The NCAA’s “No Fly Zone” is being used by NASCAR as a “favoring” tactic by the sport’s biggest sponsor, NBC Sports, to help the sport sell its sponsorships for the upcoming men’s college basketball tournament.
“The NCAA is looking for a way to leverage its relationship with NBC Sports to leverage their marketing for the NCAA Basketball Tournament,” said Michael O. Johnson, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) and the AFL-CIO.
“So it is all part of this race to win the championship, and we see that with the NCAA.”
The NCAA has yet to make an official announcement regarding the decision to award the tournament to the winner of the 2016 NCAA men’s championship.
But Johnson noted that the NCAA is “absolutely thrilled” with the decision.
“We have had a very positive relationship with the University of Michigan, and so this is really a game-changer,” Johnson said.
“It’s really a win-win for us, for the University and the athletes.”
The NFL is not the only sport with a “No-Fly Zone” policy that has benefitted from the NCAA tournament.
Major League Baseball, for example, has made a name for itself in recent years with its use of “No fly zones” in Major League Soccer, where fans are banned from entering certain areas.
Johnson said he is confident that NASCAR’s use of the term “NoFly Zone,” in conjunction with its association with the university, will not hurt the NCAA in the long run.
“That’s a pretty strong endorsement,” Johnson noted.
“When you have something as valuable as this and a program as important as the NCAA, you want to have people that will give you a level of trust and support.
That’s the best way to do it.”
Johnson also noted that NASCAR has not made a public statement regarding the “NoFazeZone” rule, which he said has not hurt its chances of winning the NCAA championship.
“There are not any ‘NoFazes’ out there.
The NCAA will have to make that announcement itself,” he said.
Johnson did, however, say that he does believe NASCAR has “some leverage” over the NCAA for its use.
“They are the big dogs in this business,” Johnson concluded.
“If they have some leverage over the program, I think they will do what they can to try to get as many fans to come to events as possible.”
[Image via NBC Sports] [Featured Image by Getty Images]