Fans at NASCAR races want to share the experience and stay up-to-date on social media, but the current WiFi and cellphone service has not met the growing expectations of the fans. Dale Earnhardt Jr.‘s recent retirement news may not have been shared as quickly without high levels of internet access.
The digital issue appears to be a problem at tracks around the country. As one of the sport’s most active NASCAR drivers on social media, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. recognizes this is a major dilemma for fans.
Recently on his weekly podcast Dale Jr. Download, Dale and his wife Amy, discussed the lacking cellular and WiFi service at racetracks around the country, and other updates to attract a larger Raving Fan base.
Dale Jr. and Amy urged NASCAR to address the cellular and WiFi issue in an effort to appeal to a younger fan base.
Dale: This is important because for the fan, the social media and the social experience is a big deal.
Amy: Especially for younger people.
Dale: Right. That’s part of the enjoyment of being able to say, “Look where I’m at,” or “Look at what I’m seeing,” and showing your friends or family…
Amy: …this awesome time we’re having.
Dale: Yeah, so I think NASCAR’s a little behind of other sports’ stadiums in offering this type of experience.
The world of social media is a medium that is not going away, yet the experience is not keeping up with expectations at the racetracks. Thousands of people in a concentrated area will usually weaken the service, but NASCAR needs to start with a higher baseline because – as Amy pointed out – good WiFi is no longer an amenity or luxury at sporting events.
“It’s kind of common now,” she said on the podcast. “You can do everything everywhere except for the race tracks.”
Amy even suggested social media platforms get more involved with the fan experience – such as cool Snapchat filters for each individual race track – and Junior agreed.
“There should be fun things like that on every social media platform that encourages people to use it,” Amy added.
Engaging fans is a relationship, both online and in-person at the tracks the races are held at. Whatever the first step in the right direction is, NASCAR needs to make some improvements and the fans will come.