The checkered flag has waved on the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season, and while the champion is being celebrated at the awards banquet in Las Vegas this week, sponsors are already back at work preparing for the 2018 season – which starts at the historic Daytona 500 in February. With an offseason that lasts only two full months – the shortest in all professional sports, brands can actually benefit from the lack of downtime in NASCAR by turning up the volume on social media platforms during the short transition from season to season. Here’s a sample content cadence NASCAR sponsors can follow during the “offseason”:
1. Recap the season: Whether the team finished at the top or bottom of the points standings, a brand can focus on recapping season highlights. Motorsports fans are always open to re-living great moments with their favorite drivers, and will, in turn, be more inclined to interact with those types of posts.
2. Corporate campaigns and promotions for the winter holidays: Research has shown that NASCAR fans continue to be the most brand loyal among all American sports fans, and since NASCAR’s off-season falls during the winter holidays, it makes sense to serve content about corporate holiday campaigns and promotions without the clutter of competition updates.
3. Introduce new sponsorship elements: To kick off the New Year, brands can start conversations about the new NASCAR season by unveiling changes to sponsorship collateral such as new paint schemes, fire suit, and helmet designs, or even new at-track activation elements. Hardcore fans want to feel part of their favorite driver’s team, so allowing them to get a peek behind-the-scenes to see what goes on during pre-season preparations will attract engagement.
4. Tap into the Super Bowl conversation to promote the upcoming NASCAR season: The NFL’s season finale – the Super Bowl – takes place just a few weeks before NASCAR’s season kick off – the Daytona 500. This presents a timely opportunity for brands to tap into the Super Bowl conversation to get NASCAR fans excited for the “Super Bowl of Racing.”
5. Countdown to start of the new season: As NASCAR fans know, Daytona Speedweeks are the two weeks before the Daytona 500 that fill driver’s schedules with on and off-track activities – from media obligations to exhibition races – to help create buzz for the official start of the new season. The entire NASCAR industry will be sharing their excitement on social media during this timeframe, so a simple but impactful tactic for brands for joining in the conversation is a tailored countdown across social platforms leveraging sponsorship assets before the green flag drops on the “Great American Race.”