The Coca Cola 600 weekend in May 2010 was the beginning of my third year in my journey in NASCAR media or what I call the beginning of my "Junior Year". This means I am able to have a deeper understanding of the sport, the sponsors, the brands, the drivers, teams and the publicity machine behind the sport. My first few years were about "listening and watching" and networking. I was able to gain a broad understanding of the "matrix" which makes NASCAR one of the most complex sports around.
From grassroots family teams such as the Woods Brothers to the cutting edge teams such as Hendrick Motorsports and RoushFenway Racing, NASCAR has evolved into a major league sport with its own Hall of Fame this year.
Over the past year which I'll call my sophomore year, I started to actually make some small impact on the sport and build a network. In January, 2010, MediaMensch Networks produced the Social Media Motorsports Summit which was attended by many of the major teams and their pr/marketing firms plus a senior executive from NASCAR.
In the past few months at local press conferences I started to ask questions of some drivers such as Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson and NASCAR Hall of fame driver and team owner, Richard Petty.
Based upon my experiences, I am starting to look at my niche of how the sport reaches their fans and ties into their drivers and brands using social media. As an entrepreneur, the other viewpoint is how organizational dynamics such as teamwork happen with in NASCAR. So over the next year, I am looking forward to building stronger relationships, writing more in-depth and regular stories about the sport and producing our 2nd Social Media Motorsports Summit this fall.
As with my journey in media, marketing and technology it is the wonderful people that you meet along the way who help you learn and mentor you that enriches the experience.