In our recent webinar, How NASCAR Increases Fan Engagement and Drives Business Decisions, I co-hosted with Brian Moyer, Managing Director of Market and Media Research at NASCAR. Thanks again to Brian for sharing NASCAR’s strategy for building an engaged and committed fan community. It’s really inspiring to hear how the Official NASCAR Fan Council has helped NASCAR increase engagement with its core fan base.
The on-demand recording of the webinar is now available.
We received many great questions during and after the webinar. Since we didn’t get to all of them, we compiled the answers below. (Our thanks to Brian for providing the answers to many of these.)
How many total fans are currently in the council today? Do you gradually add members to the community?
The Official NASCAR Fan Council has an engaged community of 12,000 fans. It also has a wait list of people wanting to join. To keep a fresh and engaged community, NASCAR regularly checks if people have become inactive and adds people gradually.
Do you have someone on your team whose sole responsibility is to manage the Fan Council?
Yes, while the entire research team contributes to survey topics and utilizes findings from the Official NASCAR Fan Council, there is one team member responsible for the day-to-day management of the community.
How are you sharing back with fans that something directly impacted a decision?
The Official NASCAR Fan Council regularly sends thank-you emails and connects with NASCAR fans through newsletters. We thank fans for participating by closing the feedback loop and showing members where their feedback is going. However, the most impactful way is fans actually seeing changes being made to the sport.
Does the internal research team at NASCAR create all the questionnaires or discussion topics and monitor all the discussion?
NASCAR runs all the research on the council from start to finish. Vision Critical is responsible for providing the technology that enables NASCAR to manage the community. Our customer intelligence platform is flexible, intuitive and user-friendly, so companies can manage their communities as much as they like.
The Fan Council seems like it would attract a similar type of fan for the most part (dedicated, enthusiastic, social). How do you ensure you get a diverse group that’ll give you a variety of opinions?
The Official NASCAR Fan Council is just one tool the research team uses to collect fan feedback. NASCAR has a clear understanding of what the community is and isn’t. Not all research projects are meant for the Official NASCAR Fan Council, but if NASCAR needs the feedback of its most passionate fans, then the community is a great place to get that.
Can a sponsor get data on the Fan Council, such as number of fans of particular drivers, mentions of the sponsor, etc.?
While NASCAR utilizes the community for business-related aspects when appropriate, the primary focus of the Official NASCAR Fan Council is the sport of NASCAR. Its goal is to give fans the ability to speak directly to NASCAR about the sport they love.
Do you ever interact with the fan council in person at live events? Or is everything online?
The majority of our interaction is online, via surveys and emails. However, from time to time, we have given members of the Official NASCAR Fan Council the opportunity to interact with us in different ways.
What’s been the most surprising thing you discovered from the Fan Council?
The most suprising thing is the level of fan engagement that has built over time. Official NASCAR Fan Council members appreciate being able to provide feedback directly to NASCAR, they see that their feedback or suggestions lead to meaningful change, and feel like valued contributors. Many members express a huge amount of pride in being a member of the Official NASCAR Fan Council and identify themselves as such in their social media profiles. Membership really becomes a part of their personal DNA.
How do members access the NASCAR Fan Council?
The Official NASCAR Fan Council is powered by VC Insight Communities, a cloud-based customer intelligence platform. Members of the council receive email invitations to participate in surveys and they can also login through a password-protected site for direct access to the member portal.