NASCAR has always been a bit more progressive than other sports. For example, the organization has embraced an environmental strategy with NASCAR Green, which promotes recycling and strives to lower emissions. The same is true for social media, which NASCAR has embraced whole heartedly. It isn’t just the drivers who are taking to Facebook and Twitter by themselves (although they are certainly doing that as well). Social media has been aggressively promoted by the very heads of the organization, who see the benefits of having an open dialogue between the fans and the practitioners of the sport.
It has been no secret that NASCAR has been struggling a bit these past few years. This means that any way to retain old fans and bring new ones in has been an absolute must. This has led NASCAR’s brass to encourage their drivers to use social media. Steve O’Donnell, the vice president of racing operations said in a recent interview with Playbook “We’re very comfortable with our drivers out there talking to the fans. The more they can interact with fans, the better.” O’Donnell goes on to say that starting next year there would be a much more integrated, media heavy push for social media from NASCAR. They have already laid the groundwork, having created a partnership with Twitter earlier this year, a first between any sports organization and a social media company.
Of course it’s the drivers who have really led to NASCAR’s success on sites like Facebook and Twitter. Fans of the sport are downright hungry to connect to their favorite drivers. Take the extreme example of Dale Earnhardt Jr., who has an official Twitter account set up, hasn’t posted a single solitary Tweet, and has somehow managed to get 160,000 followers. So who is the most popular driver in social media? That would be Danica Patrick with 662,000 followers on Twitter.
Are you currently following anyone from NASCAR on Facebook or Twitter? Let us know in the comments below.
Image By: James Marvin Phelps
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