Introduced last year to promote NASCAR’s revamped Chase format, the Battle of Nations (NASCAR.com/Chase) returns to capture the drama and excitement of The Chase while giving fans even more ways to engage with the sport’s unpredictable, 10-race playoffs.
“NASCAR and its fans were treated last year to one of the most thrilling and compelling championships we’ve ever had,” said NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Steve Phelps. “With ‘Join the Battle’ as our rallying cry, we’ve brought back a campaign that will bring our fans closer to the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup than ever before.”
The campaign theme was inspired by drivers’ loyal fan followings and aligns the 16 Chase drivers, their race teams, automotive manufacturers and partners as unique nations – each looking to grow their fan bases and stand above the rest in a quest for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship.
The sport’s largest-ever social media campaign will invite fans, teams and sponsors to show support for their favorite Chase drivers and share content using the hashtag #TheChase. USA TODAY Sports will introduce the first-ever NASCAR Fan Index to aggregate social chatter and host weekly, online fan votes to help determine which Chase driver has the greatest nation.
The first of five original Chase-specific television spots, developed with Ogilvy & Mather New York, are currently in rotation across the NBC family of networks. “Team” dispels the myth that NASCAR is an individual sport as race fans gear up to join their driver nations, while “Pledge” shows fans pledging their allegiances to their favorite Chase drivers. Subsequent 30-second spots will be released for each round of The Chase, which kicks off at Chicagoland Speedway on Sept. 20 (3 p.m. ET on NBCSN, MRN and SiriusXM Satellite Radio).
Fans wanting in on the action themselves can engage digitally with the Battle of Nations by making weekly predictions in The Chase Grid™ Battle Powered by Bing. In addition, fans can register at NBCSports.com/GridChallenge to play the Quicken Loans $16 Million Perfect Grid Challenge for a chance to win $16 million, and the Weekly Playoff Grid Challenge for a chance to win prizes including a year’s worth of free mortgage payments.
NASCAR soon will launch the first-ever Join the Battle app, offering interactive content to enhance fans’ experience during the Chase on mobile devices. The interactive app will be available for download on Sept. 13 at NASCAR.com/Chase.
The Chase drivers themselves will hit the road to interact with fans and mobilize their nations leading up to the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. As part of Chase Across North America, drivers will embark on a multi-city media tour, crisscrossing the nation to make special appearances – including in every Chase track market – and build excitement for The Chase.
Before the Chicago race, all 16 Challenger Round™ competitors will appear at NASCAR Chase Fest™ sponsored by Toyota – a free outdoor fan fest on Weed Street (located between Fremont and Kingsbury Streets) on Sept. 17 featuring a live concert by 3 Doors Down, driver autograph sessions, food, drinks, amusement attractions, and appearances by Miss Sprint Cup and other NASCAR personalities.
The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup marketing effort will include extensive branding and signage at Chase racetracks, as well as print and digital assets that will allow tracks, team sponsors and NASCAR Official Partners to extend the campaign thematic. Driver nation flags will be woven into the various campaign elements, digitally and on-site, to rally fans and inspire spirited rivalry.
NASCAR will crown its 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion at the Ford Ecoboost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in the fourth and final round of The Chase on Nov. 22 (3 p.m. ET, NBC, MRN and SiriusXM Satellite Radio). To purchase event tickets for Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup races, visit NASCAR.com.