Title: How Indy got its groove back? Celebrity culture and the Indy Racing League

Authors: Darcy C. Plymire

Addresses: 13 Hillcrest Dr., Ithaca, NY 14850, USA

Abstract: The purpose of this essay is to introduce the social and cultural studies perspective on celebrity culture to field of sport marketing. The essay uses the recent victory of Indy Racing League (IRL) driver, Helio Castroneves, on ABC|s hit television show, |Dancing With the Stars| (DWTS) as a springboard for a socio-cultural discussion of celebrity and sport. While the essay discusses the importance of celebrity to the viability of niche sports, like IRL, the point of the essay is not to prove that Castroneves DWTS victory has led directly to improved fortunes of the league. Rather, it is to reach beyond psycho-social and cognitive explanations of celebrity endorsement to richer explanations of the relationship between sport and celebrity culture.

Keywords: Indy Racing League; Helio Castroneves; sport marketing; motor sport management; celebrity culture; commodity culture; motorsports; motor racing; niche sports; celebrity endorsement.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSMM.2010.033954

International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing, 2010 Vol.8 No.1/2, pp.145 - 159

Published online: 05 Jul 2010 *

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