The average NASCAR race takes at least a few hours to crown a winner, but last weekend it only took 60 seconds for Dale Earnhardt Jr. to earn $10,000 for charity.
Over the holiday weekend, Sprint launched a social media promotional event during the Coke Zero 400 race, the “Sprint 60 Unlimited,” billed as “the shortest race in NASCAR history.” During the race broadcast on TNT last Saturday, Sprint encouraged fans to tweet their favorite driver’s number along with the hashtag #Sprint60 as many times as possible during the last 30 laps of the race. The driver who earned the most tweets won a trophy and a $10,000 check designated to his favorite charity.
“NASCAR fans love participation and love to engage with everything associated with NASCAR,” Dustin Tomes, associate creative director for Team Sprint (which includes advertising agencies Leo Burnett and Digitas), tells Marketing Daily. “We took a traditional ad space and turned it into something they could engage with.”
The Sprint 60 Unlimited occurred during a time when the broadcast uses a split screen to show the final moments of the race along with an ad, so that fans don’t miss any last-minute action, Tomes says. “Rather than giving them a traditional ad, we gave them something to interact with,” he says.
Promotion for the Spring 60 Unlimited began with two commercials on TNT on race day, featuring Miss Sprint Cup and the Sprint 60 Unlimited trophy (which is revealed to be smaller than one might think). The spokescharacter also promoted the contest through her Facebook page and Twitter feed. Participation data was not immediately available, but Tomes says the tweets were “somewhere in the thousands” for the promotion.