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NASCAR turbo-charges mobile app by rewarding engaged users

NASCAR has updated its mobile application with a new loyalty and rewards experience as the racing organization looks to build closer relationships with the fans already accessing news and other information via the platform. 

By leveraging SessionM?s loyalty offering, NASCAR is enabling app users to collect rewards for visiting the app and engaging with its content features. Rewards can be redeemed for NASCAR gear and gift cards at participating retailers. 

?NASCAR has perhaps the most avid and loyal fan base of any sport, and these fans are increasingly connecting with the sport through their mobile device,? said Bill Clifford, chief revenue officer with SessionM, Boston. ?Creating a mobile loyalty program that recognizes and rewards fans for their ongoing engagement is a great way for NASCAR to give back to its fans.  

?It's a great way for NASCAR to create direct relationships with fans that opt-in to the program, share information about themselves, and in turn receive a more personalized experience,? he said. 

?Finally, it provides new opportunities for sponsors to engage NASCAR's most active fans during broadcasts and at events through the mobile experience in a way that is highly targeted and creates greater value for their fans.?

Engagement lift
Fans will be introduced to the new NASCAR Rewards program when they launch the latest version of the NASCAR app. They will be able to view a quick tutorial and then either sign up or continue as a guest. 

Within the app, users will be able to earn points for activities such as engaging with live features, launching the app during broadcasts, watching videos, sharing content, checking in at race tracks and more.  

Fans can also earn bonus points by engaging with sponsor content. 

NASCAR will have access to a dashboard that allows them to award points for behaviors and view lift in engagement in real time.

A rewarding experience
The NASCAR mobile app reportedly already sees millions of domestic and international fans turning to the app for premium content, up-to-the-minute news and other information. 

The new loyalty strategy was launched in the app in advance of NACAR?s bigger races of the year, the 2015 Daytona 500 race, which will take place on Feb. 22. The goal of the app is to enable NASCAR to build closer relationships with these fans by rewarding them for their mobile engagement. 

In addition to being able to redeem rewards for merchandise and gift cards, app users will also be use rewards to enter NASCAR contests at SessionM?s mPoints rewards store and to donate rewards points to The NASCAR Foundation and other charities. 

The new loyalty features are available on both the iOS and Android apps from NASCAR. 

The apps also provide news and video content, schedules, results, standings, driver details, track overviews, live leaderboard and notifications regarding NASCAR races. 
Premium subscribers and Sprint customers receive live premium features such as live advanced leaderboards, driver positions, driver telemetry, live in-car radio, live race radio and alternate camera angles.

Sports marketing
Mobile-first loyalty is becoming a higher priority within sports brands? overall marketing mix, according to SessionM. 

?I think sports marketing is going to be an incredibly hot sector for loyalty over the next 12 months,? Mr. Clifford said. ?In the last year, teams and leagues have invested heavily in creating great mobile experiences, and this year I think you'll see a ton of mobile innovation at stadiums where free WiFi will increasingly be made available and beacons will be installed.  

?A big part of fostering loyalty is creating a personalized consumer experience and I think every team is working towards a day when fans walk into a stadium, identify themselves through the mobile device and are treated to a richer in-stadium experience as a result,? he said. ?Having a rewards program can motivate fans to identify themselves, to engage in-stadium and to stay engaged between events and in the offseason.?

Final Take
Chantal Tode is senior editor on Mobile Marketer, New York