Sports Tech Helps Keep Fans Happy


Philadelphia -- The Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing’s boxing-themed CTAM Summit conference (“Thrilla in Phila”) switched its sports focus to the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing and the National Football League Tuesday morning, as executives from both sports organizations discussed the importance of leveraging media and new technologies to remain popular with fans and advertisers.

NASCAR chairman and CEO Brian France and New England Patriots vice chairman Jonathan Kraft said it is imperative to retain fan bases in order to remain successful. That means providing access to the product through traditional outlets like TV for live telecasts and support shows, as well as other platforms, like the Internet, where fans can exploit interactive, multicamera options and other enhancements.

France -- who told panel host John Saunders that NASCAR will remember ESPN and its past coverage of NASCAR when negotiations start later this year for new broadcast and cable deals -- said the sport will look to generate additional media coverage by developing regional and local content.

Such content will hopefully aid in encouraging sportswriters to develop more stories about the fast-growing sport, France said.

Both men also said their respective sports offer advertisers maximum exposure through various platforms, including local TV and Internet opportunities.

France said NASCAR is uniquely positioned to provide value to sponsors because of the ads on cars. Added Kraft: “We can do big promotions with people nationally, locally and regionally. We can give advertisers promotions on a number of platforms.”

In a more lighthearted moment, Kraft -- who is also president and COO of Kraft Group Ltd. -- said he had apprehensions about wearing his Patriots Super Bowl ring in Philadelphia after the Patriots beat the city’s Eagles in January’s Super Bowl.