Kevin Harvick signed NASCAR Unites hat. This hat is tied to the past campaign by Nascar around the 10th Anniversary of 9/11. As the article below points out, this NASCAR tribute was over the top and probably in poor taste. No matter your opinion, this hat and campaign are further examples of the use of 9/11 for driving consumption and being monetized by companies. This is also an example of corporate curating. NACAR basically put their own spin and stamp on the 10th Anniversary of September 11th.
Posted by Abe Sauer on September 9, 2011 03:01 PM
The "scandal" of whether or not NASCAR drivers failed to take advantage of an invite from President Obama for political reasons has largely blown over.
But one event NASCAR is certainly not failing to take advantage of: The 10th anniversary of 9/11.
NASCAR has made sure that the cars for the September 11 race are unmistakably "honoring our heroes."
NASCAR is leveraging its NASCAR Unites charity arm to head its 9/11 campaign which aims to, amongst fundraising, send 10,000 e-postcards to 9/11 first responders.
ITS NASCAR Unites site is the web portal through which fans can sign up to volunteer at the NASCAR Richmond International Raceway at Saturday's (Sept. 10) race event, part of NASCAR's commitment to the 9/11 Day of Service which aims to get Americans to volunteer for charity in remembrance.
NASCAR's volunteer "opportunities" include such noble endeavors as "passing out American flags at the gates" and "collecting donations for NASCAR Unites bands." (Bands available for your $5 donation. "A handling fee of $1.90 will be applied at checkout.")
To promote its NASCAR Unites brand campaign, the organization has created 30 to 90 second "I will" 9/11 tribute commercials featuring NASCAR drivers and ordinary schmoes talking about what they will do in memory of the event.
Driver Greg Biffle cuts to the heart of the matter of what he will be doing "to remember" the day: "I will race with the special paint scheme in the NASCAR race on September 10th to honor our heroes." Biffle will also go the extra mile, as his number 16 car is sponsored by 3M for "Honoring Our Heroes."
The US Army-sponsored car will be painted with the 75 names of the U.S. Army Pentagon victims as well as a "We Will Never Forget" logo. A number of other cars will carry 9/11 theme paint jobs. David Gilliland’s No. 34 "Tunnel to Towers Foundation Ford" will commemorate 9/11 with "a ghosted '3' next to the No. 34 on the door to represent the 343 firefighters who died in the attack."
In the week before the Sept. 10 race, NASCAR held an event at New York's Ground Zero where one of the specially painted cars was unveiled. For extra impact, NASCAR even got New York firefighters and police to legitimize the PR stunt. Appropriating Ground Zero for car reveals is something NASCAR has been doing for a while now.
NASCAR (and its partners) really did leave no 9/11-honoring stone left. To recognize the anniversary of the attacks, ABC and radio broadcaster MRN will observe a moment of silence during laps 9 to 11.
NASCAR also created a "Ground Zero" gallery section of its website, hosting numerous random photos of the New York location, even though none of those photos have anything to do with NASCAR. How divorced is this NASCAR gallery from NASCAR itself? One of the photos is of "Burn a Koran Day" Pastor Terry Jones visiting Ground Zero to protest the planned nearby mosque and community center.
After viewing the gallery, surf over to the "NASCAR Library Collection" and pick up "Why Wait?" a book which recounts the "inspirational conversation" between a man and Captain Jason Dahl just before Dahl's death in the 9/11 attacks and the author's "mission to bring Dahl's son to his first NASCAR® race to meet his idol, Jeff Gordon."
Now, you might argue that it's all a patriotic, touching tribute to 9/11 and not a commercial endeavor. Check out the "Honoring Our Heroes" section of NASCAR's online shop, where, among other 9/11 items, you can purchase a Tony Stewart 9/11 Can Cooler — a patriotic way to keep your beer cold and honor the fallen.
No, it's not a cheap "can cozy," this is a classy memorial "cooler" that any family affected by the events of 9/11 should be touched to be honored by.
It may be well-intentioned, but sorry NASCAR — it crosses the line.
Racecar Commemorating 9/11 Unveiled
NASCAR racing star Benny Gordon, co-owner of the car, will be racing the car on Richmond International Raceway. He was ranked as the seventh best professional driver in the world by National Speed Sports News in 2008, USAR Pro Cup Champion in 2005, and Rookie of the Year in 2003.
“I consider it a real honor to race this car in commemoration of 9/11,” said Gordon in a news release. “I hope that racing this car will not just be a way to mark the anniversary, but will help remind others that we have an obligation to remember.”
The black, blue, and white car bears an inscription “Always Remember” and a 9/11 logo for the National September 11 Memorial and Museum. The car will be racing as No. 72.
At the launching ceremony on Monday, 9/11 Memorial President Joe Daniel, Gordon, 9/11 Memorial board and family members, 9/11 survivors, and representatives from Fire Department and Port Authority Police Department signed on the inside of the car’s hood in commemoration.
“I hope that [the car] will help re-awaken a spirit of unity that was so important in the aftermath of the attacks, because that sense of togetherness helped carry us through those dark days,” said Anthoula Katsimatides, 9/11 Memorial board member and family member. She lost her 31-year-old brother, John, who was working in the North Tower.
New York Fire Department retired Lieutenant Mickey Kross, who is 9/11 First Responder and survivor, will present the American flag that was flowing over ground zero to fly at the racetrack.
Gordon said that he hopes NASCAR's popularity and the paint job will attract more support for the planned $610-million memorial and museum.
The National September 11 Memorial and Museum is the nonprofit corporation designated to manage the design, fundraising, programs, and operation of the memorial and museum, which will take up eight of the 16 acres of the World Trade Center site.
It will remember the nearly 3,000 people who died in the attacks on February 26, 1993 and September 11, 2001. Designed by Michael Arad and Peter Walker, two pools will be located in the footprints of the original Twin Towers.
Another way to support, he said, is to participate in a “text to remember” fundraising and awareness program. By texting “WTC” to 30644, the general public will be able to add their name to an honor roll on the 9/11 Web site, www.national911memorial.org, in commemoration of the victims. An optional $5 donation will also be offered.