• Loading stock data...
Tuesday, February 27, 2024

How NASCAR Stays Up to Speed in the Ever-Changing Digital Space

NASCAR - AR - Digital Media

Tim Clark and his team at NASCAR Digital Media understand the importance of engaging fans and keeping up with the latest trends in digital media and technology.

Recently, they took advantage of new technology and made a move into using Augmented Reality and 360-degree video. The NASCAR Playoffs AR Experience was something that they experimented with during the 2017 season and pulled the trigger on for the 10-week playoffs in 2018.

“It’s been something that we have been keeping an eye on,” said Clark, vice president of NASCAR Digital Media. “We experimented with it last year, had it on the roadmap, and tossed around a few ideas for execution. We looked at the fan experience and how to involve our partners.”

The augmented reality experience isn’t just known as the NASCAR Playoffs AR Experience; the words ‘Refreshed by Coca-Cola’ play an important role, as NASCAR’s digital sales team was able to engage longstanding NASCAR partner Coca-Cola.

“It’s an ongoing conversation compared to a pitch,” Clark said. “The folks at Coca-Cola challenged us to provide unique opportunities to activate their NASCAR partnership. The AR partnership checked boxes and got things done for various stakeholders.”

What amazes Clark is how quickly the concept came together.

“We had the concept early in the summer, were able to take it to Coca-Cola during the summer months, and get things cemented right around late August, near playoff time.”

WATCH: Inside Toyota’s Massive Daytona Activation

One of the most unique things about the chance to experience AR is that anyone with a smartphone can do it. Fans simply place a 3D Coca-Cola can in their environment, which creates a superimposed portal into all the intensity surrounding the NASCAR playoffs action.

“I knew that we were on to something when we could test the demo with everyone from ages seven to 70,” Clark said. “That’s not an exaggeration. All you need is a phone and a NASCAR mobile app. We put a demo video together to show fans how to get the most out of it. It’s a great experience, and we’ve gotten great feedback. We’ve been updating content weekly as we go through the playoffs.”


Fans walk through the portal and are able to experience a number of cool moments that can’t actually be done at the track with just a typical ticket or even pit pass. They can see team celebrations, pitstops, victory lane celebrations, burnouts and more, thanks to the AR Experience.

“Around the Roval event at Charlotte, fans engaging with the NASCAR Playoffs AR Experience Refreshed by Coca-Cola were on a pit wall during a pit stop for Austin Dillon’s team,” Clark said. “The goal is to use this technology to put fans somewhere they can’t really access. You can put a camera somewhere and gather content from somewhere they can’t access.”

In addition to augmented reality, Clark and his crew also experimented with 360-degree video and succeeded beyond their expectations, allowing fans to see Ryan Blaney’s last-lap pass for the win at the inaugural Roval event at Charlotte Motor Speedway from a 360-degree perspective.

“I’m more excited about this than anything else we’ve done over the last few years,” Clark said. “We have a phenomenal team at NASCAR Productions that help us tackle a host of challenges associated with video — ranging from weight of the camera, to how it’s going to sit in the car, and the battery life. We were thrilled to get Blaney’s pass executed live.”

Blaney’s pass allowed the NDM team to launch yet another new type of activation, but Clark knows that in the digital space, patience is key.

[mc4wp_form id=”8260″]

“We have to be patient from an activation standpoint,” he said. “It’s a new and unknown commodity. We want to make sure fans are aware, but it’s new and we’re still learning and evolving. That will continue, especially as we get more comfortable and the technology gets stable.”

What’s next for Clark and his team? Only time will tell, but the ideas are neverending.

“We’re always looking for new ideas and have some cool stuff up our sleeves as the season wraps up,” Clark said. “It’s all possible thanks to the great team and partners we have. It’s been great to see the fans’ reaction to everything, and we’re going to keep creating great content.”

Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

The Victor Wembanyama Rookie Card Market Hasn’t Matched His Hype

A cooling market and Fanatics autograph deal leaves big-money collectors waiting.

Sham Gods: The Rapidly Growing World of Sports Impersonators on X

Fake Schefters and Wojs, fabricated trade demands, and borrowed profile pictures.
Sep 24, 2023; Oakland, California, USA; A general view of the Oakland Athletics dugout after the game against the Detroit Tigers at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.

Murky Future: Everything You Need to Know About the A’s Move to Las Vegas

Breaking down one of the most drawn-out, multifaceted sagas in sports.
Michigan defensive lineman Kenneth Grant celebrates a sack on Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. in the second quarter during the College Football Playoff national championship game against Washington at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas on Monday, Jan. 8, 2024.

Pay-for-Play Is Here: Federal Judge Says NCAA Cannot Enforce Any NIL Rules

The ruling effectively allows pay-for-play to go forward uninhibited.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

Just How Bad Are the New MLB Uniforms?


Featured Today

Sabrina-Steph Wasn’t the ‘Battle of the Sexes’—But It Was Part of the Bigger War

The competition could play a factor in increasing the WNBA’s media value.
NASCAR Cup Series driver Bubba Wallace (23), in a Star Wars rebel alliance X-wing fighter pilot-inspired race suit, motions to the crowd to get louder during the driver introductions for the Cup Series Championship race at Phoenix Raceway in Avondale on Nov. 5, 2023.
February 17, 2024

Celebrity Owners, International Ambitions, and $7B Media Deals: Welcome to the New NASCAR

NASCAR boldly keeps pace with the increasingly competitive sports and entertainment world.
February 16, 2024

Wilson Introduced an Airless Basketball for $2,500. We Had Questions

The black, 3D-printed ball appeared in last year’s Slam Dunk Contest.
Emily Henegar, a baker and content creator, made a batch of NFL-inspired cookies featuring Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce.
February 11, 2024

The ‘Life-Changing’ Economy of Taylor Swift’s NFL Outfits

Appearing in Swift’s game-day wardrobe has been “life-changing” for small businesses.


Powered By

Careers in Sports

Looking for a new job? Check out these featured listings and search for openings all over the world.
Finance Manager
New York, NY
Senior Technical Artist - Sports Technology
EA Sports
Orlando, FL
Assistant Manager, Affiliate Operations
Portland, OR

Peter King Opens Up at the End of His Iconic Career

Iconic NFL writer reflects on the state of media, challenges facing the league.
Ryan Clark
February 26, 2024

Tuned In: Ryan Clark Finalizing New Deal With ESPN

A pending contract could put him over $2 million per year, say sources.
February 27, 2024

DSG Takes Big Steps Toward Recovery, But Rights Questions Remain

Bankruptcy court approves refinancing plan, settlement of legal dispute.

Live Sports Are Now High-Tech Experiences

Oracle is leading the technology revolution happening in stadiums across the world.
February 23, 2024

WBD Touts Streaming Profit, Sports Alliance While Stock Is Hammered

TNT Sports parent sees tough reaction from Wall Street to latest earnings.
Arizona Diamondbacks
February 23, 2024

Diamondbacks Heading Into Another Season With MLB in Charge of Media Rights

The D-Backs chose the league over getting their own over-the-air partners.
Chad Powers
February 22, 2024

Tuned In: Hulu Turning Glen Powell Into Eli Manning With ‘Chad Powers’ Comedy

The ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ star will play the comedic QB Manning created for ESPN+.
A Bundesliga camera operator during a match
February 22, 2024

Fan Power in European Soccer Grows As German Football Deal Scuttled 

Weeks of increasingly strident protests lead to end of proposed private equity deal.