NASCAR and INDYCAR Should Look to Formula 1 For Activation Best Practices

In the world of motorsports, it's extremely important that NASCAR and INDYCAR officials look to benchmark best practices from Formula 1 and other racing organizations around the world. The next few years will prove to be a critical time for both sports, which face a number of key challenges despite showing signs of growth in 2011.

While attendance, ratings, competition, and renewed interest has returned in both sports, several key challenges have emerged that will shape the sports' growth over the next few years. These challenges include demographic shifts, the evolution of the fan/stadium experience, and shifts in fan perception. Particularly, both sports will need to develop aggressive marketing campaigns targeting youth, multicultural segments (Hispanic, urban, etc.) as well as strategic social/digital media plans with a renewed focus on integrating new technologies.

As NASCAR and INDYCAR look to refine their approaches to grow their sport, both entities should look to adopt several tactics from Formula 1 tracks, race teams, and sponsors. The sport prides itself on technology, innovation, high-end experiences, activation, and amenities, and more.

Check out a few videos below that detail the Formula 1 Fan Zone experience, which includes several tactics that should soon become prevalent in racing in North America!

The F1 FanZone in Abu Dhabi (2011)

The F1 Fan Zone in Melbourne, Australia (2011)

The F1 Fan Zone in Abu Dhabi (2010)

JD Motorsports Supports The Launch of Cowboys & Aliens With Facebook Promo

JD Motorsports recently unveiled an innovative partnership with the upcoming action-thriller film Cowboys & Aliens that is generating a notable amount of buzz in the NASCAR space. The partnership marks the first time that a film will serve as the primary sponsorship of a car for multiple races during the weeks leading up to July 29th, the date the movie is released in theatres.

JD Motorsports and the producers of Cowboys & Aliens are leveraging their partnership with an innovative social-media driven promotion that will enable 60,000 fans to have their face featured on the mosaic version paint scheme of the car. To participate, fans simply have to log on to the Official Cowboys & Aliens Facebook Page or the film's official microsite, and input their contact information and upload a photo. The "face car" paint scheme will be unveiled at the Subway Jalapeno 250 at Daytona International Speedway on July 1st. By entering the promotion, fans can also win an exclusive trip to Daytona to see their face embedded on the hood of the JD Motorsports car live.

JD Motorsports teamed up with Jim Varga, the founder of Social Fan Wrap, to create the fan mosaic car concept which will feature approximately 25,000 fan photos on each paint scheme of the No. 01 Cowboys & Aliens car, driven by Mike Wallace. The unique promotional campaign demonstrates how NASCAR teams and associated stakeholders are utilizing technology and social media to take their partnerships to the next level!

Dale Jr. Shows That Pranks Go a Long Way in the Shop

As sports organizations look to post compelling content on their social media channels, many have struck gold with behind-the-scenes tricks, skill shots, and pranks. While this content has become rather common with professional teams, who capture players during practice, team outings, and trips, we haven't seen it as much in the world of NASCAR - until now.

Dale Jr. and the JR Motorsports team recently played a prank on staff members at a Suave Men Production Day that caught many by surprise... and they captured it on camera. The crew set up a cooler that contained a fake giant snake that they knew would generate some excitement.

Check it out below:

Roush Fenway Racing Uses QVC Humor to Sell Sponsorships

As noted in this week's SportsBusiness Journal, Roush Fenway Racing has turned to The Barbarian Group to retool its website and online sales strategy in an effort to attract more sponsors. Roush's new digital efforts are highlighted by a new collection of sales and marketing videos featured on the site designed to tell an entertaining story that also effectively makes a sales point.

The first viral spot is a QVC spoof that features Roush Fenway Racing's Sean Pragano detailing the value of sponsorship opportunities at RFR. The video serves as a great benchmark for other organizations looking to retool their sponsorship sales efforts with a fresh new look (especially coming out of a tough economy).

Check out the clip below and consider new ways that you can breathe new air into your sales efforts!

For more, check out Roush Fenway Racing's Official YouTube Channel.

Source: SportsBusiness Journal 4/26/2010 (subscription only)