Avaya Aims to Take Pole Position in the Race for Motorsports Fan Engagement In a Digital World

By: Greg Weber, CTO Organization, Global Theater Lead

Avaya is a vehicle for revolutionizing fan engagement, team engagement, and communications in racing. As proud members of Team Penske 2015 racing season for the Verizon IndyCar Series and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, in partnership with HP, Avaya has been fortunate to experience and assess raceday experiences for motorsports fans from the driveway to the race track, and evaluate how our innovative technologies and solutions can better impact the future of racing. 

Motorsports like NASCAR, IndyCar, and Formula 1, are known for extremely dedicated fans. Race attendees are passionate fans and connect the most with brands and sponsors because they are typically fully integrated into the whole race day experience, from driver’s gear to car parts and everywhere in between. According to the International Speedway Corporation, NASCAR fans are the most brand-loyal fans in sports and three times more likely to share their passion for the sport. Aside from brand loyalty, Avaya wants to move beyond user consumption and merchandise, to focus more on enhancing the race day experience for crews, team members and fans and what it means to be a sponsor that is capable of creating and shaping the ultimate race day experience. 
In February, I attended the Sports Business Daily/Global/Journal hosted the 16th annual DAYTONA Rising/NASCAR Motorsports Marketing Forum. With a two part series in Las Vegas and the Daytona International Speedway, the Forum provided an open, collaborative gateway for industry leaders to gather and discuss valued insights and perspectives on best practices and trends within the sport of racing. The multi-day event was a hotspot for the latest and greatest when it comes to all facets of the motorsports industry. 
Avaya’s particular interest and track was centered around bringing 21st-Century technology to the raceway. As a representative for Avaya, I participated in a panel discussion on technology in motorsports with representatives from HP, IBM, and Arris Group. The panel covered a diverse set of topics affecting racing like the effects of social media, leveraging trending mobile communications, the value of a solid infrastructure, and personalizing the fan experience. 
As innovators of fan, customer, and team engagement solutions across a variety of smart venues, such as Avaya Stadium in San Jose, the Pepsi Center in Denver, and the Sochi Olympics, I was able to provide valuable insight with real world examples related to robust Fabric Networking, reliable WiFi,  and enhanced digital touchpoints like the fan engagement wall and fan engagement mobile app that truly create an omni-channel environment needed for the modern fan and fan enablers of a smart venue (i.e. smart race track). 
Avaya’s comprehensive portfolio of smart technologies for a mobile-first, always-on world, enable professional sports like the MLS, NBA, NHL, and racing to provide the immersive fan and connected team engagement experience that is required in today’s multi-screen, multi-device, touch-enabled world. 
There is already existing technology that improves overall communication with drivers, cars, teams, crews and fans at home… but there is always going to be a need for speed and a need to integrating with emerging technologies to stay relevant. Fans want access to exclusive content like stats, news, and videos to feel like they are always connected with their favorite teams and drivers - and the ability to be flexible to incorporate these new technologies is critical for all invested parties. Avaya is the leading communications company that can support this transformation for organizations, like NASCAR and IndyCar, to drive an omni-channel experience mobile, social, digital world.
As manufacturing, technology, and data continue to shape the growth and direction of racing and how the sport is viewed, experienced, and executed on and off the track - Avaya is committed to creating new and reliable forms of communication and engagement solutions that give fans and teams the best perspective possible while keeping our drivers safe and the spirit of the sport alive!
With the 2016 IndyCar and NASCAR series just under way, we are eager to discover and enable more full-throttle ways to innovate and improve the fast-paced sport.
Avaya is grateful to have been a part of the 2015 Team Penske race season and are optimistic about motorsport’s evolution in this smart, digital world. We are also looking forward to what the 2016 race season brings as we will be cheering on Simon Pagenaud and Brad Keselowski (former Avaya car drivers) as they continues their hot streak down the IndyCar and NASCAR circuits.