How NASCAR revs up communications through fan engagement

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What You’ll Learn:: 

There you are at NASCAR, the automobile racing association where everything is about speed, and your PR and marketing are stuck in the jalopy age.

Your events occur all over the country, but there’s a lack of integration and no strategic approach to communications.

How to reverse a self-defeating approach to measurement and accelerate your digital and social media?

Listen up as David Higdon tells how NASCAR changed its game. In this session, you will learn:

  • How to break down silos and get business units working together
  • How to shift from reactive to proactive
  • The importance of making on-the-fly adjustments
  • Why speed matters—and not just on the racetrack
  • Why fan input is the driving force behind the content

When the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing redesigned its communications, it found seven areas that weren’t working. Then, “NASCAR made a strategic decision to do the exact opposite,” Higdon says.

NASCAR scrapped its old approach and created an overall center of integrated marketing communications. While others were cutting spending on communications, the racing association launched its new fan and media engagement center. The center benefits the entire NASCAR industry, Higdon says, by providing information tailored to specific audiences.

In the past, NASCAR relied on external media to do its outreach. Just five years ago, even as an average of 100,000 people attended each race around the country, the organization “figured that the only engagement we needed was through the media.”

But at a time when media were rapidly evolving and NASCAR’s audience was growing older, a new approach was needed.

Hear how the new team made sure it was coordinating its messages. Hear how Higdon’s team harnessed the power of integrated marketing to broaden its appeal—and to reach those inclined to write off stock-car racing as a “Southern, redneck, male sport?” Higdon says.

He adds, “And that’s exactly what we are not.”

Not when you draw huge crowds in Chicagoland, or when you consider “the audience who is enjoying our sport in Sonoma in wine country on Sundays,” Higdon says.

Find out how NASCAR honed its holistic communications. Gather tips for developing your own unified message, delivered consistently. Learn about business planning and resources. And find out how NASCAR uses market research and measurement.

NASCAR even found ways to let fans know it wasn’t all about burning gas through its NASCAR Green sustainability effort.

Don’t get stuck in idle. Soup up your integrated marketing and communications with NASCAR’s help.

June 2013

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Presenter bio: 

David Higdon serves as managing director of integrated marketing communications for NASCAR, the premier motor sports organization that conducts numerous racing events, led by the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Since joining NASCAR in 2011, David has developed its new integrated marketing communications strategy and led a team based in Daytona Beach, Fla.; Charlotte, N.C.; and New York City.