NASCAR is shifting digital signage technology into gear to drive home its branding message.
The stock car racing body partnered with digital signage solution provider Hewlett-Packard Co. to earlier this year open up its digital signage-heavy NASCAR Fan & Media Engagement Center — which it called "a kind of multimedia mission control" — at NASCAR Plaza in Charlotte. N.C.
According to NASCAR the goals of the FMEC include among them the following:
Race tracks better gauging the effectiveness of a ticket promotion. New sponsors seeing how they're resonating within the sport. Broadcast partners determining which camera angles click with fans, and which don't. NASCAR more quickly responding to a controversy or an erroneous media report.
The center was built by NASCAR in concert with HP Enterprise Services, and includes 13 digital signage displays intended to help NASCAR "better monitor digital and social media on behalf of the sport and its constituencies," according to its website.
The process of creating the FMEC was a collaborative process from start to finish as HP worked to meet NASCAR's goals and fulfill its vision, said Andy Bowden, senior strategic marketing manager at HP.
The center includes a three-by-three video wall, with four additional touchscreen displays, all of which help NASCAR monitor and analyze "all key forms of media, including print, television, radio, video, images and social media," to create "actionable insights on trending news and conversations," according to an announcement from the two companies. This should help NASCAR and its partners become better informed and better able to take advantage of local and national coverage opportunities, they said.
"I'd call it the showpiece of their center," Bowden said,
In addition to aggregating data from social media and other sources, the solution also allows NASCAR to provide visitors with an immersive experience, for instance showing what worked right, and what didn't, during a live-race pit stop.
"It just gives them a pretty broad canvas to paint the NASCAR picture," Bowden said. "It provides a very fleixible medium to show off everything about their sport."
Combined with its media and entertainment industry consulting services, HP leveraged its Autonomy Explore, Autonomy Intelligent Data Operating Layer and Autonomy Media Aggregation Service applications to provide NASCAR with access to a complete analysis of all key forms of media, including print, television, radio, video, images and social media, the company said. The FMEC uses HP ProLiant BL460c Generation 8 server blades to prove NASCAR with a dynamic IT infrastructure to keep up with the center's future growth.
NASCAR's Integrated Marketing Communications department will operate the FMEC, which will work closely with NASCAR Digital Media. The 500-square-foot, glass-enclosed space, with multiple seated viewing areas, has been outfitted with HP digital signage displays including HP LD4730 47-inch Micro-Bezel Video Wall Displays and HP LD4720tm 47-inch LCD Interactive Digital Signage Displays.
"The Fan and Media Engagement Center will serve as a showpiece of NASCAR's strategic technology vision," said Steve Phelps, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for NASCAR. "We believe this center will be the best of its kind in sports. Thanks to HP's consultative approach to our vision and their technology, software and services, NASCAR will be able to provide added value to our fans and industry."
Watch a video from NASCAR to see more about the FMEC: