Last week it was exciting news that LPGA caddies will start wearing bibs with their respective golfer’s Twitter handles (read our post, here) – now, in more Twitter-sports news, NASCAR has struck a deal to be the first league officially partnered with Twitter.
The idea is to bring fans even closer to the action of the sport in a way that increases the accuracy and ease of using Twitter to follow a massive conversation.
SB Nation explained how this “first-of-its-kind partnership” will play out in a recent post. “Twitter will use a combination of the search algorithm and real-life editors to find the most interesting and relevant tweets during a race. The tweets will be pinned on a new Twitter.com NASCAR page,” (SB Nation, 2012).
Anyone can follow the official NASCAR Twitter accounts @NASCAR and @NASCARNation, or use the hashtag #NASCAR when tweeting about the sport. But the same goes for every other sport out there, or anything that has enthusiasts and fans – like your favorite band or a politician you support.
This new partnership will take the interaction to a new level. Fans will be better able to keep track of the conversation and less likely to miss out on exciting tweets and updates. During an event when millions of tweets are happening on top of each other, it’s so easy to miss comments, become overwhelmed, and fall behind in the discussion.
The special NASCAR Twitter.com page will “feature tweets from select people in the racing industry – drivers, spotters, teams, media, etc. - and has great potential to end up as the best way to follow a race,” (SB Nation, 2012). The page is set to launch next month at the upcoming Pocono Raceway weekend, June 8th through the 10th.
Hand selecting different tweeps who are officially involved in the sport and keeping their tweets organized in a special location is an awesome way to ensure that fans don’t miss a thing and get to follow the race through the words of those right in the thick of it. By choosing official accounts to use, the quality and reliability will be much better than trying to follow a conversation using hashtags alone (which anyone can use).
“The page will be located at Twitter.com/#NASCAR, but is not active yet,” (SB Nation, 2012). The article I read also explains how the page will be set up, including who will be chosen to tweet on the special page. Omid Ashtari, the head of Twitter’s Sports and Entertainment department is quoted extensively in the article:
“Twitter has never launched anything like this…. To get this close to the action (at NASCAR races) is just unreal. And that’s what Twitter does – it brings you closer. This is an opportunity for us to help NASCAR – and for them to help us – bring the fans closer to the races,” (SB Nation, 2012).
He also goes on to say that both positive and negative comments about NASCAR will be included, presenting fans with legitimate and honest insight to the sport and events.
This is all really exciting and interesting. I have a feeling that if this NASCAR page is met with enthusiasm and excitement, that other similar pages will be created.
As a fan, would you like to use a special designated page like this?
For me, the moderation will be an important piece of how it all comes together. I hope that Twitter and NASCAR do a good job of selecting the specific people who will be running the page and posting content. In the various quotes from Omid Ashtari, he’s ensured that those selected for this project have been hand-picked for their expertise.
It feels like a blend between a forum, live chat and Twitter. I like that it’s all official, and the people posting on behalf of NASCAR will all be directly involved in the sport and will be able to offer insight and commentary from an expert point of view, right in the middle of the excitement.
Live tweeting during any event can get overwhelming, confusing and downright chaotic for all parties involved – the people trying to explain the event, those trying to follow it, everyone. If this special page with it’s specific posters are able to help curtail that chaos and make live tweeting a major event easier to follow and more reliable – well, this is exciting and will be certainly be a coveted set-up that all kinds of groups will want to get in on.
I’m curious to know how two-way it is though. Can fans tweet in and have their questions answered? How will the selected people tweeting on behalf of NASCAR be accessible? Is there a third party moderating that aspect of the communication, making sure the professionals see that questions fans are asking?
It will be interesting to see how it plays out once launched, and I am truly curious to know how successful the fan-to-pro communication is. It’s all good to be able to read what the pros are saying during an event, that is exciting and as a fan, it does bring you right into the action. But, I also want to be able to have my own tweets seen and responded to!
Realtime conversation is what social media is all about, right?
CBS Sports, “NASCAR forms partnership with Twitter”
Mashable’s article, “Twitter Announces NASCAR Partnership; More Deals to Come?”
4ever3 Blog, “Social media giant Twitter partners with NASCAR”
Image Source: Weekly Volcano‘s Photo of NASCAR driver Brad Keselowski over the Twitter Larry Bird icon.