A Great Way To Spend An Afternoon


GeoThumbnail

Except for the fact that we’re not sitting at the intersection of 16th and Georgetown, I’m not sure there could be a better way to spend an afternoon than what we just did. After lunch, we went and met up with some old friends we haven’t seen since we were out at Fontana in October. Then we went to the far side of the track for the second IndyCar practice of the day. While over there, we visited the Fan Village.

I have to say, I was a little disappointed for several reasons. First of all, there was absolutely no Verizon IndyCar merchandise for sale in the IndyCar merchandise tent. I understand the Verizon deal was done late, but I thought there would be something. Instead, there was a bare-bones offering with the generic INDYCAR logo. I’m hoping there is a better offering next month at Indianapolis.

hats

stuff

I was also a little surprised how the Fan Village had become like a stroll through a tourist section in the Bahamas. You couldn’t walk five feet without being accosted by every vendor that had a display. Young girls in shorts wanted to sign you up for a new credit card. Dudes in t-shirts wanted us to do a million surveys. They were hawking this and hawking that. I was glad to get out of there and not sure I’ll return to that area for the rest of the weekend.

But if that’s the only bad thing I can say about today, I’d say we’re doing OK. My brother sent me a message saying that I keep referring to this beautiful facility. but I’ve posted no pictures. I only had my phone with me today, so I couldn’t take the best pictures, but I did snap this one from the tram to show some scenery. I’ll post better ones tomorrow.

scenery

We returned to stroll the paddock area, where we saw all the cars being torn down and drivers milling about. The afternoon was complete when we had an AJ Foyt sighting. There was nothing more I needed to see for the day after that.

Foyt

We’re about to leave and go check in to the hotel, but we plan on being here extra-early tomorrow morning.

Please check back then.

George Phillips

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7 Responses to “A Great Way To Spend An Afternoon”

  1. billytheskink Says:

    Late-coming sponsorship deals, whether for the series or the cars, poses a huge problem for Indycar’s (seemingly ever-changing) merchandisers. The offerings at pre-Indy events have been sparing for many years, limited to series-logo merchandise and driver shirst with non-specific designs.
    Things do not get a lot better at later season events, simply because Indycars don’t move a high volume of merchandise, but the selection typically doubles by the 500 and increases a bit at every subsequent event.

    I would bet a considerable amount of money that there isn’t a single shirt in the merchandise tent that has a driver/team-specific photorealistic car printed on it. Would I be giving or taking money on that bet, George?
    At Barber last year, I would have been taking. Heck, excluding Andretti and Ganassi, I would have been taking at the Texas race too.

  2. There’s never been an IndyCar Fan Village in Toronto. When I asked why not they told me it was an issue with the border crossing.
    If you believe that, I have a rather nice bridge to sell you.

  3. Well, let’s give IndyCar a pass because you just don’t throw out Verizon IndyCar Series merchandise in a few short weeks. I would bet that by the time the series gets to Indianapolis there will be some shirts, jackets, hats and patches.
    By the way, the Indy 500 website put some of their 2014 merchandise on their site today (4/25).

  4. If they had the time to make plain Indycar (no Izod) stuff, then wouldn’t they have had time to make Verizon stuff? Or do they just stockpile plain Indycar stuff to use everytime they lose a sponsor?

    My brother makes t-shirts. He could’ve had boxes of them designed and printed with about a two-week window. Doesn’t seem like that big of a deal to me.

    • billytheskink Says:

      They’ve been transitioning from IZOD Indycar logo merchandise to the unsponsored logo merchandise for a couple of years now. Whether what is at Barber is new or not, I can’t say, but there was clearly an effort to push the sanctioning body logo on merchandise over the series logo over the past few years.

      In addition to the new Verizon series name, Indycar also changed their merchandising partner from Lids, which probably put the merchandise rollout even further behind than it normally is.

      But yes, it should be better, and probably would be if it was a higher priority for the series.

    • Making t-shirts and a multi-million dollar branding campaign are two totally different things.

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