NASCAR Sprint Cup App Launches on iOS, Optimized for Sprint
The Chase for the Sprint Cup is under way, and fans looking to track their favorite drivers throughout NASCAR’s postseason can install the sport’s first official app for iOS devices. The NASCAR Sprint Cup mobile app, recently launched by NASCAR, Sprint, and Turner Sports for iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad, allows fans to follow the 10 Chase races and access on-demand video, schedules, standings, news, and more.
Fans with a Sprint Unlimited Data plan will have access to additional features, including live video, in-race audio, and real-time telemetry data.
“Fan engagement during the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup is significantly elevated each and every season as the championship battle unfolds and ultimately culminates at Homestead-Miami Speedway in November,” says Marc Jenkins, VP, digital media, NASCAR. “With NASCAR Sprint Cup Mobile now available for the iPhone for the first time ever, fans will get a customized experience, bringing them closer to the racing action than ever before.”
Optimizing Video for a Smaller Screen
On-demand video can be accessed through the app, regardless of data plan. The app features a rotation of newsworthy clips, including press conferences, practice footage, and race highlights. Sprint customers can access live video through RaceBuddy when available. TNT’s RaceBuddy on NASCAR.com features eight camera angles: four In-Car Driver Cams, two Battle Cams, a Backstretch Cam, and a Pit Road Cam.
“For the races that we have RaceBuddy up and running, we will stream the RaceBuddy streams to the app,” says Justin Williams, senior director of business operations for NASCAR.com, Turner Sports. “[We] reformat those [streams] for a slightly smaller screen and lower bandwidth and then serve them up through the app, which makes it look a little bit different than it would on a PC or a laptop, but it’s still the same content and still the same live in-car cameras and shots from the track.”
The NASCAR Sprint Cup mobile app, developed by Funware, also streams live NASCAR on Speed broadcasts, including live qualifying, practice, and trackside shows. Turner sends the live video feed through a separate encoder from the linear broadcast in order to lower the bitrate for mobile devices.
Live In-Car Audio and Radio Broadcasts
On the audio side, NASCAR fans can access live Motor Racing Network and Performance Racing Network radio broadcasts, as well as live in-car audio for all 43 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers.
“From our experience on other platforms with Sprint Cup Mobile, we know that the in-car audio is huge: the race radio traffic that comes between driver, crew chief, and spotters from the track and allows people to tune between them,” says Williams. “We see people using that actually at the race as they’re watching it and monitoring it from there. A lot of people depend on that application when they’re at the track to keep up with what’s going on with the race. So, if you’re at the track and you find it valuable, you can imagine how great it is to have those features if you’re a thousand miles away.”
Real-time leaderboards and Pit Pass telemetry data are supplied by the same GPS systems that serve Sportvision’s TrackPass RaceView. Unlike TrackPass RaceView on NASCAR.com, which renders a NASCAR race live in 3D, the app’s smaller format necessitates rendering in 2D.
“All of that telemetry data is broadcast from each car while it’s going around the track,” Williams explains. “We compile it and use that data to then render it for the user.”
NASCAR To Take Over Digital
As part of a restructured partnership announced earlier this year, Turner Sports remains the exclusive sales agent across the NASCAR Digital Media platform through 2016, and NASCAR assumes operational control on Jan. 1, 2013, of its interactive, digital, and social-media rights and all related platforms.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Mobile App is available for free from the App Store on iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad, or at www.itunes.com/appstore.