Happy New Year… Is it May yet?!

Published On January 2, 2013 » 973 Views» By Brian Simpson » #Indy500orBust, Blogs, Indy 500

Another year is in the books.  Another race season has gone by, and we’re approaching the start of the next one.  It’s hard to believe that we’ve sped through another 365 days.  It feels like just a few weeks ago we were planning for the 2012 event season.  It may be a cliché, but it’s true, 2012 was a blur.

We did A LOT in 2012.  More than we planned, that’s for sure.

2012 saw the debut of our first ever Social Media Garage.  A first of its kind in motorsports.  For those of you who missed the Social Media Garage… where the heck were you?!  It was a seriously cool space.  We had flat screens all over the place, displaying tweets from our fans and track feeds.  iRacing and SimRaceway were kind enough to send along some simulators for us to use in the garage, and fans had the opportunity to hop in an IndyCar, Daytona Prototype, NASCAR Nationwide Series Car and a Sprint Cup car and hot lap the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  Once you finished that, you could hop on a laptop and browse the Web, try to post the fastest time on our Race to Win at Indy sweepstakes or brag on Facebook or Twitter about how cool you were because you were in the Social Media Garage!  The SMG featured exclusive tweet-ups with some of the biggest personalities in racing.  Drivers like Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Wade Cunningham, Ed Carpenter, and Helio Castroneves all swung by the garage to hang with the fans and answer questions.

We had a great group of official bloggers hanging out in the garage for all of our events.  The world famous (and Brad Keselowski’s favorite twitter account of 2012) @NASCARcasm joined us for the Brickyard. Insiders from the Country Music (@JessicaNorthey) and NASCAR scenes (@JennyDevaughn) also joined us over the course of Super Weekend.  In addition to this group we had an EXTREMELY dedicated group that spent nearly everyday with us in the garage during May.  Many thanks to @NewTrackRecord, @AndHesOnIt, @15DaysinMay, @IndyCarAdvocate, and @Erock_In_Indy!

We’re happy to announce that the Social Media Garage will return in 2013 with tons of new awesome additions!

One of my favorite content pieces of the year was our “Anatomy Of A Pit Stop.”  JR Hildebrand and the team at Panther Racing were nice enough to allow us to put 5 cameras on his DW12 during the IZOD Pit Stop Challenge on Miller Lite Carb Day.  The result was a very cool inside look at a pit stop during an INDYCAR race.  There’s a ton of moving pieces to a pit stop and Panther Racing did a great job of executing a beautiful stop during our shoot.

Most recently we launched the #Smoke2Indy campaign.  We wanted to create some buzz around the offer from Roger “The Captain” Penske to Tony Stewart for an Indianapolis 500 ride in 2013.  We fired up a petition on our site and urged all our fans via social media to show their support for “Smoke” running the 500.  The response was truly amazing.  We had nearly 3,600 signatures in just three days!  There were hundreds of comments, shares, tweets and retweets.  Ultimately, Tony made the decision not to accept Roger’s offer, but for us, we got to see just how incredible our fans are.  Everyone united behind the petition and there was SO much positive feedback.  We can’t thank all of you who participated enough.  It was truly one of our greatest successes in 2012.

On to 2013!

Enough about 2012.  It was a great year but we’ve got some very cool things coming down the pipeline in 2013.

First things first… some of you may have noticed our new hashtag for the 2013 Indy 500, #Indy500OrBust.  Well that’s going to be so much more than a hashtag. 

In 2013, it’s all about the journey.  The Indianapolis 500 is so much more than just a race.  It’s a tradition, it’s a cathedral, it’s The Greatest Spectacle in Racing!  We’re going to spend the months leading up to the 500 highlighting fans, drivers, media members, IMS employees and INDYCAR employees’ individual journeys to “Indy.”  Not just their physical journey but their journey through life that brought them to Indy.  We’ve found that many people have incredible stories as to why they love Indy, how they came to love it and their journey to becoming a fan so we’re going to share them!  If you have a story you’d think we’d like to hear, you can email us at online@brickyard.com, and we just might use your story in our blog!

But wait… there’s more! Fans who upload photos to Instagram (follow us @IndianapolisMotorSpeedway) using the hashtag #Indy500OrBust will have the opportunity to enter into a sweepstakes and a chance to win a VIP trip to the 2014 Indianapolis 500!  Start uploading your photos now, and we’ll send you a notification with the next steps to enter the sweepstakes once we go live.

We have an entire website being built as I write this that’s going to feature an interactive map allowing fans to see where teams, drivers, INDYCAR, IMS, and other fans are uploading photos to Instagram.  The site will populate the latest photo that has been uploaded to the campaign (that could be yours!), blog posts from our Journey series, instructions on how to participate in the Instagram sweeps as we all as exclusive never-before seen videos!

We’re all really excited about this campaign.  We think it’s going to provide a great place for fans to interact with each other and share their love for the Indianapolis 500 and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  And who knows, you could be the lucky winner of the VIP trip to the 2014 Indianapolis 500! So use that hashtag and use it often!  Let’s get #Indy500OrBust trending all year!

This is just a quick snapshot of one of our projects for 2013.  Rest assured there will be plenty more exciting content coming for you all, the fans!  We’d also like to hear from you… what type of content do you want to see?  Are there things you’ve always wondered about IMS historically or as a facility?  Is there a behind-the-scenes experience you’ve always dreamed about seeing?  Tell us!  We’re listening!  Let us know what you’d like by commenting on this post, tweeting at us (@IMS), sending us messages on Facebook (Facebook.com/IndianapolisMotorSpeedway), or emailing us (online@brickyard.com).  We love hearing from our fans and do our best to respond to each one of you.

We wish you all a happy and healthy 2013 and…. IS IT MAY YET!?

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About The Author

Brian Simpson

I am the Manager, Digital/Social & Photo Operations at THE Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Racing is my passion and has been since I was 4 years old and I attended my first IndyCar race. I grew up going to Mid-Ohio to watch my Dad race and to attend IndyCar races. I'm a Chef, Digital Producer, Photographer, avid Sim-Racer, and hard-core motorsports fan. Follow me on twitter! @Simpson244
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