Periscope Could Change The Landscape Of NASCAR Forever


Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

The year was 1979. The Daytona 500 was being fully broadcast by CBS for the first time ever and the stakes were high to show audiences exactly why this sport was like no other. One of the things that helped this was the use of Racecam. A camera that was installed in the cockpit of Benny Parsons’ car and gave audiences a streamlined view of what was going on inside the racecar during the marathon race.

This eventually led to ESPN and CBS using onboard cameras including one that could turn on a 360 degree axis and be controlled remotely. One was even used in Cale Yarbrough’s car when he won The 1984 Daytona 500. Eventually a foot cam was installed in racecars as well to illustrate to viewers how drivers would use the heel toe process during road course races.

Sure, the Racecam and even Footcam might have seemed like a strange and scary concept at the time, today they are installed in almost every racecar in NASCAR and even other racing series. The cameras are even able to move with the car, giving fans a sense of joining their favorite drivers on the high banked tracks of The Sprint Cup Circuit.

Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

While The Racecam and onboard cameras were an amazing technological feat at the time, there is now new technology that can not only transform the way fans follow the sport of NASCAR, but also bring them closer to their favorite drivers as well.

What is this new and exciting technology you may ask? The answer is an app called, Periscope. The app allows its users to broadcast their everyday lives and have viewers interact with them in real time. The app was developed by Kayvon Beykpour and Joe Bernstein and eventually bought by Twitter for 100 million dollar earlier this year.

The app has not only allowed any mobile phone user to follow their favorite driver to media appearances, sponsorships obligations and funny adventures into their private life’s, but also has been used for official NASCAR press conferences and even car inspections as well. While all these are great things for the sport of NASCAR, there is one use of the app that gaining the sport more exposure than ever before.

Not only can you follow your favorite driver through their day to day lives, but now you can even watch them beat and bang in other racing series entirely. In fact, many of the younger drivers in the sport have begun use the popular app to show themselves racing in local Saturday night dirt track features, which should be an absolute treat for any NASCAR fan to see.

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What makes this even more valuable is the fact that the possibilities are endless. Fans that have the app can literally transport to their favorite drivers home and see what their up to. Sure, drivers don’t broadcast twenty four hours a day, but when they do, they make sure NASCAR fans are really getting an inside look at their life’s.

If NASCAR was smart, they would begin to utilize this kind of technology on the track as well as off. Have pit crews broadcast live from the drivers pit box to give an update on their strategy, give fans a question and answer session during pace laps of a race, or even let fans join their favorite driver in an up close and personal look at their victory lane celebrations.

Even if NASCAR deems the device and the technology unsafe for use in the car, there is still a multitude of ways to utilize this kind of technology and even create a partnership between NASCAR and Periscope. Maybe it’s something as simple as drivers broadcasting their prerace ride around the track, or maybe it’s a driver going around and asking other drivers in the infield questions submitted by fans, but with technology like this available from the comfort of your phone, NASCAR desperately needs to get on board.

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