The front entrance of ISM Raceway, where many of the improvements are noticeable upon entering after the completion of the track’s modernization.
Phoenix Raceway will be ISM Raceway – what does this mean?
The racetrack that will soon be formally known as Phoenix International Raceway has been in a state of change through much of 2017 as it moves forward with its efforts to create a better fan experience with its $178 million modernization.
The track’s efforts of creating a more modern, technology-based fan experience during race weekends can be seen through its recent naming rights deal with ISM Connect, which will change the track’s name from Phoenix Raceway to ISM Raceway effective January 1, 2018.
Video by Jesse A. Millard
Although some die-hard fans may not be thrilled about the name change, the resulting technology that is being incorporated at the track may get them excited.
As part of its deal, ISM Connect will be bringing a level of connectivity to the racetrack that is different from any other place, said Jeff Hutchins, who is vice president of operations at ISM Connect, at the announcement of the name change.
ISM’s goal with what it’s bringing to the raceway “is to find some way, as you approach a venue, to engage it immediately. If you’re a fan, a visitor, a brand, it doesn’t really matter, we want you to see the possibilities of that day,” Hutchins said.
A venue mobile application, Wi-Fi connectivity across the race track and a whole lot more will be created as part of the track’s current improvement process and the recent naming rights deal. The mobile application will work as a tool to help connect casual fans with NASCAR and other racing events at ISM Raceway.
This will be done by having audio tours explaining what’s happening at various race-day events, such as the car inspections, installed on the racetrack’s mobile application. There will be way-finding tools and resources to help fans plan out their schedules during the race week as well within the application.
ISM Connect will also provide screens at the race track that will serve targetted ads for both the venue and sponsors. ISM Connect will also have data analytics on what types of impressions sponsors received at the event. This will be done with the installation of cameras, which will both ensure venue security and impression counts for sponsors, said Marc Del Vecchio, vice president of technology at ISM Connect.
Part of the technology that’s being installed at ISM Raceway, includes heat-mapping tech so ISM Raceway can better understand where its fans congregate during an event.
This information will be used so the race track can better place sponsor brands around the facility, while also enhancing the fan experience, Del Vecchio said.
It appears, ISM Connect is looking at its partnership with the racetrack as a way to create a modern experience for the fans, while also bringing a level of analytics and ad delivery similar to the web to a real-life venue.
“We really look at this as a partnership. We’re not just dropping some off some equipment and going away. We hope to be here for ten years and longer, and be a true partner of the raceway,” Del Vecchio said.