SO... now that the unification has happened everyone sees the obvious next point is to go on from here growing the product. In essence we're talking about marketing the product/sport.
While not too in-depth, the topic is always brought up on forums and most recently Trackforum, and though I've talked to friends about it before, since I work in a very similar field (music entertainment) I figured I'd throw in my two cents, especially since my dream job is to do what I'm doing now but to do it for the IndyCar Series.
The basic problem that most can see now is while "I am Indy" is a great catchphrase, and makes good T-shirts, its absolutely horrible for Radio & Television commercials. In fact Firestones "Ode to Racing" does way more for the series than "I Am Indy" probably ever can. The song is rough and blaring and it not really all that catchy, its repetitive, and frankly I'll put it right up there with "this is our country" for themes that probably do more damage than good.
They really just need to do 2 major things, show off all the drivers, and also to do the one thing to differentiate from NASCAR and show off the cars/technology. Be the fans friend, be both serious, and silly...
Basically, in a way, rip off Texas Motor Speedway's new NASCAR campaign "Reason #" with drivers saying why they do this. Randomly put these quick quips in the 30/60sec TV spots on ESPN/ABC all through March (with race scenes in the background), and it needs to play all ways, it needs to apply to both humor and seriousness...
Kanaan: "Because after 11 Wins and a Championship, I still don't have the one I want"
Danica: "Because theres nothing novelty about going 220mph+, 5 inches from another car"
Marco: "Because even though I've gotten closer than Dad ever did (video of his near win), I still haven't gotten to where Grandpa has (video of Mario's win)"
Sarah: "Because its inspiring" (video of her signing autographs for little girls, or better yet little girls watching her race)
Helio: "Because racing in the red and white still beats dancing in yellow"
Briscoe: "Because some people don't get a second chance" (video of his crash)
I mean we could think of many of these, imagine quick 30 second spots on ESPN/ABC with random bits from drivers and each spot ends saying when the first race is....
Then just for a lighter side to make you realize the drivers have a lighter side I always had this funny image idea in my head:
open scene to all the drivers are on the track but racing on BMX bikes, all in fire suits, no helmets but racing on the track in bikes... and it does some quick pans of silly things like pit stops changing wheels and water bottles, someone having a brake problem, then maybe even a spin out/flat tire crash and whoever flips off their bike, the bike then for no reason sparks a quick fire like the cars sometimes do... and then ends with Kanaan beating someone by leaning his head forward beating them in slow motion finish by a nose and then:
"Without the cars, it just seems weird"
then show quick racing video to end it and promo for whatever race is coming....
I don't know thats just me and my ideas... anyone else feel free to throw in some of your thoughts...