The Dogecoin community found an innovative way to market themselves to the general public, sponsoring Josh Wise, an overachieving NASCAR driver for the May Talladega race, where he finished 20th. Wise embraced Dogecoin and became an active participant in the Dogecoin subreddit, and /r/Dogecoin rallied once more to vote him into the NASCAR All-Star race, beating out perennial favorite Danica Patrick. Wise placed 15th in the star-studded All-Star race, but the Dogecoin community had almost no presence at the track. Following the race, Josh Wise and Dogecoin teamed up for one final partnership, and, as a result, he will race the Dogecar two more times in 2014.
[dropcap size=small]F[/dropcap]or cryptocurrency to experience long-term success, its supporters must find ways to introduce it to the mainstream public in ways they can relate to. Dogecoin has sought to do this by raising support for underdogs (err, underDoges), such as when it raised enough money to send the Jamaican Bobsled Team to the Sochi Olympics. More recently, the community has banded together to sponsor overachieving NASCAR driver Josh Wise, who often manages to place quite respectably despite struggling to find consistent sponsorship and possessing inferior equipment compared to wealthier teams.
Wise raced the Dogecoin-sponsored car–nicknamed the Dogecar–in the May race at Talladega Superspeedway, finishing 20th. The Dogecoin community also helped Josh Wise pull a surprise upset victory in the NASCAR All-Star race fan vote, which gave Wise the opportunity to race in NASCAR’s most exclusive event.
After the Talladega race proved to be such a marketing success for both Dogecoin and Josh Wise, they decided to join forces to continue their partnership. Josh Wise designed an exclusive t-shirt featuring the /r/Dogecoin branding and announced that if he could sell 5,000 shirts he would drive the Dogecar in the October race at Talladega. If they reached 10,000 sales, he would race the Dogecar two more times. The shirts, which customers could buy using either Dogecoin or dollars, were based on the uniforms that Josh Wise’s pit crew wore during the May4 race at Talladega.
Wise and Dogecoin sold 5,805 shirts, enough to sponsor him for the October 19 Talladega race, but they came quite short of the 10,000 needed to sponsor him for a second race. However, Wise was so thankful to Dogecoin for all their support that he decided to pay them back with a surprise gift, announcing on Twitter that he would drive the Dogecar once again during the June 22 race in Sonoma, California.
Despite rallying to vote Josh Wise into the NASCAR All-Star Race, the Dogecoin community was unable to mobilize more than a few supporters to the race, in part because they had such short notice that Wise would indeed make it into the All-Star race. As a result, many NASCAR fans at the track thought that Josh Wise’s fan vote victory was little more than a viral joke that had spread on the internet.
However, Dogefans have plenty of time to buy tickets to the Sonoma and Talladega races, which will take place on June 22 and October 19, respectively. If Dogecoin wants to take cryptocurrency into the mainstream and gain acceptance in NASCAR, they need to demonstrate that they can translate their online support for Josh Wise into an on-the-ground presence at the track. Unless the community can prove to them otherwise, NASCAR fans will continue to view Dogefans as outsiders. Luckily, 2014 will give them two more golden opportunities to do what Dogecoin has done again and again: prove the naysayers wrong.