In 2012, NASCAR partnered with social media juggernaut Twitter, solidifying an upward trend that has seen Twitter explode across the NASCAR scene over the past two seasons. That partnership has led to the hashtag #NASCAR rating as the number two highest trending sports topics of 2012.
2011 saw the Twitter trend build momentum as motorsports journalists industry wide begin utilizing the service at the forefront of their media platforms. Before Twitter, the primary ways of electronic distribution for online media outlets was Really Simple Syndication, RSS, and email.
Jeff Gluck, Bob Pockrass, Jenna Fryer, Jim Utter, and Dustin Long have become household names with the NASCAR fan base. They have an intimate relationship with fans, providing not only links and stats, but also a bit of personal perspective, even partaking in regular meet and greets, called Tweet Ups.
While the sport’s journalists lit the fuse of the NASCAR Twitter explosion, it was driver Brad Keseloweksi that acted as the bomb. During the 2012 Daytona 500 Juan Montoya crashed into a jet dryer during a caution, causing an actual explosion. While the fires burned in turn three, Keselowski reached out to his Twitter fans, showing a side of the sport not commonly seen. A look through the driver’s eyes. By the time he climbed back into his car, Keselowski had gained thousands of additional followers and exploded the popularity of social network to the NASCAR masses.
Halfway through the season, NASCAR announced a partnership with Twitter that but added focus on the hashtag #NASCAR, featuring a special landing page for search results from the query #NASCAR as well as serving as the landing page for twitter.com/nascar.
Addionally, #NASCAR was featured in a series of television commercials from Twitter. The commercials were a hit with fans, showing clips from fringe of the sport. Like the moments just before a driver climbs in the car or a clip from within their motor coach.
Over the course of the season, NASCAR had to enforce rules that prohibit the use of electronic devices inside of the racecar during competition, but overall Twitter has been well received by NASCAR, and conversely, Twitter as accepted NASCAR.
(Image: TheSpeedzine.com Screenshot of Twitter Trends Website)