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NASCAR is no stranger to fan intelligence. One of the most popular sports in the world, the company established its popular insight community, the NASCAR Fan Council, 10 years ago. The community enables NASCAR to hear directly from fans and let them influence the sports they already love.

NASCAR isn’t resting on its laurels and is always looking for new ways to better engage with the 25,000 fans it has in its insight community. At the Customer Intelligence Summit, Brooks Deaton, senior director of consumer insights at NASCAR, shared how the company is taking advantage of innovations in the Sparq 3 platform to develop deeper relationships with fans. He shared his experience leveraging Relationship MemoryTM as a Service—one of the new Sparq features we announced at Summit—to uncover new insight about NASCAR’s fan base and get valuable qualitative insight in real-time.

Deaton was joined by leaders from Vision Critical’s product and customer success teams.

No one company owns innovation

World-class customer intelligence ecosystems include numerous intelligence-gathering tools. Many Vision Critical customers, for instance, already complement Sparq with other best-in-class tools to solve specific problems and get a better picture of their customers.

But when companies use different tools to engage their customers, it could result to a member experience that’s clunky and disjointed. Often, there isn’t a connective tissue between different tools.

Relationship MemoryTM as a Service was developed to solve this very issue. It lets Sparq users leverage the Relationship MemoryTM they have on the Vision Critical platform and let that ripple out to other tools they use, including SurveyGizmo and Remesh. This new features leverages Sparq’s extensibility, letting users invite community members to activities in other best-in-class tools available in the market. It lets you take advantage of the functional innovation of these products while leaving the back-end customer data tasks to Sparq 3 through your Relationship MemoryTM.

NASCAR’s experience with Relationship MemoryTM as a Service

Deaton’s team had a chance to try Relationship MemoryTM as a Service when it integrated Remesh, a platform that uses machine learning to understand and engage groups of people with real-time conversation, with its insight community. The goal was to better understand how fans consume NASCAR’s biggest race of the year: the Daytona 500. NASCAR also wanted to understand fan attitudes towards the event’s sponsors.

Through Relationship MemoryTM as a Service, Deaton invited people from the NASCAR Fan Council to participate in a study done on Remesh. He said that while the company’s research team prepared a detailed discussion guide for the study, he was able to change direction on the fly based on what people were saying on Remesh. NASCAR engaged fans the entire race day, deploying questions every 15 minutes to get feedback throughout the event.

"A new staged race format was introduced and fans got to see it in action for the first time, so we could get their feedback live in the moment."

The exercise provided NASCAR with valuable insight. It provided a better understanding of the experience fans have during race day: how they prepared for the race, what food and beverages they enjoyed, and when they visit social media.

"A new staged race format was introduced and fans got to see it in action for the first time, so we could get their feedback live in the moment," revealed Deaton. "Our casual fans thought the new format was great, but avid fans were less positive and found it disruptive, which has been invaluable feedback for NASCAR."

Would Deaton recommend Sparq’s integration with Remesh? "Absolutely," he said. "Our fans loved it and would like to do it again."

How Nascar Increases Fan Engagement and Drives Business Decisions

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Kelvin Claveria

Kelvin Claveria was the former Content Marketing Manager and was responsible for Vision Critical's blog and social media marketing program. Before joining Vision Critical's global marketing team, Kelvin worked at Dunn PR, a Vancouver-based public relations firm. His experience includes working with lifestyle, real estate, and non-profit clients to develop social media marketing and PR strategies. Kelvin has a Bachelor of Business Administration from SFU's Beedie School of Business.
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