Perhaps no sport offers a more immersive experience for fans than motor sports. It overwhelms the five senses; from the sound and rumble of the engines to the smell of burnt rubber and high-octane racing fuel, the fan experience is wholly consuming.
As the green flag is about to fall on the 2013 season, motor sports continues to break ground on the digital experience opportunities it offers fans, sponsors and those who make their careers pushing maximum velocity on race courses around the world.
The marketing behind motor sports provides some of the best digital experiences in sports, with several factors driving web innovation ahead of the curve, no more pressing than the many sponsors who fund tracks, teams, media and sanctioning bodies that host races. Well-designed digital experiences directly connect fans and sponsors through a number of methods, such as interactive graphics, social conversations, real-time data, fantasy leagues, and sponsor-driven content and contests. These data-oriented web programs help fans follow their favorite drivers to create their own experience.
Telemetry and track data
Top motor sports sites are expected to carry real-time telemetry during the race. Beyond tracking laps and leaders, telemetry tracks GPS positioning, lap and sector times, speed, RPMs, throttle and braking for every car on the track. In addition to telemetry, F1.com Live Timing delivers live weather reporting, including track and air temperatures, air pressure and humidity levels, and wind speed and direction.
Websites can aggregate and make audio and video feeds that are available across the facility, including live in-car cams, pit crew cams, two-way radio transmissions. While TV and radio broadcasts have little opportunity to follow anything other than the race for the lead and top story lines, fans use second-screen media experiences to follow any or all of the racers.
In the stock car racing world, NASCAR has cascaded many of the top in-demand digital experiences to its nationwide network of seven regional touring series. The NASCAR Home Tracks sites collects video archives, integration of real-time social media and blog feeds, and full stats and standings within a consistent, branded site, helping elevate the prominence of the many local racing venues at which NASCAR sanctions weekly short track racing.
If you’re looking for ways to improve sponsorship opportunities related to your franchise or venue, look to motor sports and the myriad of ways they engage scores of sponsors. Some brands are synonymous with their motor sports sponsorship.
A website redesign initiated a digital marketing transformation for the American Powerboat Association, which is rapidly gaining insight about its growing membership through its cross-platform marketing efforts.
Sponsors gain greater visibility and connection with powerboat fanatics across the web properties and social channels of the APBA, which even
moved its monthly magazine, Propeller, online as part of its new content strategy after 76 years in print.
Digital brand campaigns targeting motor sports enthusiasts are pervasive across motor sports. Brands activate fans through social and web channels on everything from direct-to-fan deals to fund-raising efforts for select charities. You might automatically think of brands like Mobil 1, where selling high performance products makes the obvious sponsorship medium for brand promotion. Others campaigns, like NASCAR’s Green campaign, help the sports move the needle on public awareness on key social and environmental issues.
Integrating social collaboration is an imperative part of the second-screen experience in motor sports. That became impossible to ignore during the 2012 Daytona 500, when racer Brad Keselowski tweeted from his parked race car mid-race during a red-flag delay and within a couple of hours picked up more than 100,000 followers.
The creative team at Omnigon built a web platform to support Fox broadcasts of NASCAR races. The platform captured team communications and social media threads from fans, dynamically featuring hot topics and most-discussed drivers while allowing fans to browse and select conversations about whatever drivers they wanted to follow. Sites across auto racing deliver real-time fantasy standings and statistics, social conversations, and sponsor-driven activity.
The immersive web experiences being created by the top motor sports leagues around the world are breaking ground for all sports and entertainment sites, providing a great footprint for engaging fans, promoting sponsors and building passion for sports.