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NASCAR Gains Traction in Social Media, Thanks to Connected Stadiums

13 Jul, 2016

By: Mary Helen Sprecher

For a sport that gained a tremendous following via tailgating and TV, NASCAR has taken a quantum leap forward.

Not that for many sports, social media is anything new, but NASCAR’s foray into various platforms has helped it engage with fans like never before, providing a template for many motorsports event owners.

According to MediaPost’s Marketing Daily, NASCAR fans are tuning in to more telecasts and engaging even more on digital and social, thanks to an aggressive campaign.

Through Sonoma (16 races), NASCAR.com is averaging 9 million unique visitors per month. Across all NASCAR digital platforms, NASCAR digital media has registered 484 million page views and 145 million on- and off-platform video views. NASCAR mobile apps have been downloaded 670,000 times in 2016, per NASCAR.

 “We’re delighted here at the midpoint of our season that fans are tuning in and engaging across digital and social platforms like never before,” Brent Dewar, NASCAR chief operating officer, toldMarketing Daily

NASCAR social platforms have gained 1.1 million followers since the start of the year in 2016, an increase of 11% and more than double the growth seen in the same period last year. The NASCAR Facebook and Twitter accounts have generated over 2.1 billion impressions YTD, according to NASCAR.

The numbers continue to be impressive, even when you drill down a bit. Engagement with content on the NASCAR social platforms is up +83% over year-over-year, with more than 114 million. There have been more than 76 million video views on the NASCAR Facebook and Twitter accounts, more than five times as many as last year (YOY). Reach of race-day content on the NASCAR Facebook page is up +19% compared to last year, and the reach of all tweets about NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race broadcasts is up +24%.

And while NASCAR’s year-over-year ratings have stabilized as the season moves forward – with the average NASCAR Sprint Cup Series rating not far behind 2015 (down -3 %), it continues to do well on television as a whole.

Coke Zero 400, the first race of the 2016 NBC season at Daytona, started strong and ranked as the most-viewed NASCAR Sprint Cup Series July race at Daytona since 2011 (YOY numbers showed a +26% ratings increase and a +43% viewership increase for that race).

While Daytona and Atlanta experienced significant declines (-18%) average ratings of the remaining Fox events (3-16) built momentum to close the gap to -6%.

It is worth noting that Daytona (and Indy as well, both bastions of motorsports events) recently completed extensive renovations. And while significant physical improvements were made to both parks, organizers of events have noted that something fans will appreciate just as much is increased connectivity to create a more interactive experience for visitors. The overall impact is to create a connected motorsports stadium, rather than simply a park or track.

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