Thursday, May 24, 2012

Day 2: Digital Darkness Surrounds Hall Of Fame

At 8PM Tuesday night the front page of the website did not contain any mention of the Hall of Fame selection that would happen on Wednesday.

There were no stories, no pictures and not even a TV listing of the live programs on SPEED that would discuss and then announce the new inductees. The lead story at was about the friendship between driver Carl Edwards and country singer Justin Moore.

NASCAR's Facebook page, liked by almost three million users, also had nothing about the Hall of Fame. No mention of who was on the candidate list, how the process worked or who was on the committee involved in making the selections. No fans were debating, no comments were being left.

Shortly after 8PM, NASCAR's official Twitter account posted one tweet about the Hall of Fame activity on Wednesday. That was the only tweet of the day referencing the selection process. It contained no links to pictures, information or videos. It just said if you are in town, the Hall is open for business.

Since there was no link to the Hall of Fame website on the front page of, I typed in the address and went to the digital home of the Hall. Promoted on Wednesday was a pre-vote tour of the actual voting room. It was for those fans who had paid $50 to become members of the Hall of Fame.

There are no live webcams in the Hall. Visitors can't call the family back home and wave online as they do at attractions from Key West to Venice Beach. On Wednesday, there will be no live webcams in the voting room as the committee assembles. No live video will appear on the sport's website.

Hashtags on Twitter have been all the rage. They allow users to quickly access information on a specific event. There was no promotion of the #NASCARHOF hashtag to be seen in advance of Wednesday on the NASCAR or NASCAR Hall twitter accounts.

Live tweeting events to create a central hub for content and get information out to fans and media is key in this social media oriented world. There was no mention of NASCAR live tweeting the activity Wednesday as the committee assembles, debates and then votes.

NASCAR's PR department says this vote is wide open. The candidates come from different eras and there are going to have to be some persuasive speeches by those voting in support of their choices. There are great storylines emerging in the debate between honoring the candidates from the past and celebrating those who ushered in the modern era. The day's activity should make news across the sport.

Click here for a link to the SPEED TV website page about the Wednesday Hall of Fame activity and coverage. SPEED is the official TV network of the Hall of Fame, but is not owned by or affiliated with NASCAR.

There has to be a more cohesive way to rally the various NASCAR-owned digital resources in support of the Hall on days like this. While SPEED will provide some TV exposure and Sirius Speedway will originate a satellite radio broadcast, the missing piece of the puzzle belongs to NASCAR itself.

Between the NASCAR website and various social media accounts, Wednesday should be used to generate as much fan involvement and media coverage as possible. Live webcams from the Hall, Facebook updates on the progress of the day and a promoted Twitter hashtag with live tweets would bring a new level of exposure to the struggling facility.

We invite your comments on this topic. Thank you for taking the time to stop by.


Big48FanTexas said...

I don't see the big deal. In every other sport, people find out who was inducted when it is announced in the newspapers or online -- there is little-to-no-fanfare about the voting and results until they happen. The only exception are the rare articles that appear when a longtime candidate is on his last ballot of eligibility. Other sports don't have TV shows to promote who was voted in -- only when the inductions actually happen.

As a fan, I will be excited when I see who is announced as the new inductees, and then only be interested in following the story when time for the induction speeches begin. Build-up to voting is just unneeded hype. Does anyone pay the baseball hall of fame (arguable the biggest in all of sports) any heed whatsoever as the BBWAA prepares to cast ballots?

Anonymous said...

Amazing isn't it JD. This is another example of what happens when you have someone in charge that is totally incompetent. MC

Anonymous said...

I think this is the right strategy. When too much focus is on the voting, then all the resulting stories are about who DIDN'T make it, instead of celebrating who did.

53 said...

I think the Daytona Beach Boys are
fed up with the HOF since it is
run by the locals and they have
lost money on it. Also NASCAR's
skyscraper next door has been
rebranded for Chiquita. The big
news being spun by the Observer and
the Visitors Authority is the losses have stabilized.

GinaV24 said...

NASCAR wonders why there isn't the amount of interest in the HoF - perhaps the lack of publicity is one of the reasons. That and the fact that IMO they are taking way too long to induct people. IMO they should have done it by decade, have 5 nominees from each decade each cycle and that would add more interest to it for more fans.

Not having any information out there on any of the venues is really poor on whoever is supposed to be doing PR for this.

Buschseries61 said...

