With a growing following among U.S. Hispanics, NASCAR is looking to raise its profile in the community even more with a new documentary series focusing on Hispanic racecar drivers. The racing giant’s entertainment marketing division is partnering with William Levy, the Cuban-American actor and former model who got his start in telenovelas before achieving fame on "Dancing With the Stars," to produce the series.
The reality series will focus on aspiring young Hispanic drivers trying to break into NASCAR by racing on the local circuits, while also illustrating the challenges faced by immigrant and first-generation Hispanics in the U.S.
The series doesn’t have a TV home yet, but NASCAR and Levy plan to begin pitching the series to networks next month.
Levy’s involvement in the project suggests that NASCAR, in addition to building its Hispanic audience, may be trying to win more female fans as well. NASCAR vice president for entertainment marketing and content development Zane Stoddard stated: “Our goal is to produce original TV, film and digital projects that highlight some of the most compelling stories in NASCAR. We are excited about the opportunity to partner with William Levy and his team on a project we believe both sports and nonsports fans alike will enjoy.”
As noted, motorsports have enjoyed increasing popularity among U.S. Hispanics, reflected in more racing coverage on Hispanic media. Mun2, the Hispanic cable network owned by NBCUniversal (to be known as NBC Universo beginning in February), has been carrying La NASCAR en mun2 for several years.
Univision Deportes has carried Formula 1 racing since 2013. Univision attributed increasing interest among U.S. Hispanics in part to the growing number of Hispanic drivers, as well as the fact that Formula 1 has always been international in scope, with Grand Prix races held around the world. This year’s Grand Prix schedule includes races in Spain, Mexico and Brazil.