Earlier this morning, the good folks at WRC posted a new poll on their site to determine which driver was the most popular personality. Here in The Garage, it comes as no surprise that Ken Block is not only on the list, but as of this writing he is sitting with 61% of the votes!
It would be very interesting to see what the world wide viewer numbers look like for WRC in 2010 as a result of Block joining the tour. In his first season, even though he only ran a very limited schedule, he has already become a fan fave and I would be willing to bet that the North American numbers for rally have grown substantially.
Why wasn’t Block’s popularity a surprise here in The Garage? It goes far beyond the shoe mogul’s personality. Block and his marketing/PR team have built a media powerhouse that have their finger on the pulse of automotive enthusiasts, young AND old. They pump 4 brands (KB, Ford, Monster and DC) harder than anyone else could hope to, yet they aren’t jamming it down viewer’s throats. They are making their brands exciting through performance and great visuals. They are loyal to their loyal fans. They interact with the fans. They bring their fans with them wherever they go.
Here on North American soil, there is another player who is cut from the same cloth. In fact, at times he has been part of the same team.
What do you think folks: Will Travis Pastrana have as big an impact on NASCAR as Ken Block has had on WRC?
I think the Nationwide Series is banking on him!