Maybe there should be more publicity through twitter, Facebook and but webcams in the voting room is excessive.

The real problem is convincing people like me in New York that it is worth traveling down to North Carolina to see the Hall of Fame. From what I've seen, it's basically a museum that you walk around and view things you can't touch, which is basically the same as watching a tour online or on tv. Maybe there is more to it, I know you went there JD. But my observations are based off others pictures and what the Hall has advertised.

I don't know everything inside since I've never been there, but it needs some fun stuff. They need 1 or 2 cars fans can sit inside of, I've always loved sitting in the show cars and getting a picture at the track. Since SPEED is connected to the Hall, it would be cool to be able to tour the studio and maybe get a try reading off the teleprompter. I still have memories of doing that in front of the weather map at NBC when I was a kid.

Vince said...

This is just another example to me that NA$CAR doesn't give a rats *ss about the fans. Except for squeezing every last dollar out of them that they can get.

AncientRacer said...

@Anon 8:42AM

I disagree. I think it would be fun to see and/or hear the speeches, etc. and cameras would be passive observers. Heck, they do that in Congress. They even allow audio of important arguments in the U.S. Supreme Court.

Of course, I have my own preferences among the nominees just as I have my own preferences at a race. My guy at a race (KyBu) does not always win. My second guy (Jeff Gordon) does not either. Often as not it is the guy I simply DO NOT WANT to win (Weasley) So what? Letting me watch or listen is of no harm and I would watch or listen because I am interested so that means there would be opportunities to try to sell me something.

The Mad Man said...

I have a feeling the reason for the silence is that yet another unpopular choice will be made for the HOF. Somebody who had nothing to do with founding NASCAR, wasn't a racer, wasn't a team owner, and really didn't contribute squat.

KoHoSo said...

Big48FanTexas...I understand your point/outlook on this. However...while I'm not sure what baseball does these days as I gave up following that sport long ago, there is a lot of talk and even a sort-of TV show for the new NFL Hall of Famers. Perhaps it depends on what media one chooses to follow, but I sure seem to see a lot of attention on who is eligible and the vote itself leading up to the announcement. Then the new inductees are all featured during the Hall of Fame Game in Canton which is really the only reason to watch that telecast IMO.

Please understand that I am not putting down your opinion or tastes. But, I do believe that NASCAR is making a big mistake by not promoting its own Hall of Fame and the voting process as I think there would be interest if more people were reminded of it.

#Colorado said...

Well, since Mike Joy and Darrell Waltrip are on the voting committee, Hendrick is a shoe in on the Hall. In fact, since the love affair is in full bloom, the broadcast will resemble any given FOX race. The other nominees will be regarded as "back markers" and when they are announced, it will be under commercial. Once Speed comes out of commercial, they will do a sponsor bumber during Raymond Parks' speech, then cut away to another commercial, this time brought to you by Aaron's and Toyota. Then, during the emotionally vapid Hendrick interview, they will show a lengthy montage of Hendrick's legacy, and how he invented racing, and how JJ can match 7 titles of Earnhardt/Petty.There will be no re-air, because the highest rated show on Speed, Pass Time, will be shown.

Eric B said...

Sirius Speedway is doing live interview from the HOF. I realize they have studios there but that is another media source.

Daly Planet Editor said...


I made sure to mention Sirius in the column.


Bob in VT said...

I made sure to plan my travelling today to be in the car, my main source of NASCAR information is now Sirius (I find about half the shows excellent and all but one enjoyable) the interviews they did before and after the announcements made for an all around great NASCAR experience today. I thought this was a great day for NASCAR where they honored their past appropriately and the great move of adding an award for media members. For the next 10 years there are a lot of great media members that should be in line to be rewarded (fingers crossed Economaki is near head of that line) I've been avoiding TV coverage of NASCAR and I'm enjoying NASCAR more. So I guess I have little to contribute here, but will stay a regular reader to keep up with how media is evolving.

p.s. Congrats to the 4 people who were already legends when i started following NASCAR and Rusty who I watched enter the sport and make his exit (now i feel old), people who helped form my initial impression of NASCAR. Can't wait to get up to Thunder Road in a few weeks and congratulate Ken in person.

Anonymous said...

Race fans keep letting Nascar know, in various ways,that we have very little interest in the hall of fame.They may soon get the message. Too bad Racehub wasted another hour on it this evening,yawn.

glenc1 said...

