Evaluation of Social Media practices in NASCAR reveals surprising results



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NASCAR’s Social Media leaders among drivers, teams and sponsors have been studied during the Christmas vacation with surprising results.

I had always thought Brad Keselowski was the ‘King of Twitter’ – after all, it was his tweeted photo of the drivers on track during the infamous red flag for the fire-rain delayed 2011 Daytona 500 that brought many more followers (even resulted in a new rule of no cell phones, recording devices allowed in the cars)…. remember?

But, apparently not.

This study shows how important the Social Media has become to drivers, teams and sponsors. I found it to be interesting as I hope you will also.

The Social Media study was conducted by Tuckahoe Strategies, a strategic communications firm by scoring drivers, teams and select NASCAR sponsors and partners on a 20-point scale.

To start, Joe Gibbs Racing topped the charts with a Social Media Score of 15 points, while Hendrick Motorsports trailed by only one point – at 14 points.

Graphic by Tuckahoe Strategies

Joe Gibbs Racing‘s online accounts comprise one of the broadest social media strategies for reaching fans of the sport. The team site, www.joegibbsracing.com, is up to date with timely features, and the homepage points to six social media platforms, including a mobile app for iPhone, Blackberry or Droid. The team maintains active social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and FourSquare. Gibbs’ social media score bested Hendrick’s by a single point because of its slightly more effective home page promotion of its social media platforms.

Graphic by Tuckahoe Strategies

Jimmie Johnson is the most comprehensive user of social media among drivers. He reaches his audience on a broad array of platforms including: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram. Johnson’s social media reach (the sum of all social media followers across platforms) is 1,066,347. This veritable “media machine” has a following larger than the circulation of the Los Angeles Times, which is the fourth largest newspaper in the country.

Graphic by Tuckahoe Strategies

The sport’s largest audience holder and content curator across the board is NASCAR. This actually should come as no surprise as NASCAR had partnered with Twitter to organize the (hashtag) #NASCAR. Every tweet with the #NASCAR appears on their Twitter page, drawing users to go to one place – this has allowed beating out the circulation of the largest U.S.paper, The Wall Street Journal.

Jimmie Johnson, Marcos Ambrose (12 points), Kyle Busch (12), Jeff Gordon (11) and Danica Patrick (11) scored highest among 45 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers, while Joe Gibbs Racing, Hendrick Motorsports, Penske Racing (12), Robby Gordon Motorsports (12) and Roush Fenway Racing (12) collected the top scores among 30 team owners. Among industry sponsors and partners, high scores were awarded to Ford Racing (12), NASCAR (11), SpeedTV (10), Toyota (8) and Sunoco (7). (NASCAR was grouped with sponsors and partners.)

Graphic by Tuckahoe Strategies

The team with the broadest social media reach is Roush Fenway Racing, with an audience of 976,755. The vast majority of this audience engages with the team’s Google+ account, which includes 912,961 “circles.”

Graphic by Tuckahoe Strategies

Dale Earnhardt Jr. scored nine 9 points in the study placing him in the middle of the pack. However, NASCAR’s most popular driver holds the single largest audience for a driver at 1,637,697. About 90% of Earnhardt’s audience is concentrated on one platform, his Facebook page, which accounts for 1,470,212 likes. Earnhardt also has a robust YouTube channel with 1,630 subscribers and 610,714 views. Earnhardt maintains a Pinterest account that includes 231 followers and 124 pins, but it is difficult to find without any promotion from the homepage. Earnhardt does have a Twitter account with 165,855 “followers” with zero tweets.

Many in the sport can easily improve their social media scores by making simple updates to their websites and expanding their use of social media platforms. Another common misstep is a lack of shareable content. NASCAR is a photo- and video-rich sport with an avid fan base. Teams, drivers and sponsors would do well to utilize photo-sharing platforms, such as Instagram and Pinterest, and video sharing services such as YouTube or Vimeo. A number of industry websites feature terrific photo and video galleries but they are isolated on the site and not easily shareable.

Goodyear stood out for its lack of any social media presence at all. In fact, one can find virtually no mention of NASCAR at all on its online properties. There is no mention of NASCAR on Goodyear.com and no dedicated Facebook page or Twitter account. Seems kind of odd since they are well known as “the tire of NASCAR.”

NASCAR’s fuel supplier, Sunoco, has an active, racing-related Facebook page with nearly 1.2 million likes and an active Twitter account with over 8,000 followers.

