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Is Michael Waltrip On Fox TV A Conflict Of Interest?

2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Media Tour
Team Owner Michael Waltrip is a Fox Analyst (Getty Images)

I was thinking about this during the Daytona 500. Michael Waltrip is now a part of the NASCAR on Fox broadcast and I can’t help but think that there is some sort of conflict of interest. Let’s face it, NASCAR is all about marketing and promotion.  Just watch one race and you will be blown away by the amount of commercial brakes they take. It seems that they can’t even go 10 full laps under green without an advertisement. From the sponsorships on the car to the driver interview, the idea is “sell, sell, sell!” Michael Waltrip is a team owner. That means that he owns Sprint Cup cars and, like all the teams, he is indebted to his sponsors. Is this a conflict of interest?USA Today recently published an article that stated..

it’s happening in a sport where every aspect of TV coverage — including, say, how often sponsors are mentioned or their logos are shown — has potential business implications

During the broadcast of the races on Fox, they turn to “Mikey” for analysis.  Often, they will ask what his team will do during certain situations etc… I have no beef with Waltrip or his team. This was just a question that popped in my head. Since it is the goal of any owner to get his sponsors as much business and air time as possible, does being as visible as he is during the races give him a competitive marketing advantage in the race for top of mind awareness?

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