Nascar to Take Digital Platforms Back From Turner Sports | Adweek
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Nascar to Take Digital Platforms Back From Turner Sports

Seeking digital agency for site relaunch
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Nascar has asked Turner Sports for the keys to Nascar.com and is now looking for a digital agency to help navigate a site relaunch.

In an agreement announced Monday, Nascar will assume control of its digital and social media platforms—including Nascar.com as well as the racing body’s Facebook, Twitter and YouTube accounts; mobile and tablet apps; and connected device apps—in 2013. The site relaunch is planned for Jan. 1, 2013, but Nascar did not issue a formal RFP for the work, said Marc Jenkins, vp of digital media at Nascar.

“We’ve built a bunch of relationships as we’ve looked in this digital space over the last year-plus. So I think we’ve got a sense of what we’re looking for [in an agency], and hopefully within the next month-plus we’ll be ready to make a good announcement in that space,” Jenkins said.

Turner Sports, which has managed Nascar’s digital properties since 2001, will continue to handle digital ad sales for Nascar through 2016, extending the previous agreement by two years.

Last year Nascar Media Group hired SapientNitro as a media consultant to advise on advertising trends. Jenkins said the digital agency is among the shops in the running for the Nascar.com work.

Jenkins declined to discuss in detail what the new Nascar.com would entail but said that Nascar has been considering taking control of its digital platform from Turner Sports since the companies renewed their agreement in 2008.

“It just has become too important for us not to control this direct communication channel to our fans,” said Jenkins.

Turner Sports maintains operational oversight and handles ad sales for NBA Digital, PGA.com and NCAA.com, said Sal Petruzzi, svp of communications at Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. Comprising NBA Digital is NBA.com, NBA TV, NBA League Pass, NBA Mobile, the NBA Game Time mobile app, NBA.com/dleague and WNBA.com.