NASCAR title sponsor, Sprint, also is expanding the reach of its corporate brand through its NASCAR-related social media presence. Sprint is active on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube via its brand ambassador campaign, Miss Sprint Cup,with a social media reach of more than 1.3 million.

Content supplied by press release from Tuckahoe Strategies

Social Media Scores in the NASCAR Industry Survey data by Tuckahoe Strategies. All rights reserved.

Social Media Score – Based on online presence, number of social platforms activated and timeliness of updates. Highest score possible is 20. Survey data by Tuckahoe Strategies. All rights reserved.

Michigan Infield RV Camper Twitter contest; winner to meet Sam Hornish, Jr.

Sam Hornish Jr.  Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Race fans who camp at the Michigan International Speedway infield are invited to Tweet for a chance to meet Penske Racing NASCAR driver Sam Hornish, Jr.

Race fans can use Twitter to upload a picture of themselves and their friends using SCOTT® Pro Shop Towels. Fans can simply tag their photos using the hashtag #ScottPro from Aug. 14-17. (Infield RV Camper Twitter contest, Aug. 14-17. Last tweet accepted 11:59 p.m. CT on Aug. 17. See official rules.)

The grand prize winner and three of their friends will receive a 45-minute meet and greet session with Sam Hornish, Jr. on Sun., Aug. 19.

SCOTT® Pro Shop Towels Brand Ambassadors will visit infield campers at Michigan International Speedway on Sat. morning, Aug. 18. Fans will receive free samples of SCOTT® Pro Shop Towels and coupons for other Kimberly-Clark Professional products.

Jeff Hammond, NASCAR analyst on FOX and Speed Channel and former Cup Series Champion crew chief,will join in the fun on Sat., Aug. 18, by helping distribute the SCOTT® Pro Shop Towels samples to race fans in the infield.

Woodward Dream Cruise
Dodge Motorsports Display, Aug. 18 from 8 a.m. CT- 8 p.m. CT

SCOTT® Pro Shop Towels will also be a part of the Dodge Motorsports Display at the Woodward Dream Cruise, alongside a 2012 Dodge Challenger SRT, allowing auto enthusiasts to see the grand prize up close. Car fanaticscan also interact with SCOTT® Pro Shop Towels Brand Ambassadors to learn about the product and enter the “Take the Challenge” Sweepstakes.


#NASCAR fans – get your phones ready, set….TWEET! @poconoraceway this Sunday

Just so you are not caught off guard, the Pocono Race for this coming Sunday, June 10, was renamed from the Pocono 400 to the Pocono 400 Presented by #NASCAR.

Why? Well a couple of weeks ago, NASCAR announced a unique digital partnership with the creation of twitter.com/#NASCAR, launching this week  at Pocono Raceway. The twitter.com/#NASCAR event page will feature Tweets that bring fans closer to everything that unfolds during the Pocono 400.

Pocono Raceway will launch several Twitter-based initiatives throughout the Pocono 400 Presented by #NASCAR race weekend. One such program will be a “Tweet Your Seat” contest, occurring during pre-race activities on Sunday, June 10, where one randomly-selected fan will become the Honorary Starter and wave the green flag to start the race.

Additionally, “The Tricky Triangle” will be hosting a Fan Fair Scavenger Tweet Hunt, with a Tweet Up to follow, on Sunday, June 10, starting at 8:30 a.m. ET. The Tweet Hunt, open to the first 50 teams of two to arrive at the Flag Pole, located outside Fan Fair and behind the Grandstands, will  be solely Twitter-based, meaning all participants must have a mobile device connected to their Twitter accounts. More information will be explained throughout the race weekend via the Raceway’s Twitter handle and website.

The Twitter.com/#NASCAR page will create a platform for millions of fans to view the best-possible content directly from the drivers, television personalities, race teams, media members tracks and race fans in attendance, all utilizing #NASCAR in their tweets. The tweets displayed on the newly-created page will be drawn using several algorithmic and editorial signals, bringing fans closer to everything taking place on a race day.

NASCAR And Twitter partner to bring fans closer to the sport on race day

Graphic courtesy of NASCARMedia

NASCAR and Twitter announced today a unique digital partnership that will create a new way for the sport’s millions of fans to experience what happens inside NASCAR and its teams on race day.

Built to support the live race broadcast, this new experience will give fans a complementary insider’s view of the action as it unfolds on the track and on Twitter. During a race, when fans click on #NASCAR, search for #NASCAR on Twitter.com or visit twitter.com/#NASCAR, they’ll reach a new Twitter experience where they will see the most relevant tweets from their favorite NASCAR drivers, NASCAR families, teams, commentators, celebrities and other racing fans and personalities.

