Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Social Media Motorsports Summit Takes Checkered Flag

For Immediate Release
Contact: Andrew Kaplan
Media Mensch

Social Media Motorsports Summit Takes Checkered Flag

Industry Leaders and Influencers Gather to Build Social Media Horsepower for 2010 Season

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Feb 3, 2010) – Try as you may, you can’t hear a “tweet” over the roar of race cars, but if you embrace social media you’ll quickly see it has more horsepower than 43 cars taking the green flag at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The first Social Media Motorsports Summit concluded at the Charlotte Westin, where motorsports and social media leaders met to discuss trends and share best practices. Now that one of every four Americans gets the news online, a communications authority wonders if one can conduct a successful enterprise without engaging social media.

"When I was at the May NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Charlotte Motor Speedway, I saw an opportunity to help brands with social media strategies and programs,” said Andy Kaplan, Chief Idea Officer at MediaMensch. Kaplan also saw demand for the social media motorsports event from MediaMensch’s members, a group of over 1,500 motorsports professionals worldwide who embrace social media. Kaplan has spent his career working with corporations to become early adopters of technology and built his brand on being ahead of the technology curve.

Panel topics ranged from creating a social media toolbox and measuring social media ROI to social media and brands and social media trends. A broad spectrum of expertise was represented by speakers including Mark Walsh (GeniusRocket), Craig Coblenz (Facebook), Terry Dry (Fanscape), Ramsey Poston (NASCAR), Leilani M√ľnter (ARCA driver/environmental activist), Joe Tripp (SPEED), Kevin Kennedy (PCG Campbell/Ford Racing), Jeff Gluck ( and Stephanie Agresta (Porter Novelli).

Keynote speaker Walsh put social media in perspective and set the tone of the summit when he discussed the change of marketing from elevator speech to the microscript – a simple one or two-word phrase that captures brand essence and consumer self perception. Think of President Obama’s campaign microscript of “change”. Kennedy, EVP, PCG Campbell / Ford Racing shared, "I really enjoyed the Summit and the exchange of ideas between the panelists and the audience. The discussions covered a broad spectrum of ideas of where Social Media is now and where it is headed in the future, and left everyone who attended richer for the experience."

The power and use of social media was not just conversation, but was also actively practiced as attendees “tweeted” and updated Facebook pages on their laptops throughout the day-long event. Joining in the conversations were representatives from Chevrolet, Toyota, Stewart Haas, Bristol Motor Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Stewart-Haas Racing, JR Motorsports, Roush Fenway Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing. Participants and speakers came from Los Angeles, New York, Washington, DC, Philadelphia, Detroit and Daytona Beach.

“The Social Media Motorsports Summit proved that online community and social networking is having a huge impact on the motorsports industry in general and NASCAR fans in particular. In 2010, social media will grow to be an even bigger part of marketing and exposure for this sport.” said Agresta, who is EVP of Social Media and Digital Strategy at Porter Novelli.

Future Social Media Motorsports events are being planned for New York City and in Charlotte in May to coincide with the NASCAR Hall of Fame opening and the race festivities for the Coca Cola 600. Social Media Motorsports also plans to offer a “virtual summit” to accommodate motorsports professionals worldwide.

Additional information about the Social Media Motorsports Summit, please visit the summit website at and the Facebook fan page at The twitter hashtag for the event is #smmsummit.

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