Sprint Taps never.no for Twitter-Driven NASCAR Race

NEW YORK and DAYTONA —Sprint, in conjunction with Leo Burnett, used never.no’s Social TV Advertising platform Sync, during TNT’s Wide Open coverage of NASCAR’s Coke Zero 400 in Daytona, Fla., to power the first real time Twitter-race during a sponsored segment.

The 60-second race, billed as “the shortest race in NASCAR history,” ran during the live Wide Open coverage of the last 30 laps of the race. Fans were asked to tweet their favorite driver’s car number, along with the hashtag #Sprint60. Each tweet increased the driver’s speed, pushing them faster along the track as viewers watched the progress live.

The ad placement created an interactive mode of engagement, could not be skipped due to an integration with the programming and parlayed the ability of second screens to drive multiple viewer touch-points in a fun and intriguing manner.

To promote the program, Sprint aired 15-second teasers during TNT’s pre-race coverage, encouraging fans to find out more details. A second spot providing more information aired during the first half of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Within the final 30 laps, another 30-second spot featuring Miss Sprint Cup Kim Coon was shown, signaling the start of the Sprint 60 Unlimited. Fans were encouraged to tweet their favorite driver’s car number along with the #Sprint60 hashtag as often as they could during a 60 second-span.

“never.no’s technology was a perfect way to get NASCAR Sprint Cup series fans involved through the second screen while engaging them with immediate results on the first. The platform really came through for us in a big way,” said Team Sprint ACD Jeff Candido.

“It’s a prime example of what our Sync product is all about: first/second screen synchronicity, real-time broadcast graphics rendering, and individual viewer dialogue,” said never.no CEO Lars Lauritzsen, “It was a bold segment to put on air, since there was no margin for error.”

The Social TV platform was used to harvest the #Sprint60 hashtags and calculate the speed for each driver. The real time velocity data was fed directly into a Chyron graphics engine and powered the on-screen race for the duration of the voting. The top five drivers at any time, voted by fans in real time, appeared on TV. Icons of the appeared on a virtual race track and their position was based on incoming votes.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the race, receiving a trophy and $10,000 for his chosen charity.