NASCAR's new augmented reality experience aims to delight. Source: Shutterstock

NASCAR’s new augmented reality experience aims to delight. Source: Shutterstock

NASCAR bonds with fans with new augmented reality experience

AUGMENTED reality (AR) has been one of the most interesting technologies for businesses this year, and in 2020, it is expected to see stronger demand.

The simplicity of the technology is usually what attracts companies as well as customers to it — enabling the creation of applications and experiences that aim to delight.

Most recently, NASCAR said that it has created a new AR experience to delight fans, enabling them to get behind the wheel of their favorite NASCAR Playoff driver’s car and perform burnouts in a 3D-rendered vehicle.

Dubbed the ‘NASCAR AR Burnout Experience Driven by Goodyear’, the project involved real-life NASCAR stars performed burnouts on the Las Vegas Strip.

“As NASCAR’s top drivers take to the streets of Las Vegas this week, fans around the world will be able to strap in and perform burnouts of their very own – right from their mobile devices,” said NASCAR Senior Vice President and Chief Digital Officer Tim Clark.

“Augmented reality is helping us revolutionize the way that NASCAR fans engage with the sport. Our goal is to bring fans as close to the sport as possible, and AR is an ideal medium to help us accomplish that as we look to engage the NASCAR fans of both today and tomorrow.”

Clark revealed that aside from this particular experience, the company is looking into other AR-powered applications to create more immersive experiences and help build next-generation engagement channels.

What NASCAR has done is really exciting but it also highlights a trend among sports associations and companies using AR to strengthen their bond with customers and create more intelligent experiences.

Earlier this year, for example, the NBA worked with ESPN to create real-time AR experience for fans.

“We found that people who were engaged tended to come back and re-engage. Which is definitely a strong measure we’re looking at. The biggest advantage of AR […] is the accessibility,” said NBA Senior VP of Digital Products and Emerging Technology Michael Allen.

The technology also made a splash at last year’s FIFA World Cup in Russia where AR content was used to bring the games to life and help delight fans all over the world.

In the coming years, AR will be critical to businesses trying to create engaging experiences — especially because the barriers to entry are so low and the value it brings to patrons as well as the brand is so high.