NASCAR Fan and Media Engagement Center Debuts

  • NASCAR Fan and Media Engagement Center

    NASCAR Fan and Media Engagement Center

    NASCAR launched its own version of mission control this week. | January 17, 2013

Just the Facts:
  • The NASCAR Fan and Media Engagement Center rockets the sport that has its roots in running moonshine into the social media age.
  • The center was developed by NASCAR and HP to monitor conversation about the sport.
  • Data will be analyzed so various entities of the sport may react appropriately.

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina — The NASCAR Fan and Media Engagement Center rockets the sport with its roots in running moonshine into the social media age.

Stock car racing's major sanctioning body has launched its new technological clearinghouse to monitor all communication about the sport.

"It's going to allow us to handle digital and social media on behalf of our entire industry," said Brian France, NASCAR chairman and CEO. "The capabilities being created today are going to allow our industry to interact with our fans in ways we could have never dreamed of before, in real time in almost every medium, all over the country."

Its purpose is to make sense of all the communications about all aspects of the sport, to provide meaningful feedback not only to the sanctioning body but also to the teams, the tracks, the sponsors and other components that make up the sport.

France and HP Enterprise Services Vice President Charles Salameh presided over the grand opening of the facility earlier this week, in a 500-square-foot, glass-enclosed room dominated by a wall of 13 large-screen monitors that will be monitored by a staff of five.

Other sports entities have social media hubs, but this goes far beyond that, NASCAR Chief Marketing Officer Steve Phelps said.

"It's very, very different from anything else out there," Phelps said. "It will enable us on behalf of the industry to see what's out there, to see how we're being covered, and more importantly be able to respond to that in an efficient, effective manner. It's one thing to get the data. It's another thing to respond quickly to it."

The facility was described as "a kind of multimedia mission control" by

Edmunds says: A tool for good or an Orwellian Big Brother-type overseer? NASCAR denies that the FMEC is intended to enable officials to manipulate or control the sport, but rather "to know more quickly and with more depth and breadth what the conversation is."

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