By: Kevin Burke
The COVID-19 pandemic has sidelined almost all professional sports leagues across the world. However, with increased testing and proper safety management, some leagues have held events without fans in attendance. NASCAR is ready to get back on the track May 17th to launch a consolidated racing schedule that includes seven races over a ten-day span.
Although no fans will be filling the seats, there are still many opportunities to make up lost revenue by leveraging the NASCAR fan base through paid digital media. At 4FRONT, we have developed digital strategies to combat the loss revenue of ticket sales though TV tune-in, Fan Network, and merchandise campaigns. These strategies give various leagues like NASCAR the ability to earn revenue as sports recover and fans return to their seats.
Racing through our Experience:
4FRONT has partnered with a variety of NASCAR tracks to increase ticket sales, engagement and revenue through paid digital media. Using both 1st and 3rd party data, 4FRONT builds a media mix that targets qualified audiences and moves them down the buying funnel from awareness to eventual conversion.
With this data-driven approach, we deliver specific messages to NASCAR fans, car enthusiasts, and other consumers who could be interested in a given race based on their online activity and propensities. We use several media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, display, native, SEM, connected TV, digital out-of-home, and streaming audio, reaching these consumers where they are with a multichannel approach. Additionally, we run all media in house, which allows us to remain fluid with budget between channels and optimize as appropriate based on real time results.
Working with our partner tracks has given 4FRONT valuable experience and insights into the buying cycle and customer behavior of NASCAR fans. We have continually been able to increase return on ad spend year-over-year by taking these insights and applying them to future campaigns. A rigorous testing process employed throughout the campaign ensures our team can pinpoint variables that determine ad performance. Using the results of live campaign tests, we optimize toward the highest performing variables and drastically improve performance over the course of the campaign.
Success Story: Richmond Raceway
Richmond Raceway has been a valued 4FRONT partner for many years. Most recently, our team worked on a campaign for the 2019 FEDERATED AUTO PARTS 400. The primary objective was to increase ticket sales and revenue through paid digital media. We built audiences using both 1st party data, directly from Richmond, and 3rd party data from a variety of sources, ensuring we could serve ads with messaging crafted for these specific audiences across multiple channels
Our Pit Crew: Testing and Optimizing
The ability to optimize campaigns based upon statistical analysis ensures we are serving the best possible ads to the most qualified audiences throughout the campaign. During this campaign, we ran a variety of tests looking for insights into the success of specific audience segments and creatives including shape (square vs rectangle), pricing in the creative, and format (static image vs video). Running these creative tests early in the campaign ensured that we were serving ads that grasped attention and drove conversions during the most important points in the buying cycle.
This campaign drove close to 2,000 conversions and finished with a return on ad spend of 5.4 to 1 (increase from 3.7 to 1 in 2018).
Although the pandemic has made it nearly impossible for fans to attend races in-person, there is still opportunity to increase TV viewership, sponsorship activations and merchandise sales, using the same expertise as our ticket sales campaigns. The main goal of any campaign is to serve a grasping message to the targeted NASCAR fans, and we can accomplish this regardless of specific objectives. Because we begin the strategy by focusing on the core NASCAR fan base and then choosing our targeting variables depending on the objective of the campaign, we ensure a level of personalization that can aid organizations within NASCAR regardless of economic environment
Targeting Example “Tune-in”:
The first step we take when targeting for a tune-in campaign is reaching the most qualified fans. In this case, core NASCAR fans who have previously watched a race on TV.
With the current lack of sports content, now is obviously a great time to reach new fans that are craving live events. For a tune-in campaign, we separate our audiences into two categories: NASCAR core fans and those who are not yet fans of NASCAR.
Separating these groups allows us to strategically target key audiences likely to watch NASCAR events with creative geared towards that audience. This increases the viewership from core fans while also bringing new fans to the sport.
Although ticket sales campaigns are currently not viable, paid digital media continues to be an important tool in impacting business. Our strategies learned through numerous NASCAR digital campaigns can continue in alternative digital strategies. Staying up to date with current digital trends and experimenting with new targeted strategies puts 4FRONT in the position to help anyone looking for new revenue streams during a time with no fans.
For more information on our work with NASCAR and tracks across the country, please reach out to Kevin@Team4FRONT.com.