Ford Racing wanted to grow and strengthen its fan base by building an affiliation between race fans and Ford. Racing fans are active on their smartphones, so Ford developed a mobile site to give them access to driver information, photos, and a custom autograph from a Ford Racing NASCAR driver. On race day, Ford provided fans with live videos of the race, real-time updates, and leader board information, and on non-race days, fans had access to news reports, updates, and exclusive behind-the-scenes information.
Ford Racing mobile initiatives reached fans at the track on race day by making content accessible via mobile devices and leveraging existing Ford equity and racing content. This “virtual pit pass” allowed for peer-to-peer destination and content sharing.
The Ford Racing mobile website provided fans with news, updates, photos, videos, downloadable wallpapers, driver bios and stats, events and schedules, and interactive polls. To drive traffic to the event and create viral content, the team created a personalized autographed photo of 2012 Daytona 500 winner and Ford driver Trevor Bayne. In order to make sure “no device was left behind,” fans could receive their personalized content via SMS, email, or web link. The personalized autograph offer was promoted on-site at the track with printed driver “Hero Cards” featuring QR codes and SMS click-to-actions as well as posts to Ford Racing social media sites. Race fans had the opportunity to get even closer to their heroes by taking a virtual photo with their favorite Ford Racing driver via the Ford Racing app.
The campaign launched three weeks prior to Ford Championship Weekend (the last race of the season), and generated 505,000 exposures to Ford Racing content across the mobile site. Sentiment within social content and sharing was all positive (something that Ford had never seen before), and was a significant contributor to the 78 percent growth rate of an already strong Facebook fan base. Mobile traffic on Fordracing.com increased from seven percent to 27 percent.