NASCAR and Twitter, the social media platform have announced a first-of-its-kind partnership on Friday, in which Twitter will use a combination of the search algorithm and real-life editors to find the most interesting and relevant tweets during a NASCAR race.
Just how deep is the social media integration? The race was officially renamed earlier this week to the Pocono 400 Presented by #NASCAR, making it probably the first major sporting event to incorporate a hashtag into its actual title.
Twitter has worked with TV shows such as Fox’s The X Factor and sporting events, such as the Super Bowl, to enhance tweeting and viewing. But this is the first time the company has devoted a specific area of its site to a live event.
“We are very excited about the opportunity to be associated with the new partnership between NASCAR and Twitter,” said Brandon Igdalsky, Pocono Raceway President & CEO.
“Once it was announced the platform would launch during our June race weekend, we immediately began planning the name change. We firmly believe the NASCAR and Twitter partnership will take our industry to a whole new level, and our Raceway is thankful to be the first track to showcase the #NASCAR initiative. Twitter lets every fan experience the thrill of being at Pocono Raceway, even if they can’t be here in person.”
NASCAR fans are very active on Twitter and the league promotes social media use among its drivers. Driver Brad Keselowski made a classic Twitter sports moment earlier this year when he tweeted photos from inside his car on the Daytona 500 racetrack during a fire delay, gaining more than 100,000 followers in about two hours.
How will Twitter decide which tweets are worthy of being featured on the NASCAR page? The company plans to hire people who “specifically come in with expertise around the sport,” Ashtari said.
“(It will be) people who know and understand the content,” he said. “We’re not just going to stick some random person on it.”