Earlier this week NASCAR introduced their new first-of-its-kind Fan and Media Engagement Center – FMEC – at NASCAR Plaza in Charlotte, NC.
The FMEC features cutting-edge technology that facilitates near real-time response and analytics of traditional, digital and social media and is presented in collaboration with HP Brought Online.
“The Fan and Media Engagement Center build has been a thorough process more than a year in the making, and we are excited to see it come to life,” said Brian France, CEO and Chairman of NASCAR. “We believe this tool has the potential to be the best of its kind in sports – the first ever to combine not only social, but also traditional and broadcast media analysis. We’ll be able to use this to help our industry and business partners and better connect with NASCAR fans across the world. It’s another example of our commitment to innovation.”
A showpiece on the 8th floor of NASCAR Plaza, the FMEC is where NASCAR’s Digital team operates. Physical features of the center include all-glass walls, a monitor bank of thirteen 47-inch HP displays, and the latest in touchscreen and AV technology. Behind the scenes, HP’s custom-developed technology and service, is the engine that processes a massive amount of data into relevant, actionable insights.
So what does all of that mean to NASCAR fans?
The FMEC will provide NASCAR the ability to monitor, analyze and better understand the current media landscape in order to respond more effectively and efficiently to fans and more rapidly to local, national and global media.
Fans and media alike, along with NASCAR’s top teams and drivers, will be quite active this week on Thursday and Friday, Jan 17-18th at Charlotte Motor Speedway when more than 30 Sprint Cup teams take to the track to once again to test their new Gen-Six cars after also testing them last weekend in Daytona. This is also, the second round of testing at Charlotte, with teams testing at the 1.5-mile track last December.
Teams expected to participate in testing the next two days include, Earnhardt Ganassi Racing, Hendrick Motorsports, Joe Gibbs Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing, Penske Racing, Richard Childress Racing, Richard Petty Motorsports, Roush Fenway Racing, Stewart-Haas Racing and more.
Testing is scheduled from 9am until 4pm, Thursday and Friday and fans can watch for free at the track and should enter at Gate 5A beginning at 8:30am each day.
Every fan purchasing a Sprint Cup or NHRA ticket at the speedway throughout testing, will receive a free 1:24-scale diecast car and a voucher for a free day-of scanner rental to listen to their favorite drivers during the test session.
Fans in attendance can also engage with the track with behind-the-scenes tours and concessions for purchase during both days of testing.
Drivers and fans are looking forward to testing on the track, before returning in May for the Sprint All-Star Race and Coca-Cola 600.
“I’m excited and eager to get to the Charlotte test and just see how I stack up to the rest of the field because we didn’t participate in the December test,” said Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports driver of the No. 48. “I know our cars were fast, I think Kasey (Kahne) was whipping around there pretty quick in the December test. Change is good, but if the down force package stays like it is, they will be easier to drive in some respects and a lot faster.”