If you’re tired of getting requests from Facebook friends to tend crops in Farmville, or save baby pandas in Zooville, or slam down mixed drinks until your liver slaps you with a restraining order in Bartenderville, don’t be surprised when you start getting requests to crew for a virtual NASCAR team.
For better or for worse, NASCAR is taking advantage of the social game craze and launching its own “NASCAR Pro Championship presented by Sprint” game, to be featured within the existing Car Town social game. The NASCAR Pro Championship game is expected to draw in a significant number of NASCAR fans and faithful, boosting Car Town’s already impressive 9 million Facebook visitors.
Turner Sports, who manages NASCAR.com, will use Turner Network Television to promote the game on broadcast media, while partner Sprint will promote it via other digital media. The game will run through the conclusion of this year’s NASCAR Sprint Cup in November.
The popularity of Car Town, and its existing base of motorsport fans, made the game a natural choice for a NASCAR Pro Championship partner. Developer Cie Games was also willing to work with an outside brand on integration, undoubtedly due to the huge draw anticipated with the NASCAR tie-in.
Like other social games, NASCAR Pro Championship won’t be about racing head-to-head against competitors, but will involve completing challenges, earning points and learning more about NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series. This makes development of a social media game a natural choice for NASCAR, as it embodies their strategy of building a fan base by enhancing the TV experience.