Friday, September 25, 2009
NASCAR Continues To Expand Online Offerings
The ever changing world of online media is especially challenging for NASCAR as a sport. Instead of an organized league like baseball or football, NASCAR is a large group of independent contractors who simply meet to race. The race teams, the sponsors and even many drivers all have their own online presence.
The folks at Turner Sports in Atlanta have revamped the NASCAR.com website several times to try and figure out how to serve all these different interests. Now, they have expanded again to add a presence on MySpace.com for NASCAR fans. Here is the official info:
Turner Sports and MySpace announced today a partnership between the popular social networking platform and Turner Sports-managed NASCAR.COM, the online home of NASCAR.
A custom NASCAR-branded page will live on MySpace embodying MySpace’s multimedia platform by offering videos, news and photos provided by NASCAR.COM, along with socialization capabilities to give users an enriched experience.
Fans may further interact with NASCAR on the MySpace community via the driver gallery where they can find corresponding pages for the athletes. In addition, MySpace will provide promotion to NASCAR.COM’s portfolio of offerings including the Superstore, TNT RaceBuddy and TrackPass subscription products.
Fans can access the official NASCAR page on MySpace at: www.myspace.com/nascar
The NASCAR page on Facebook originated by Turner has proven to be very popular with over 215 thousand fans. Click here to take a look at that page. It is easy to become a Facebook fan and receive lots of information from NASCAR directly.
The final piece of this online puzzle is the rapidly growing Twitter. NASCAR is already established with regular updates on all three national series, the regional touring series and many other sections of the sport including NASCAR.com directly.
The goal of this expansion to MySpace is the same as our recent discussions about ESPN trying to organize its online information. The concept has two parts. The first is for a piece of information to be published and appear on NASCAR.com, Facebook, MySpace and Twitter at the same time. That makes sense, so that everyone gets the same information.
The second part of the puzzle revolves around the fans. Click here for a video on how the Turner gang has reorganized the Community section of NASCAR.com to enable users to establish their own personal presence on that site.
The idea is to cross the traditional technology boundaries and let conversations and updates occur between Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and other messaging services. A lot of this came about because of the tremendous popularity of RaceBuddy this summer.
The NASCAR fan response was overwhelming to a free application that provided a live pit reporter, user-selected cameras, team audio and many other features. This is clearly going to become a permanent addition to all Sprint Cup Series races once the TV network politics are settled. With the financial and TV ratings issues facing the sport right now, 2010 might just be the year to make sure this gets done.
So, kudos to the Turner folks for continuing to expand the online offerings. There are many among us who believe that the NASCAR.com website could be better organized, but at least the Atlanta-based company is listening and making changes.
Perhaps, you could take a moment to offer a comment if you actively use NASCAR's Facebook, Twitter or NASCAR.com website. You can also offer your opinion by clicking the comments button below on the new MySpace and expanded Community options we discussed.
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