Editor's note: I wrote this blog three different times. The first two versions were full of vitriol and hate ……
It’s a gross understatement to say that the COVID-19 pandemic has totally F’d the world of sports as we know it. With the notable exception of what could be a hellishly entertaining 60 game(ish) MLB season, basketball in a dome, and soccer with masks on.
Not all is lost … while all of you were hoarding toilet paper and cleaning supplies, Facebook was busy doing something that will make sports all that more entertaining while also making sure to keep your eyes off the TV and on your phone.
Last weekend, a Confederate flagless NASCAR (thank you) was the first sports organization to launch Facebook’s new mobile app Venue at the SUPERMARKET HEROES 500 on FS1. The Venue app, available on iPhone and Android, essentially turns your smartphone into a second screen replete with replays, interactive questions, polls, and fan on fan as well as fan on commentator chats specific to the event.
Unless this thing totally goes sideways, it will be another huge win for team Zuckerberg as he deftly blends our love for sports with our love for our phones. Look for more partnerships with other leagues as they get this thing all figured out.
In what might be a sign of the times, there is no money being exchanged between the social media giant and NASCAR. As a sports marketing guy with a digital agency side dish, I’m salivating at the opportunities this could provide for sponsors. More on that story as it develops.
For now, this fan is planning on charging up his phone for the race on Sunday.