Over the past year, New Orleans Saints star running back Alvin Kamara has quickly gone from a curious stock car racing onlooker into a full-blown NASCAR superfan. And his fandom has reached the point where he will now play a role in spreading the sport and bringing more fans into the fold.
On Sunday, NASCAR announced a new partnership with Kamara, who will work with the sanctioning body in a newly formed growth and engagement adviser role. In his new role, Kamara will work with NASCAR leadership on "strategic planning and creative opportunities that support its fan development efforts."
"I'm excited. They've carved out a role for me, I've got an office, I've got a key card -- I've never had a job besides the NFL, so I've got two jobs now," Kamara told reporters on Sunday at Nashville Superspeedway. "Sean Payton's gonna have to give me some down time."
Recounting his own experience as a fan, Kamara told media that he got into NASCAR during COVID lockdowns in 2020, as he gave the sport a chance with little else to do but watch television. Kamara quickly became a fan, gaining a new appreciation for stock car racing and seeing it in ways he hadn't before.
"Usually when I would flip past NASCAR, I was like 'Let me just watch it, I don't got nothing to do. I'm just in the house, I can't go nowhere.' So I'm watching and I'm actually listening and understanding and hearing everything that goes into it, whereas before I was just like 'Oh, they're just going around the track turning left,'" Kamara said. "I got a new appreciation for it during that time and was able to come to some races."
Kamara has attended multiple races over the past year, including the Daytona 500 in February, and he also dabbled in the business side of the sport prior to joining NASCAR. At the Daytona Road Course in February, Kamara's company The Big Squeezy sponsored a NASCAR Xfinity Series car driven by Ryan Vargas.
Per NASCAR, Kamara will work alongside the sport's marketing team based in Charlotte, North Carolina, with Kamara's role focusing on connecting new audiences to NASCAR "through immersive and educational experiences that help them learn more about the sport." Kamara's first race in his new role will be the Ally 400 at Nashville.