Swimming is not gaining more traction. Only Michael Phelps helped swimming along. Nobody in T&F could win 8 medals. Just not possible. Swimming is only popular during the olympics. NASCAR is popular for reasons I can only assume. It goes to the early 20th century. Not popular any where else in the world. The racing of a set distance has nothing to do with it. Plus NASCAR is more an experience. Its a culture that track doesnt have. Yes 100,000 people show up to Daytona, but its the experience that most people are there for.
I absolutely agree that track has a marketing problem. It doesnt explain why the lack of popularity. Swimming has no marketing, only a person that can win 8 gold medals. No one in track is able to do that. I dare you to ask the average American to name 2 swimming meets. I'll be surprised to hear 1, as I couldnt name 1.
The IAAF? Are you joking? Have the athletes step up. As president of the IAAF tell me what you would do to get the big names? Big media won't pay for anything until a BIG name shows up? We have yet to see that.