The rise in popularity of social media over recent decades has provided a wealth of opportunities for businesses and organizations to spread brand awareness and increase their customer base. Social media use has become ubiquitous amongst all businesses and industries, and the world of sport is no different. NASCAR is a perfect example of a sports organization that’s made best use of social media for their own advantage, having implemented several initiatives over the years.
One way in which they maximize the use of social media to improve the experience of their fans, and thus increase their following, is by setting very relaxed guidelines on the use of social media by their drivers on race day. This lies in stark contrast to most other sports, where athletes are given strict limitations on how and when they can use social media before big events, if they’re allowed to at all. This allows fans to connect with drivers right up until the race lights turn green, which fosters a feeling of connectedness and excitement.
NASCAR has been implementing social media initiatives for several years now. For example, in May 2012, NASCAR engaged in a partnership with Twitter to create a dedicated platform to collate and share the tweets of fans, drivers and other members of the media. The final product, Twitter.com/#NASCAR, was a great success, offering fresh, engaging content to fans and media alike. As shown from research by Betting-sites.uk.com, social media is a huge part of everyday life, with 2 million users active on platforms like Facebook every hour.
Another 2012 initiative was the release of the first official NASCAR iPhone application by NASCAR, Sprint and Turner sports, dubbed the “NASCAR Sprint Cup Mobile App”. The app enabled quick and easy access to a wealth of NASCAR content, which led to measurable increases in the number of new fans acquired and the further engagement of those already bought-in. Some of the features included race day news feeds, standings, schedules, and a wealth of other race-day material.
Recognizing the use of mobile phones and social media in fan participation, NASCAR also invested in wireless connectivity infrastructure developments across a number of its tracks. This further enhanced the ability of fans to access race-day content and feel connected to the events.
Two further examples of Nascar social media initiatives were implemented in 2016. The first involved a partnership with snapchat to create two live stories during the “2016 Chase for the Nascar Sprint Cup”. This was a brilliant move, providing Nascar another platform for delivering entertaining behind-the-scenes and race-day content.
The second of these two 2016 initiatives was also implemented during the “2016 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup”. It involved a five-part digital action film series, shared on NASCAR’s website and social media channels. The film series was designed to retell The Chase in an exciting, story-like format, offering content based on actual events, but with an engaging, action-based narrative.
These are just several examples demonstrating how NASCAR have used the growth of social media to their advantage. Their marketing approach has become heavily based on social media over the years, and it’s easy to see why, with social media enabling such great race-day content and intimate access to the sports’ drivers.