I enjoyed Racehub & SPEED's 'pre-coverage'. Yay! to the class & how they solved the 'media' inclusion. What a contrast between how Rusty reacted *before* induction about honoring his idols first....and the DW show from a few years back.

bobbydjr said...

One of the reasons there's not much interest in the HOF, is they keep putting people like Darrell Waltrip and Rusty Wallace in, before others who are more deserving and are not still active members of the sport.

Anonymous said...

Never been to the nascar HOF and never plan on going.Call it what it is: a MUSEUM!All of the great people have allready been enshrined in various HOF's.The fact that's it's nascar specific is cool,but it's still a museum.

AncientRacer said...

The Best News?

The creation of the Squier-Hall Award. With no offense to Ned Jarrett or Chris Economaki my pea-brain associates the "sound" of NASCAR with Ken Squier as much as I associate the "sound" of the Olympics and WWoS with the late Jim (McManus) McKay.

And the Good News?

No DW on the HoF pre-announcement show or on Race Hub (at least through the announcement itself after which I turned it off).

And the Bad News?

We got to hear none of the discussions, but we sure got to hear from everyone on air who was in the room how good they were especially given the tie for P5 between Buck Baker and Fireball Roberts. Gee thanks, guys.

And the Associated Bad News?

The creation Squire-Hall Award means there is now something else someone will mope around about until he gets it (you heard it here first).

And the Load of Bullpucky?

KP, Mike Joy, et alia, saying there were no "lock" candidates. Riiiight. Man, let me tell you how I was sweatin' for Leonard Wood.

Finally, for the "Nature Abhors a Waltrip Vacuum Award"

To KP. Dude. I really and truly do get how influential you were in the discussions. I do. But Please refer to the "Bad News" reported above.

Colorado said...

Race Hub treated it as if it was an imposition. God forbid they interrupt Hendrick Week on Race Hub. By the way, I'm VERY HAPPY that Hendrick was not voted in. Not this year, nor next I hope. In fact (I'm 46) I would like to be dead and gone before that happens.Side note: Poor Leonard Wood for not knowing when to get up on the stage, and no one having the communication skills before hand to tell him not to go on stage. I agree with a couple other posters, the Pioneers of the Sport should get in first. DW and Rusty? That should have happened in about 30 years. And the other poster is right about the Media Award: DW will mope and cry for the next 12 months until he gets in on his "broadcast and journalistic excellence". I could just see it now: That one word uttered three times at the beginning of every race will be emblazoned on the entrance of the Hall someday. Ugh.

Roadgeek Adam said...

Meh, I am happy with the other 4, but like everyone else, extremely upset on the fact that Rusty got in. My vote easily would have gone to Benny Parsons. (Sorry Fireball, you're next year).

However, Benny and Bob Jenkins are up for the temporary award now, and I love how they honored Ken Squier and Barney Hall. Just have to love that.

Anonymous said...

I was happy for Rusty--50 Cup wins is nothing to scoff and age isn't supposed to be a deciding factor--while I agree with *Rusty* that it would be nice to have his 'heroes' voted in first, the voters were looking at the numbers in his case (I personally was kinda rooting for Ingram or Parsons). But the people voting are not just random fans; I can't fault them for a tough decision.

Anon, such dislike of museums. If you don't like them, by all means, don't go. Believe it or not, some people have an interest in history, and those who don't could maybe stand to learn a thing or two about those who've gone before. I personally enjoyed all the displays and seeing the items from long ago.

Tracy D said...

We went to Charlotte just to see the HOF. Loved the room containing all the HOF winners' memorabilia. Would have made it physically easier to climb the ramp beside the historic cars, but it was a Pei design. Not known for being handicapped friendly. (think National Gallery in D.C.) Interactive stuff was cool. All on all, a nice place, but it needs more space for a decent cafeteria (tiny, tiny), and more room for displaying the memorabilia for ALL the HOF winners, not just that year's inductees. That being said, having live feed of the voting process would have been wonderful. It's an exciting time and goes to the heart of the HOF.

William said...

A littl off topic but I am so excited, after paying for the nascar online service for past 5 years I finally got an email from telling me that something new is available!

The content is:

"Complete Quals coverage now available!

Complete Quals Coverage Now Available!"

Thats it - no links, no pretty pictures, no unsubscribe etc. Nascar is embrassing the digital age finally. Was I the only one who received this great news?