IndyCar the tech savvy, social media pioneering racing league continues to expand the use of modern social platforms to reach customers in new ways. Launched this year, the official IndyCar app for Android distributed through Verizon has been very popular with fans of the sport. The app allows users to access timing and scoring info and a bevy of multimedia content wherever and whenever they want. Fans such as Ima Corngrower at the most recent race at Iowa Speedway raved at how it enhanced their racing experience. “Sometimes, it gets confusing to know who is in the lead, who’s pitted and who is a lap down, the timing and scoring is real blessing”
Not to be outdone by the league, Individual drivers are also developing apps for their fanbases to download to their mobile phones. The first driver to make such a service available was Pippa Mann. The Pippa app, is offered as a standard part of the Nov.us celebrity social media service. The app allows Pippa’s fans to access biographical and multimedia information from Pippa’s website more conveniently than through a normal mobile browser. The app also consolidates all Pippa’s social media messages from Facebook, twitter and Nov.us into a single stream.
But the Pippa App doesn’t plan to stop there and simply be a feed director, the Pippa II app due out at the end of the month plans to integrate additional hardware functionality of the user’s own phone to create a true interactive Fan experience. “I’m really excited about the Shoe Sister functionality” said Mann. “It will allow my fan girls and Pressdog, to take a picture of a shoe they are considering buying or wearing and then the app will provide commentary in my voice offering my honest thoughts about the fashionability of the shoe and what kind of outfits it would look smart with. It will help all my fans keep up with Pippa Style!”
Another driver who has recently released an App is James Hinchcliff. The custom built Hinchtown app has the customary feed redirects, but also features a Tim Horton’s Proximity alarm. Whenever the app senses that the user is within a specified distance of Hinch’s favorite donut shop an alarm featuring Hincliffe’s voice will sound “Mmmmm Tim Horton’s EH?”
“It’s really simple how it works” said renowned app designer David Craske. “If the GPS functionality of the user’s phone is turned on, the app takes the Longitude and Latitude readings from the phone and using stored coordinates for Tim Horton’s locations, calculates the Euclidean distance the user is from each store in the Tim Horton’s chain. If a calculated distance for one of the stores is below a user set threshold, the alarm sounds.”
Taking the GPS enabled functionality even further, two independent development teams, one for Marco Andretti and the other for Tomas Schekter, are vying to be the first drivers to feature the “Hotties I’ve Had” feature in their apps. The HIH functionality will feature two apps, one for the Hotties, that allows the GPS in her phone to act like a beacon, tracking her ever changing location and then the Fan app that will calculate the fan’s distance from the hotties. When in range, the fan app will offer up commentary from Marco or Tomas about their liaisons with the in range Hottie.
Fortunately, not all driver apps are quite so Big Brother – ish in nature, many are ingeniously functional. The AJ Foyt app for instance transforms the user’s mobile device into a blunt force object that can be used to pound on objects such as cranky race engines, laptop computers, Luyendyks and Robin Miller’s head. The Danica app will allow users to access both a semi nude Pictorial collage of Danica and over 1,000 of her favorite cookie recipes.
Even Bloggers have gotten in on the App Development frenzy. The Oilpressure.com app allows its users to access an impressive historical racing database. With it the user can access 35 paragraph summaries of every single lap in every single open wheel championship race ever run. More eventful laps will have longer summaries of course, but the user merely needs to provide lap#, track and year and the app does the rest. Using the Phone’s camera capability the Oilpressure.com app will allow users to take a picture the race surface of any track and will conduct and asphalt matching scan to identify the track and exact location on the track that the user is standing.
The JPIndyCar app features the JRHildeFan functionality that renders the app user invisible whenever he is within 100 feet of JR Hildebrand, assisting the user in circumventing various restraining orders that may have been issued against them.
“It’s an exciting new time” says Social PR Maven and Visionary Pat Caporali. “And as always, IndyCar is leading the way.”