Roush Fenway is a leading NASCAR team and the largest motorsports marketing organization in the world. They have a fantastic story to tell potential sponsors, who ultimately enter into deals worth tens of millions of dollars. But it’s a complex story, especially when you tell the broader story of NASCAR as a sports marketing platform. As Roush Fenway’s digital agency, Saturday Brand Communications provided a site strategy, messaging platforms and architecture to get it all done in a single site destination within their main fan site, roushfenway.com. Once we got the green light on our plan, design and development followed.
We we’re especially excited about this project because during our planning phase our audit of pro sports teams and leagues showed that a rich-media, comprehensive and immersive web experience would be breaking new ground in the branding and marketing of a sports organization. (Of course, Roush is used to being in the lead – just check the points standings at the moment. Go, Ricky!)
The result is an online experience for CMOs and brand managers who are interested in sports marketing and need more information about NASCAR, and for the ones who are sold on NASCAR but are looking for the right team partner to achieve success. Since marketers are time-starved we kept content very hierarchical with key takeaway messages leading every section, limited the opportunity for distraction and outbound navigation (e.g. keeping links to a minimum and reducing the number of buttons on most pages) and encouraging use of interactive tools. The hope is for an experience in which users can easily establish where they are on the sales path and quickly find the information which is compelling to them.
Above: The Sponsorship homepage launches a video called, "Driving Success," which offers top-line benefits of NASCAR and Roush Fenway Racing in an energetic, fun way. The video features some racing and checkered flag footage -- of course! -- but also offers many stills and video clips of consumer engagement both on and off the track. Large gels to the right nav to sub-sections.
Above: Interactive track map, called "Beyond The Hood," is found in the Powered By Roush section. This map offers a tour of the speedway complex via activations (branding and promotional activities) and their related benefits. Rolling over an activation exposes a benefits summary; clicking grows it into a box with more information and a slide show illustrating that activation; and a button provides a path to the sponsor section to see how that particular activation was used in the real world.
Above: The NASCAR Nation lead page offers the key takeaways of the section in three rotating hero banners at top. Purpose of this section is basic education about NASCAR as a sports marketing platform and how it is different ("More Than A Game" as their tagline says) from other league sports due to its long season, geographic flexibility, extremely loyal fan base and flexibility.
Above: Within NASCAR Nation an interactive map tells the stories of coast-to-coast track locations and year round activity. The map actually auto plays and shows month-by-month what tracks, in what DMAs, are seeing race or other NASCAR-sanctioned action. A marketer could watch this and think about their own calendar and look for timing or geographic opportunities.
Above: Another interactive map in the NASCAR Nation section is on the Brands In The Lead page. This offers short stories about three sponsors and how the use NASCAR's flexibility to craft plans that meet budget, timing and geographic/demographic objectives. This map illustrates how NASCAR is the most customizable, scalable sports marketing platform out there.
Above: The Powered By Roush section includes a rotating banner featuring key section takeaways, and pathways to interior pages which describe Roush Fenway's unique selling propositions and value as a leading motorsports marketing company.
Above: Roush Fenway sponsors, such as UPS, each have a distinct page which tells their story in terms of activations and benefits, plus any anecdotal information, such as results.
Above: Sponsorship section leaderboards. This messaging was to bring some creative attitude to the information-laden site and encourage click-through to certain interactive features, such as the Interactive Track Map.
Above: Outside of the Sponsorship section is the rest of the site, built for fans and media. Atop these pages are leaderboard banners, rotating with third-party advertising, which entice visitors who are interested in sports marketing to check out the new Sponsorship area.