NASCAR revamps its content group to meld edit and content marketing
As a sports league that both produces a ton of its own content and needs to market its brand to younger and newer fans, NASCAR exists as both a publisher and a marketer. It’s forced the league to restructure how it approaches its editorial and marketing content internally.
Last summer, NASCAR created a new 40-person content strategy group to oversee the league’s editorial and content marketing operations. Previously, NASCAR had separate teams dedicated to its website, social pages, video production, creative design, advertising partners and entertainment marketing efforts. These were individual business units, with their own, often overlapping goals, which created natural inefficiencies with how NASCAR created and distributed videos and other content across platforms.
“Entertainment marketing would come up with a project that they thought was good for entertainment marketing, and then they would tell the social team to share the video, but there were no conversations about whether that video even made sense for our social audience,” said Evan Parker, managing director of content strategy for NASCAR. “Even if it was something as simple as getting referrals back to the website — the social team is trying to build as big a following on social platforms as they can, and sometimes referring people back to the website doesn’t make sense.”
The new group, which is overseen by Parker, was created to oversee all of NASCR’s digital and social content and marketing efforts. It consists of the previous teams as well as six new digital content producers with backgrounds in writing and video production and editing. NASCAR’s TV production team and entertainment marketing team still exist as separate units, but have several staffers embedded within the content strategy group and participate in the group’s daily meetings every morning, Parker said.
A big focus for the content strategy group is to develop new projects that help bring the sport closer to new and younger fans across different platforms, according to Jill Gregory, CMO of NASCAR.
“Content strategy plays a major role and now we’re able to be smarter about it and funnel resources into channels like Snapchat’s Our Stories that expose our brand to [younger] audiences,” she said.
In addition to a deal with Snap to produce and curate four public stories during NASCAR races this year, NASCAR recently sold a show for Facebook Watch, which aired on the platform last month. The docu-series, called “Behind the Wall: Bubba Wallace,” which chronicled the racer’s preparation for and performance at his first Daytona 500. The series collected nearly 5.3 million video views on Facebook Watch across its eight episodes.
Other projects the content strategy group is involved with include the “Glass Case of Emotion” podcast hosted by driver Ryan Blaney and a YouTube talk show with driver Austin Dillon.
As Parker described it, the Facebook Watch show is a direct byproduct of the entertainment marketing team, which is routinely pitching TV and digital video series in the market, collaborating with the NASCAR productions unit and NASCAR’s social team, which oversees the relationship with Facebook.
“Bring those three together and we now have knowledge on how to sell a show, how to create content for social platforms and the ability to actually create high-quality content,” said Parker. “It’s not something that would have been easy to do in the old model because those three teams would not be talking to each other as they are doing every day today.”
Up next for NASCAR: ramping up its ability to create even more digital and social videos. The league is currently building a new digital and social studio space at its Charlotte headquarters.
It’s a necessary move for NASCAR. Just like with other American sports and linear TV in general, the league’s TV ratings are down. This year’s Daytona 500 drew 9.3 million linear TV viewers, down 22 percent from the previous year.
“People are getting their info elsewhere; they’re streaming content or following along on Facebook and Twitter, instead of being parked in front of a TV,” Parker said. “It’s a trend that’s probably going to continue. If we didn’t adapt, we would be left behind.”
Image courtesy of NASCAR via Getty Images
How (and why) agencies are adapting to stay relevant in the metaverse
To get more comfortable in this new environment, some agencies are getting involved in experimental projects to stake their claim to the metaverse.
‘Reach a totally different audience’: With Sundance virtual once again, marketers pivot to online experiences
Until earlier this month, this year’s Sundance was meant to be a hybrid festival with attendees returning to Park City to participate in-person as well as virtual elements for attendees to tune-in online.
Pepsi launches app and short ‘trailer’ to hype Super Bowl halftime show
The soft-drink giant will promote its Super Bowl Halftime show with a newly launched app and a short film directed by F. Gary Gray.
SponsoredHow the relationship between live events and mobile devices is evolving in 2022
Sponsored by AdColony The pandemic has accelerated changes in the way people consume content — and live events are part of that transformation. For advertisers, the questions are the kind on which campaign success depends: In what ways (and numbers) have people returned to watching sports, e-sports and events such as the Grammys? Are they […]
‘The business is at a level of scale now’: The Brandtech Group CEO David Jones on building a business for the ‘post-advertising’ world
Not only is the holding group past the hype cycle peak these businesses usually encounter, it’s skipped right over the trough of disillusionment that tends to follow and is straight into growth mode.
In Graphic Detail: The great gaming consolidation
Gaming is in the midst of an M&A arms race. The protracted pandemic has made sure of that.