NASCAR’s return to the track without fans in the stands amid the COVID-19 pandemic put an extra emphasis on social media as a way to engage audiences.
The best way to do that beyond NASCAR’s official social-media accounts? Deliver personalized content directly onto the phones of drivers and their teams. In a time of social distancing, social media is bridging the gap.
As the first major American professional sport to return to competition since the outbreak of the pandemic, NASCAR drivers were armed with content produced by NASCAR as well as by national media outlets.
“With our athletes in quarantine and responsible for more of their own content creation, INFLCR was integral in helping us provide useful tools for the drivers to keep their fans engaged,” said Rob McKinney, Sr. Director, Driver and Team Marketing at NASCAR.
“From video editing to shared highlights to simple ideation, NASCAR’s stars had the resources they needed to successfully fill the content void until we returned to racing.”
They could access content and share it via the INFLCR app, a software that helps sports teams and leagues like NASCAR store, distribute and track their digital assets through their network of brand ambassadors—most notably their drivers and respective teams.
NASCAR’s content team uploaded more than 2,000 photos and videos into their INFLCR account in May, where Artificial Intelligence-powered tagging distributed the content in personal galleries for drivers such as Bubba Wallace, Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Ryan Preece, Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch.
Drivers had more than 1,200 sessions in their INFLCR mobile app, where they downloaded and shared 428 photos and videos to their personal social-media accounts in May. This was capped by Keselowski’s dramatic “overtime” victory in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway:
Keselowski was sent original video content, captured behind-the-scenes from the track, to give his fans a peek into what the television cameras didn’t catch …. while honoring those who served.
“One of the best ways drivers can connect with their fans is to take them along for the ride on social media,” INFLCR founder and CEO Jim Cavale said.
“By providing the drivers with high quality content as it is shot in ‘real-time’, so that they can tell their story on social media, NASCAR is empowering drivers to add a layer of authenticity to the overall storytelling. This is helping the fans see the sport beyond what they see on television.”
NASCAR fans clearly appreciate that access. INFLCR-powered driver posts produced more than 1.7 million interactions on Instagram during the month of May. Overall, drivers using the INFLCR app grew their collective Instagram audience by almost 52,000 followers during that period.
Driver Kevin Harvick leveraged his audience to drive tune-in and awareness to NASCAR broadcast-partner FOX, thanks to NASCAR’s partnership with INFLCR that makes it easy to push content to drivers.
“Now that NASCAR is back and one of the first sports returning to competition, we have an incredible opportunity to attract new fans with compelling and engaging content anchored by our drivers,” said McKinney.