Monday, May 26, 2008

The USA 3000

Ice cold milk must taste like shit after 3 hours behind the wheelI watched the Indianapolis 500 yesterday as my Dad was down for the Memorial Day holiday and has a tradition of watching the annual event from start to finish. I've never been a real race fan, but I watched it with him and found myself eventually enthralled. From an advertising perspective, it was fascinating. ABC never broke from the race even during commercial breaks, opting instead for what they call "side-by-side," whereby the commercials play in the right half of the frame while the race coverage continues in the left. As well, the on-car cameras provided an interesting perspective, and you could see the thought that went into sponsor logo placement on the vehicles as well as on the drivers' helmets. There was an inordinate amount of GoDaddy sponsorship, from the aerials provided by the GoDaddy helicopter, to the endless focus on Danica Patrick, darling of the race-circuit and spokesperson for GoDaddy. And there were multiple placements of GoDaddy ads featuring Ms. Patrick. (Patrick had a made for TV moment when her car was disabled by another driver in the pit lane, prompting the Race Queen to stalk down the track to apparently give the errant fool a piece of her very-pissed mind. She was sidelined by security.)

Anyway, the whole thing got me to thinking of an even bigger race that needs to get underway. A country-uniter. An event that would make Indy look like a soap-box derby. The race to end all races. The Mother of all Races. The USA 3,000.

Here's the plan:

Using our very nice Interstate system, 50 cars race coast to coast in a day-long focus on our nation's unique diversity and utter coolness. We'll use Formula One some fast cars, so we can get it done quickly and at speeds of 200+ MPH. The inconvenience to travelers needing the roads would be minimal. Let's say you live in Ohio. The Interstate and its on-ramps would only need to be closed for half an hour as the cars would be through there in no time. We start early on the East Coast and end in the West in the evening, taking advantage of the three-hour time difference. Mandatory pit-stops would be scheduled at predetermined locations on the route. Cities vying for pit-stop status would shell out major bucks for the honor.

Other sponsorship opportunities would be endless, as they already are in racing, but even more so for this event. Every state that was included on the route would want a tourism spot or two in the broadcast. The Department of Transportation could likely get in on the act. Naturally, the American Dairy Association would want to thrust a bottle of milk into the winner's hand. (If the winner drinks it at Indy, the ADA pays him/her $10,000.) I can see production and camera coordination being a tough one, but you know the networks would compete like starved jackals for the rights to broadcast the race.

This thing would be bigger than American Idol, bigger than Lost, bigger than a Presidential election.

Here are some proposed routes. Miami to Seattle, New York to Seattle, New York To Los Angeles, or my favorite, Orlando to Seattle. Gentlemen, (you too, Danica) start your engines.

And I thought of it, you bastard network dogs, and its documented and dated here for all to see. We'll fight over it in court should you decide to do this without me. You'll lose. And I 'll be that crazy guy who chooses to represent himself.

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  • Dude, the life of a F1 car is only two hours.

    The day one designs a F1 that can run a Le Mans is the day Jetpacks will be sold in retail.


    By Anonymous Catcher In The Rye, at May 26, 2008 at 9:20 PM  

  • There is already an unofficial race like this. Plus a lap of the US goes on every few years or so.
    I would watch portions of this. Can you Get Dom Delouise and Burt Renolds to race in an ambulance too?

    Danica's little hissy fit annoyed me. that guy should have head butted her. Screw it she wants to act like a act too she should take guy consequences and everyone should shut the F up.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 27, 2008 at 9:59 AM  

  • I could see Burt hosting it on the Speed Channel.

    By Blogger Make the logo bigger, at May 27, 2008 at 1:23 PM  

  • F-ing brilliant. This is the kind of thing that you should take to a smart, relevant sponsor. You could probably put it on for the same cost as a national TV campaign on at prime time. And with race teams paying to enter, networks paying to televise could be a money-making venture.

    The Mercedes 3,000.

    Is it callous of me to think of something like this this way? I'd like to see it, and I wouldn't mind if it was built by a sponsor.

    By Anonymous Jeremy Greenfield, at May 27, 2008 at 7:18 PM  

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