Sports in the U.S. have been on hiatus since March—but with new social distancing procedures—Nascar is returning to the track.
On May 17 Nascar returned with a new schedule and a ban on sports fans attending the races. With beer advertising steadily moving more towards digital channels over the past two years, according to a Gartner report, it makes sense that one of Nascar’s biggest sponsors would utilize social media to reach homebound fans during the Coronavirus pandemic. For example, a lack of live attendees steered brand sponsor Busch Light to turn to social media to engage with loyal Nascar fans. The beer brand created a contest on Twitter, giving fans the chance to have their faces painted on the Busch Light’s sponsored stock car driven by professional racer Kevin Harvick. To enter, fans could post a picture of themselves drinking a can of Busch Light, tagging the brand’s account and including the hashtags #YourFaceHere and #BuschContest. The beer brand is choosing 10 winners whose faces will be unveiled on the Busch Light car at the Nascar Cup Series Race on May 27.
The return of Nascar gave ardent fans something to celebrate. Despite a ban on attendees at the speedways, racing enthusiasts were sure to vocalize their support for the sport’s return on social media. Busch Light’s ability to tap into the enthusiastic fan base on Twitter could help the brand build a following with homebound fans and give new fans a car to root for in the race. Busch Light has previously turned to Twitter for a Nascar-themed campaign. In late 2019 the brewery offered a year’s worth of free beer to fans that tweeted about Kevin Harvick during the Monster Energy Cup Series using the hashtag #Busch4Harvick. Repeatedly using social media to publicize its Nascar sponsorship allows Busch Light to nurture its own loyal audience for the sport.
Busch Light’s latest promotion encourages Nascar fans to celebrate the sport’s return with a cold can of beer. The social media campaign could be the start of a long-term trend for sports sponsors as the future of fans at sporting events remains vague.