NASCAR is the first organization to team with Twitter to create an enhanced live event experience on the Twitter platform.

“Twitter has been an important piece of our effort the last several years to further engage our fan base and help grow the sport,” said Steve Phelps, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of NASCAR. “This new, complementary live race experience product is an evolution of that relationship with Twitter, and we’re excited about continuing to provide our millions of fans with greater access to our athletes and further engagement with our drivers, teams, tracks and executives.”

Twitter.com/#NASCAR will be available starting with the Pocono Raceway race weekend and will be most active on Sunday, June 10 in conjunction with TNT’s first of six television broadcasts of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season (1 p.m. ET on TNT). This new product will provide a complementary Twitter experience to TNT viewers looking for in-depth access to the happenings at the track and in the garage of a NASCAR race weekend.

“Twitter amplifies the excitement of live sporting events and gives NASCAR fans insider access to the drivers and teams they love,” said Dick Costolo, chief executive officer of Twitter Inc. “When sports fans around the world see a hashtag displayed on the air during a game or race, that’s a signal to them that there is a bigger conversation happening on Twitter. Between the talented NASCAR personalities on Twitter and the fact that they have some of the most loyal fans in the world of sports, they were a natural choice to partner with as we experiment with ways to create the best experience on Twitter during a big event.”

Twitter.com/#NASCAR will use a combination of algorithmic and editorial signals to select and feature the best Tweets and photos from NASCAR insiders in an effort to bring the behind-the-scenes story to life during NASCAR race weekends. Twitter’s media team will be curating Tweets to highlight on the page come race weekend from a highly selective list of accounts from the world of NASCAR including drivers, pit crews, families, media, fans and NASCAR representatives.


RT for chance to win an A.J. Allmendinger 1:24 diecast Shell Pennzoil #22 Charger

1:24 Scale Diecast up for grabs! Graphic supplied by Edelman for Shell

In celebration of “Call Before You Dig” month and their awareness campaign, @ShellRacingUS & @Racingal are teaming up for your chance to win a 1:24 Scale Action Racing Collectibles A.J. Allmendinger ’12 Shell Pennzoil #22 Charger (ARV: $85)

Like last year, the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Dodge will carry the 811 logo during National Safe Digging Month. Due to the program’s success in previous seasons, the partnership will expand this year, with new Shell-Pennzoil driver AJ Allmendinger featuring the logo on his car during the Watkins Glen race, as part of National 811 Day on August 11. The logo will also run on the car during the final race of the season in Homestead, FL.

As people are planning outdoor projects, they don’t always consider the elaborate infrastructure beneath the surface. When somebody starts a digging project without calling 811, they run the risk of damaging pipelines, which may cause serious injury or harm to those in close proximity. Additionally, it may knock out power or gas to an entire neighborhood. An individual can be held financially responsible for repairs if they don’t call 811 and damage a pipeline while digging.

Every digging project requires a call to 811 – even small projects like planting trees or shrubs. The quick and easy call will connect you with a local One Call Center operator who will record information about your dig location and notify the underground facility operators so they can mark the approximate location of underground utilities and pipelines.  Once the lines are marked, you can begin to dig, but always dig with care. For more information, visit www.call811.com.

With that all said, so what about the giveaway?

Just follow @Racingal and RT (retweet) THIS BLOG for your chance to win! REMINDER! You must follow @Racingal to qualify. A winner at random from those who RT will be chosen on May 4th and notified via Twitter (as well as posted on Racingal.com, Racingal.com Facebook Fan Page). The 1:24 Action Racing Collectibles A.J. Allmendinger ’12 Shell Pennzoil #22 Charger (ARV: $85) will be sent directly to the winner!


So, come on tweeters, get those thumbs ready to rumble and those cells ready to call 811! 


1:24 Scale Action Racing Collectibles A.J. Allmendinger ’12 Shell Pennzoil #22 Charger (ARV: $85) is supplied by


Mark Martin to run under “Epic Swag” thanks to Twitter hacker

Martin’s 60,000-follower Twitter account (@55markmartin) was hacked early Saturday morning rendering the 30-year NASCAR veteran completely powerless over his newest hobby. The unknown culprit – Epic Swag – commandeered the account and began changing every setting and altering followers.

For Martin, losing his Twitter account was almost unbearable.

