NASCAR.com Supercharges Site with ‘Photocasts’

Turner Sports is adding to its multimedia offerings on NASCAR.com with a new set of “photocasts” delivered by rich media technology player FilmLoop.

FilmLoop provides users with a downloadable application that lets them display photocast loops, series of digital images streamed to a user’s desktop via the FilmLoop player. Loops can be created from the user’s own images or downloaded from FilmLoop’s library of user-generated or sponsor-driven content.

Purina, HP and TBS are among the advertisers that have created loops in the past. FilmLoop has also partnered with eBay to stream photos of vehicles for sale in certain categories of eBay Motors, and to allow sellers to create their own custom loops with product images.

Turner has created several such loops with photos from its NASCAR.com site, including images from weekly auto races as well as loops featuring some of the more popular drivers. Each loop contains about 10 photos which are updated weekly. A few ads are inserted in between each loop, which can drive users to the NASCAR.com site to download more loops, sign up for other NASCAR.com services, or enable “send to a friend” functionality.

“FilmLoop provides us with a new media tool that lets our community interact with the impactful imagery of NASCAR in a new way,” Lenny Daniels, senior VP of sports production and new media at Turner Sports, said in a statement. “Fans can tap into our vast galleries or easily create their own. And, it lets us harness the relationship we form with the fan into highly effective and targeted marketing campaigns.”

Race fans can sign up from the NASCAR.com site, download the application, and then receive updated image streams automatically on their desktops. The loops can also be posted to a blog or other Web site.

Turner tested out the FilmLoop offering with two pilot programs this summer. During those tests, users typically spent between 15 to 25 minutes per week actively viewing the content, Daniels said. One test offered live race photos updated before, during, and after a race. Another asked fans to upload their own photos for online photo contests with an autographed driver helmet as a prize.

Turner Sports, a Time Warner company, has produced NASCAR.com through its New Media division since January 2001. Besides its online-only content, the site often runs tie-ins with races broadcast on TV, including some on Turner’s TNT network. In February, the site featured an ad gallery that highlighted the top TV ads that ran during the Daytona 500, considered by some advertisers as the “Super Bowl of NASCAR.”

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