NASCAR.com rolls out live 3D graphic renditions of race action
Turner Sports New Media and NASCAR are rolling out two innovative online initiatives designed to enhance the interactive experience for one of the top sports league Web sites on the Internet. On Thursday, February 1, NASCAR.COM will relaunch with a new look and cutting-edge features. The redesign marks the first since 2002. Exclusive features will include TrackPass RaceView, a 3-D application that features animation similar to that of popular sports video games, which is the ultimate way for fans to follow their favorite NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series driver during a race. The redesign also marks the launch of the Infield Community on NASCAR.COM, a unique online social gathering space for NASCAR fans to interact.
“NASCAR.COM has broadened offerings and services, as well as enhanced consumer applications to add a new dimension of interactivity that brings fans closer to the race action on the track. In addition, the TrackPass Scanner product has been significantly improved to include access to more in-car audio feeds so every fan can experience a greater number of live in-car communications,” said Lenny Daniels, senior vice president of production and new media, Turner Sports. “We’re proud to continue to lead the charge in providing cutting-edge technology products, such as TrackPass RaceView, to race fans and give them better access to all things NASCAR. NASCAR.COM prides itself on being innovative, and as a partner in the sport we will continue to lead the way in providing the most ground-breaking and technologically advanced products and services.”
TrackPass RaceView is an unparalleled interactive racing experience that gives fans the ultimate way to follow their favorite driver alongside the race telecast. Multiple data-rendered views are available for every driver throughout every NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race. Cutting-edge technology, powered by Sportvision, generates instant race data that displays onto the computer screen, showing drivers’ positions and movements to within a few inches at all times. Fans can select one driver or switch among the full field of drivers to follow them around the track, during pit stops, cautions and lead changes while viewing driver data such as live position, speed and time behind leader; they can also listen to all available in-car audio feeds. Three different race views are available for each driver, including Lead View, which shows the front of the driver’s car, as well as, the cars in pursuit; Flyover View, an aerial view from above; and Draft View, which shows the car from behind and the field in front of the driver. Other enhancements include pit road statistics, lap-by-lap editorial commentary and a fantasy game integration.
“NASCAR is very excited that with Turner Sports New Media and Sportvision we can once again set new standards for serving the fans with creative, comprehensive, precedent-setting interactive content and experiences,” said Dick Glover, vice president of broadcasting and new media, NASCAR Digital Entertainment.
“The RaceView application represents the first-ever live rendering of a major sporting event in 3-D, providing fans the most dynamic interactive experience ever developed,” said Hank Adams, CEO, Sportvision. “RaceView is at the forefront of a new wave of convergence applications that will change the way fans interact with and watch with their sport.”
TrackPass RaceView will be available exclusively on NASCAR.COM beginning February 15 for $12.95 per month or $79.95 annually and requires broadband access. The application builds on the technology of the existing TrackPass PitCommand, an Emmy-award winning application that allows fans to follow their drivers using 2-D animation. TrackPass PitCommand will continue to be available with basic Internet access for $9.95 a month or $64.95 annually and will be upgraded to provide in-car audio feeds. NASCAR.COM will also continue to offer TrackPass Scanner, a popular product for fans that simply want to hear drivers and their crews communicate during the race reacting to situations on the track. The scanner is $4.95 a month or $29.95 a year. Existing TrackPass PitCommand members will receive a $10 discount off of the annual price if they upgrade to TrackPass RaceView during Speedweeks.
The new NASCAR.COM site will offer a simpler, sleeker, and more immersive online experience giving fans even more news, stats, and video of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, NASCAR Busch Series and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Race footage and replays of NASCAR races will be available on the site’s own free broadband channel, which will also host exclusive content such as pre-race and post-race shows and NASCAR 24/7, a daily video update of NASCAR news, in addition to other features and footage not available elsewhere. NASCAR.COM will also incorporate TNT broadcast race announcers through online features and contributions throughout the season.
The Infield Community on NASCAR.COM will create a “track away from the track” experience where fans can meet, upload their own photos and videos and create personalized pages. The Infield Community is free to all fans and establishes a sense of belonging while giving them a way to share interests and stay connected. Fans can create their own ‘crews’ based on their interests or affiliations with drivers, teams, tracks, series, geography and programs. Infield members can easily navigate through the Infield Community section using their personal dashboard, which provides instant access back to personal information, networks and contributions. Once the season starts, NASCAR.COM will engage members and crews in weekly community challenges that will eventually allow fans and crews to compete against each other. The Infield Community will be available at the relaunch of NASCAR.COM on February 1. Fans who already have a NASCAR.COM account can simply add the Infield to their account and instantly begin building their personalized pages.