“I felt naked,” he laughed. “I was locked out of my own account. I’d built my followers up and was scared I was going to lose all of it to this guy. I was mad at him, mad at myself, and really ticked off.”

Some quick work on a Saturday afternoon by Twitter and MWR restored Martin’s account to full functionality, and by late Saturday night Martin was back to tweeting about rap music, his schedule and answering fan questions.

“It’s such a cool link to my fans and I really didn’t want to give it up, so I’m thrilled I got it back. You see those commercials about people getting hacked and you really don’t think much of it, but when it happens to you it’s big. Real big.”

Martin returns to the driver’s seat on Sunday at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. where he’ll have a special surprise for his Twitter hacker.

“Epic Swag stole my name last Saturday so this weekend I’m stealing his. We’ll run Epic Swag above the driver’s window where my name is usually. What do they say: ‘turnabout is fair play.’ ’’

Car owner Michael Waltrip likes the idea.

Source: MWR PR

Winning at Bristol Motor Speedway was a special ‘Tweet’ for Brad Keselowski

NSCS Race Victory Lane at Bristol Motor Speedway Twitpic Keselowski. Photo credit: Getty Images for NASCAR

Yes, it wouldn’t be Brad without seeing him and his phone out while at the track. But how special is is when your in Victory Lane? Brad Keselowski, driver of the Penske No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger R/T and winner of the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on Sunday, focused more on the social media (Twitter) on Sunday afternoon in Victory Lane and here’s his reason why:

“It’s something that I thought would be really cool to do, for sure.  I know that NASCAR and all of its partners are working really hard to continue to do the best they can to provide the best service possible.  When you have over 60 thousand people in a very confined area that can be difficult to do, especially an area that’s probably not extremely populated or urban area I guess you can say.  I know I’ve been to Michigan football games where they have a hundred thousand people in the middle of Ann Arbor which is kind of a tech hub, so to speak, and there’s no service there.  You know, it’s an ongoing battle and challenge that I know NASCAR is working very hard with their partners to work on.  It’s something that I’ve been in conversation with them about and certainly, for our generation, timeliness is of extreme importance.  I’d like to see that process obviously get a little bit faster and the right people are working on it to make it happen.  When it does happen, it’ll be less than a half hour.”

I got on Twitter and got kind of PO’d at some people that said I won it because of the timing line.  I knew this Blue Deuce was fast enough to win the race last fall with or without timing lines.  It feels so good to just prove it here today in the spring race.  This car here, a brand new car that Penske Racing built, everybody back in the shop did a phenomenal job.  The last few races have been really good, and I knew we had a shot at winning one if we ran like we were.  , we closed the deal.  I love Bristol and Bristol loves me (laughs).

As we all know a few weeks ago at Daytona International Speedway, Juan Montoya brought out the red flag after his No. 42 Target Chevy plowed into the jet dryer. During that red flag period of 2 hrs., 5 minutes, Brad Kesewloski was tweeting pictures of the drivers and answered fans’ questions via Twitter while standing out of their cars on the track. His tweets and photos were being viewed on the jumbotron’s around Daytona International Speedway.

NASCAR Cup drivers during the red flag at Daytona International Speedway. Twitpic by, yes, Brad Keselowski, himself!

It appeared that having a phone in the car could violate NASCAR rules regarding the use of radios and recording devices in cars, however, the next day, NASCAR released a statement saying they would not penalize Keselowski. Other drivers, one being Kevin Harvick who has remained against having cell phones in the cars, aren’t so sure that they agree with NASCAR. He already has found a miles-per-hour application for his phone that he believes he could use to monitor his speed down pit road. “I’m going to look for every app I can for mile-per-hour, GPS mapping, and anything I can find to put in my car,” Harvick said. “I’m looking for it because I’m looking to outlaw this rule as fast as I can because I don’t want to have to keep up with it. I have found a mile-per-hour app, so that’ll be good down pit road.”

When asked why he carries his phone with him, Keselowski said he doesn’t keep his phone in the car to tweet, but to be able to contact family if he gets in an accident. He said since that bad crash at California in September 2007 where he was airlifted to a hospital, he had no way to contact his parents. After his August 2011 accident at Road Atlanta, he had his phone and could text his mom from the helicopter before she heard it on the news.

In the meanwhile, NASCAR’s Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton said that NASCAR will watch and see where this all heads, but there’s not much of a concern about it.

You can follow Brad on Twitter @brad_keselowski. Just look for the 252,900+ followers and you know you have the correct account.