Magazine article ADWEEK

NASCAR Drafts on Digital Media

Magazine article ADWEEK

NASCAR Drafts on Digital Media

Article excerpt

The auto racing sport is a marketing behemoth but has Lagged in digital. A new multifaceted social campaign looks to change that.

@JimmieJohnson thinks fans need to grow beards if he's going to win the current Sprint Cup Chase. And as they tweet him pictures of themselves in fake beards, they often hear back in real time. Other fans think @KaseyKahne needs a lucky penny, and they tweet him pictures of coins.

Nascar, America's largest spectator sport, is not only a powerful brand in its own right; it also serves as a convergence point for some of the country's largest marketers. Ogilvy & Mather's current work pulls together the Nascar brand, teams, drivers, fans and sponsors to cheer on their favorite cars and drivers through the use of #whatdriversneed across all their social sites. Individual drivers also get hashtags, such as Johnson's #what48needs. The campaign's focus is Twitter and Instagram, with support on Nascar.com, Facebook, TV, radio and in print.

"This is our first big digital push, but every year going forward will have a digital focus," said Kim Brink, vp, marketing at Nascar. "We've created an ecosystem where everyone is codependent in a good way."

It's an important turning point for Nascar, which wants to attract a new generation of younger and multicultural fans. Nascar sold its digital rights to Turner Sports in 2001 and only this year regained them.

"We were behind in the technology space. That's what spurred them into taking the rights back," said Andrew Campagnone, senior managing partner, Sports Marketing Consultants, which reps companies coming into Nascar. …

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