In recent years, interest in professional sports of all kinds — not just NASCAR — have taken a dive. Ratings have been declining as have attendance at race tracks and stadiums across the country. Ty Dillon talked about how the sport can evolve to continue being relevant to the younger generation during his media availability on Friday at Pocono Raceway, and to be honest his ideas were fascinating.
First up, live streaming inside each and every car on social media during every race.
“I think another thing that would be cool for the future of our sport is if we could live stream from inside of every single car,” Dillon explained. “If we had an in-car camera in every single car and each driver could live-stream that view from their social account, I think that would be big. It creates that interaction driver fan instantly.
“Now we get back to our phones and we go through and see and we can answer questions that they might have seen and we could replay it and go back through it with them. I know that’s kind of a controversy with the TV companies, but that’s something we’ve got to look forward to and there is no reason why we shouldn’t have in-car cameras in every single car these days, and provide more specific information for the specific fan. You can stream every minute of every sport on your phone right now. And the more access we give to a younger crowd, the more we’re going to attract that younger crowd.”
Dillon continued to talk about reaching the younger audience, and he brought up Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality in addition to streaming. He also tossed out the idea of drivers communicating with their fans in real time from inside the car during an actual race.
“I heard something the other about baseball. I was watching a Braves game. And their target audience is 50-60, who watch the actual channel on TV,” Dillon said. “But on their live-streaming app, their target age base has dropped 20 years. It’s 40. So, streaming on your phone has got to be big. You’ve got to use your platforms the way we can.
“I’m almost 30. I’m getting close to 30. I’m 27. But the younger the kids everyone gets, the more it’s on their phones. It’s AR/VR (technology) and we’ve got to adapt quicker than everybody else and get in these places. We have a sport that we can put people inside the car, and we’ve got to use it. We’ve got to use it to our advantage. We’ve got to use some kind of communication to put a driver communicating to a fan from inside the race car during the race. Whether everybody complains about it or not, it’s going to take us to another level as far as the future goes.”
Regardless how you side on these ideas, Dillon has to be regarded as possibly one of the most progressive drivers in the field when it comes to wanting to use technology that is currently available to appeal to the potential fan base that could be watching the sport.
If you could put on Augmented Reality glasses and have a 360-degree video that made you feel like you were in the car and you had an open line of communication with your favorite driver as he was going into battle for the win, would that give you more reason to tune in each week?
Toby is the Founder, Editor and go-to man for TobyChristie.com. He is also the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast. Additionally, Toby is a NMPA (National Motorsports Press Association) award winning writer, and has followed NASCAR as a fan since 1993.