The Official NASCAR Fan Council has created a real shift in company culture. We’re getting back to basics; back to our core fan. The turnkey product and infrastructure from Vision Critical was exactly what we were looking for.
Brian Moyer, Managing Director of Market and Media Research for NASCAR
After decades of steady growth, NASCAR’s attendance and TV ratings began to drop. They needed to move quickly to bring engagement and excitement back to auto racing. “We know that our best customers are what drive the metrics of this sport,” says Brian Moyer, Managing Director of Market and Media Research for NASCAR. “Television viewership, licensed product sales, attending a race – all of those things are driven by people that are connected to our sport. They are our ambassadors.”
The Official NASCAR Fan Council: an insight community where avid fans provide feedback on how to improve the NASCAR experience. In 2008, NASCAR partnered with Vision Critical to create this community of 12,000 passionate NASCAR fans. On average, NASCAR engages members at least twice a month on specific topics that influence everything from the on-track competition to business to marketing decisions. Giving fans a voice requires no additional incentive; the fans feel honoured and take pride in being a part of this advisory board, which has led to extremely high response rates for most studies.
Research tripled while research costs decreased by 80%. Fans regained their voice, leading to key changes to the sport itself. And, in 2011, TV ratings and viewership increased for the first time in three years. When fans called for a new restart format, NASCAR listened. The company picked up the Fan Council’s comments, validated them and initiated the new “double-file” restart rule, to overwhelmingly positive reviews. Not only have these benefits paid off for the company and its relationship with fans, but it has also won NASCAR and Vision Critical the prestigious Forrester Groundswell Award for listening to consumers and generating business results using social media. “We actually see people blogging about the Official NASCAR Fan Council,” explains Moyer. “They want to become a part of it.”