Nissan Spreads Its Wings At Le Mans
Ah, the 24 Hours of Le Mans. If you can’t actually go, you can at least keep tabs on what Nissan is doing there this weekend during the 80th running of the world's premiere (or at least best-known) road race.
Nissan is planning to boost its presence both on the course and off. On-track, Nissan will run its radical DeltaWing car, while using a social-media strategy to show the car and its other activities to everyone who couldn’t make the flight over. Off the course, Nissan will show its limited-edition version of its Juke car, and the first of a new generation of Nismo (factory-tuned) performance cars.
The automaker says it will try a first-ever recording of a crowdsourced film of the Nissan DeltaWing's first lap under race conditions at the start of the Le Mans 24 Hours on June 16. To do it, Nissan will use its social media channels to ask spectators to submit smartphone videos of the DeltaWing car as it passes their vantage points. Nissan says it will use the videos to make a montage that, if successful, will show the car's first go-round in its entirety. Nissan will also have race action on its performance Facebook page (www.facebook.com/NissanSportsCars), Twitter feed and Nissan Europe YouTube channel. The company is also using social media platforms to disseminate other race content over the weekend.
In addition to onboard video of the Nissan DeltaWing doing the Le Mans circuit, content includes a view of the pit area, and a handheld camera during garage activity with interviews with drivers and key race team personnel.
The DeltaWing isn’t the only stake Nissan has in the LMP2 (Le Mans Prototype) class, as it makes the engines for 13 of the 20 vehicles running this year. And it is using that race class to spotlight two "graduates" of "GT Academy." The two drivers -- Lucas Ordonez of Spain and Jordan Tresson of France -- were the first two winners of the global marketing, reality-show platform that takes PlayStation 3 gamers and turns them into legit racers, assuming they come out on top of a made-for-TV-style boot camp.
On the sidelines at Circuit de la Sarthe, the semi-permanent road course for Le Mans, Nissan will have experiential activation around the Juke-R and Juke Nismo that includes sponsorship of Le Mans Village, where Nissan will bring in "Ministry of Sound" DJs after the scheduled bands play. Nissan says it will also have a concept version of the Juke, called the Juke Box, rolling into various attendee-laden areas. The Juke-R is a very limited-edition car that the automaker debuted in Dubai, and -- early this year -- made the focus of a viral Web video, “Desert Nemesis” where the car competed in a street race in Dubai against a local sheik’s collection of supercars.