

    • Anonymous says:

      I think Lesa that quality and speed go hand-in-hand with pit stops. Spending 20 seconds on a quality pit stop will lose races. The pit crew has to deliver both, because every second translates to distance gained or lost on the track.