I have to hand it to NASCAR when it comes to connecting with their fans using social media. The way they use Twitter especially on race day is second to none. As a NASCAR fan I really appreciate the work they are doing. What other sport can you connect first hand with the people both behind the operations and the athletes themselves
They keep fans up to date when it comes to cautions, drivers conditions after a wreck, pit road violations, and useful information fans can use as they are enjoying the race. One thing they have going for them is it isn't just NASCAR talking to the fans, most of the drivers communicate directly with the fans. This has made the average fan get an up and close look into what their favorite drivers are up to in almost real time.
They have about 45 drivers actively using Twitter. Even when the drivers are out on the track doing 200 mph they have someone on the team either in the pits or at the track giving updates which they can hear from the teams radio. Most of the time while I am watching a race I know what is happening even before the announcers tell me on the TV.
Not only are the race drivers on Twitter, so are all the racetracks. You can get advance notice on ticket sales and other fun things going on at the tracks. Some tracks even help with traffic coming to the racetrack and offer other routes instead. This past week the Atlanta Motor Speedway offered the first 1000 fans $1 tickets because the #1 car won the Daytona 500 the week before. They used Twitter to push the word out and they had 300 fans at the track almost instantly buying tickets.
Reporting On Twitter in Real Time
There are also many reporters on Twitter who are at the track while the races are going on and they tweet out updates as they happen. These guys know that the fans want to hear these updates and are glad to get the news out there, after all they are reporters.
This should be a lesson for the NBA, NFL, MLB, and the NHL which are punishing players and coaches from using Twitter. No longer does the average fan have to listen to a sports reporter when it comes to getting the true NASCAR story as we are kept up to date on their favorite driver and team. Sometimes we are more informed then the reporter who is actually at the race.
Even the drivers sponsors and auto companies are embracing Twitter. You can follow what is happening by following Twitter accounts like Lowes or Ford Racing. They usually keep you up to dates on things like driver appearances and specials when the team wins.