With TV ratings and attendance slipping after a decade of growth, NASCAR refocused attention on the avid fan and worked with Vision Critical to develop a private online community to engage with core fans. Known as the NASCAR "Fan Council", this pre-qualified online community of 12,000 fans is a foundational element in NASCAR's competition, business and marketing decisions. On average, NASCAR engages members at a minimum twice a month on input specific to all industry stakeholders.
There is no incentive to participate as these passionate fans feel honored to be a part of this exclusive club. It's this enthusiasm that helped fuel a recent major rule change within the sport. After fan sentiment within the community ran high for a new restart format where drivers raced side by side as opposed to single file, NASCAR picked up the comments and pushed the feedback to senior management, who initiated a new double-file restart rule - to overwhelming positive reviews. It's a great example on how vital NASCAR views the "Fan Council" as a channel for fans to voice their ideas and opinions. And something NASCAR President Mike Helton supported when referencing on national television, cementing the value of the "Fan Council" as a vital listening agent.
NASCAR's strategy to leverage the power of a private online community has made an incredibly positive impact to their bottom line. In 2008, the "Fan Council" helped NASCAR conduct 3x the research at a cost reduction of 80%. These results are especially significant given the global economic downturn of the past year.
And the results are paying off in savings but also brand value, a sign that the insights gained through the private community are having a positive effect with fans. This year, NASCAR had impressive results in moving key brand attributes like "thrilling and exciting," "down-to-earth" and "good public image" 10% or more. Each year NASCAR measures attributes associated with their brand, in 2009 there was a big improvement thanks to the NASCAR "Fan Council" and listening to their avid fans needs. NASCAR has never been as connected with its avid fans. The private community is helping the organization become more efficient and effective.
Overall Rating: (6 votes)
Reviewed September 8, 2009 by JR
Great example of how to use online market research!Report Inappropriate Review
Reviewed September 7, 2009 by Diane Mueller
NASCAR and VisionCritical have taken advantage of the emerging acceptance of new social networking apps and had a huge positive impact on a previously loosely connected community - kudos for seizing the moment with such gusto!Report Inappropriate Review
Reviewed September 7, 2009 by Jason
What separates this is how large it is -- very cool to keep such a large community connected.Report Inappropriate Review
Reviewed September 7, 2009 by Paul
I wish more companies did this....Report Inappropriate Review
Reviewed September 4, 2009 by Mondo
awdReport Inappropriate Review
Reviewed September 4, 2009 by Chai
It so great and easy!!!Report Inappropriate Review