Ganassi high on IndyCar despite dropping TV ratings

Ganassi has struggled to find a sponsor to replace Target on Scott Dixon's car. Because TV ratings are plummeting it's hard to find real sponsors. If you cannot deliver eyeballs most sponsors have zero interest.
Ganassi has struggled to find a sponsor to replace Target on Scott Dixon's car. Because IndyCar TV ratings are plummeting on NBCSN it's hard to find real sponsors. If you cannot deliver eyeballs most sponsors have zero interest.

Despite TV ratings for 2017 that are in a steep death spiral, Chip Ganassi is firm in the belief that things are going in the right direction.

"I think it's on an uptick," he stated. "I like the job that management's doing. I like the new car. I like the new attitude. I see a lot of buzz on social media about it. The ratings are obviously a little better, I think that's good. All the signs are pointing in the right direction."

"I think the input the teams had came a long way," he said. "You have an IndyCar that I think is very apropos as to what an IndyCar should look like. Everything that an IndyCar should be, I think that car represents. It's a new look, yet it's a look that people look at and say ‘Hey, that's an IndyCar.' I'm excited about it."

"Obviously, we have to have a good May, and part and parcel is having good weather in May!" he said. "We went through a period when we had so many bad years of weather that it sort of brought things down a little bit. It didn't have the buzz that IndyCar usually has. So, if we have some good weather in May, I think we're going to have a good summer."

Still, specific to his own team, there is an area of concern. As of writing, no full-time sponsor has been announced for Scott Dixon, which is hard to do when TV Ratings are so low on NBCSN. So Ganassi has to seek some sort of business-to-business deal.

"We have some good partners that have stepped up to help. I can't thank them enough. Cessna, NTT Data, and we have a couple others you'll hear about in the next few days. I'm quite happy with that. We're not where we want to be, but we're damn close and we have a couple things we're working on that are more long-term. So, I'm optimistic," he asserted.

There are many positive things about IndyCar right now, just not TV ratings. A 0.21 final TV Rating for the Long Beach GP on NBCSN is worse than an infomercial. ABC delivered 1.1 million viewers for St. Petersburg, NBCSN delivered 25% of that for Long Beach

"We look at (sponsorship), inside the sport, as season-to-season. And I don't necessarily think companies look at it that way. They look at it as when it's a good time for them, or if they have a product coming, or a season or specific date that they're interested in."

"I think Mark Miles came in at a time when the series needed a combination of stability and calmness and professional management and leadership. I think he's brought all those qualities to it."

"There's stability in the tracks going forward. There's stability in the current manufacturers. These are all things that are really good seeds to build a solid foundation to grow on. For a long time, we didn't have the foundation of stability. Now that we have the foundation of stability, we need to make the transition from stabilizing the foundation to building the house on top it."

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