We are proud to announce the launch of a new digital platform for NASCAR Next. The program was created as a way to honor the up-and-coming future stars of auto racing while at the same time providing valuable training and mentoring for interacting with the media, fans, and more.
NASCAR came to UNION with the goal of highlighting these young drivers in a unique way, giving them the ability to stand out and gain early popularity. UNION’s goal was to give these drivers a new platform to project their personalities to the world. By achieving this goal, these drivers now have more exposure, allowing fans a chance to learn about these future stars in the making; including their interests, hobbies, and backgrounds.
In addition to the above, NASCAR also wanted to find a way to better articulate the brand story. The program is unique in that it offers drivers opportunities they may not normally receive. NASCAR chose to use a newly designed digital platform to showcase the program in an exciting, new way.
About NASCAR Next
NASCAR Next is a successful program that provides benefits to young drivers such as media training, driver brand development, sponsorship support, and driver interaction. Now in its sixth year, the program already has a rich history behind it. With some of their alumni including names like, Chase Elliott, Kyle Larson, Ryan Blaney, and Darrell Wallace, Jr..
The class is selected through an extensive evaluation process with multiple rounds that includes input from industry executives and veteran racers. This year's class of 11 includes drivers ranging from those with deep family roots in the sport to those who got their start outside of the U.S. The full list includes:
- Harrison Burton, Huntersville, NC
- Collin Cabre, Tampa, FL
- Spencer Davis, Dawsonville, GA
- Alon Day, Tel Aviv, Israel
- Tyler Dippel, Wallkill, NY
- Todd Gilliland, Sherrills Ford, NC
- Noah Gragson, Las Vegas, NV
- Gary Klutt, Toronto, Canada
- Julia Landauer, New York, NY
- Ty Majeski, Seymour, WI
- Matt Tifft, Hinckley, OH
One of the primary challenges with this project was displaying these drivers from different backgrounds, that run in different series, and at varying levels of competition in a way that didn’t show favoritism. Additionally, we wanted to make sure that their true personalities came through while ensuring their marketability.
One example of how we tackled this challenge was the development of the “Meet the Drivers” slider on the homepage. We engineered it in a way that randomizes the drivers for each page load as well as providing an automatic scrolling feature that equally showcases all drivers. With user experience in mind, we ensured that automatic scrolling stopped once the end user hovered over a specific driver, allowing them to focus on the drivers they wanted to see most.
Another way we ensured that all drivers received an even playing field was through photography. The team at NASCAR wanted to make sure they didn’t get lost in the noise of “another driver in a firesuit,” so with the assistance of a stylist, we ensured that each driver had a more casual, mature look. This helped establish credibility and set each driver apart.
The NASCAR Next project was a unique project that gave us the opportunity to create a user experience that not only draws in new fans, media and sponsors, but also potential new program members. Through this site, these young drivers now have the ability to showcase to the world their personality and build a foundation and legitimate brand image. At the same time, NASCAR Next can now tell its story and build on its success. Make sure to check it out at nascar.com/next.