DETROIT — The Embark Digital subsidiary of the marketing agency Duffy Petrosky & Co. says it’s building a first-of-its-kind social marketing experience for the Detroit Grand Prix.
Embark Digital President Mark Russell said the sights, sounds and excitement of race weekend, May 31-June 2, will be amplified by race attendees to audiences worldwide via an unprecedented, integrated social marketing campaign leveraging Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Foursquare and YouTube.
“This is the first time in racing history such advanced social, digital and mobile technologies will be combined to provide an engaging race experience beyond the track,” Russell said. “New generations of race fans who use social media every day have the opportunity to share their experiences during race weekend in virtual real-time with their social networks.”
The cornerstone of the marketing program is “The Inside Track” social experience, developed by Embark Digital. It is designed to provide race attendees an inside peek at the event that features the Izod IndyCar Series, the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series and the Pirelli World Challenge Series and educate them on the nuances of racing. Persons will be encouraged to check-in at multiple designated hot-spots around the Raceway at Belle Isle Park circuit using Foursquare, where they can comment, tweet, photo and video share using the #DetroitGP hashtag on the above social channels.
“The Inside Track” hot spots will feature smart phone accessed, multi media information about track enhancements to make the event even more exciting, past and present Grand Prix races/winners, pit lane activities, the international flavor of the competition, race weekend entertainment options and more. In addition, race attendees who visit the hot spots will be able to use their smart phones to answer questions about the race and sport to qualify for the chance to win Grand Prix prizes.
“Since its return in 2007, the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix has focused on finding new and better ways to build meaningful connections with our fans,” said Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix Chairman Bud Denker. “We’ve worked hard to establish ourselves as a leader in the social space among racing events. Fans around the world will enjoy this year’s event even more through our plans to make it a truly engaging experience through social marketing.”
Russell added the ultimate goal of the social media program is to inform and educate fans on Belle Isle and elsewhere prior to, during and after the races through the five identified social media technologies, all working together to make the week memorable for new and diehard race fans alike.
“The best sports fans are educated fans and ‘The Inside Track’ and other social media activities in place are designed to introduce fans to the Grand Prix, its personalities and nuances that make it so exciting,” Russell said. “We hope they capture memories from race weekend and share them in real-time with their friends and family around the country and the world.”
The starting grid of social marketing technologies to be used at the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix includes:
* Twitter – With more than 200 million users, Twitter has become a sporting event mainstay. In Detroit, race fans will share photos, videos and conversations via tweets. The Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix has created the official hashtag #DetroitGP to help fans find and join the conversation. Leading up to the race, organizers will share content, promotional information and ticket info. On race weekend, Twitter will be used to answer race questions, provide real-time updates and video, and promote race sponsor activities.
* Facebook – There are more than 618 million daily users of Facebook and thousands of Motor City race fans will be online via their computers and mobile phones during the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix. Fans will engage the race by visiting facebook.com/detroitgp. Prior to the event, race organizers will share exclusive race content on Facebook, plus the race weekend schedule and ticket-buying process. In addition, a ticket sweepstakes will be held on the Facebook page two weeks prior to the event to generate additional pre-race buzz. On race weekend, Facebook will give fans an inside look at the event using real-time photos, fun facts, video and more.
* Instagram – Owned by Facebook, Instagram has more than 100 million users and is a fixture in the social and visual web landscape. Race fans in Detroit will be able to snap camera-phone pictures, choose a filter to transform their look and feel, and then instantly post them to Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr. In addition, fans can follow the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix by visiting the #DetroitGP Instagram feed.
* Foursquare – At its heart, Foursquare is a social city guide that gives its 30 million users the ability to recommend places based on their location. Race organizers in Detroit have created an official Foursquare account, foursquare.com/detroitgp, and will use it to leave tips and must-see locations on Belle Isle for fans. On race weekend, fans will be encouraged to check in at specific Foursquare locations for “The Inside Track” on the races.
* YouTube – More than 72 hours of video are uploaded every minute to YouTube, owned by Google. The videos are platform-agnostic and can be shared in nearly every manner possible. Motor City race fans can visit the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix YouTube channel, Detroit Grand Prix, for exclusive content. This includes special driver interviews, a virtual lap tour, the official 2013 Grand Prix video and more. These YouTube videos also will be leveraged by Facebook and Twitter.