Chip Ganassi Racing is turning up the volume on the Ganassi Sound Garage, both figuratively and literally.

The motorsports team generated 72 million social media impressions from the second-annual concert, more than seven times the number of impressions from the Monday Night Football hashtag on the same night. 

Demonstrating the power of social media influencers, CGR accomplished that task with 600 Sound Garage attendees as compared to the more than 14 million consumers who watched the Monday Night Football telecast.

“ESPN was promoting the game for days in advance, and we outpaced it by seven times with only 600 people. You can tell a story if you have the right people,” said John Olguin, CGR senior vice president of marketing and communications.

CGR created the concert to introduce its three millennial drivers (Sage Karam, Dylan Kwasniewski and Kyle Larson) to 16-to-24-year-old social media influencers with the goal of converting them into race fans.

The team hosted the concert on Oct. 5 at the Ganassi Race Shop in Mooresville, N.C. The event featured a performance by A Thousand Horses (courtesy of Big Machine Label Group, a team sponsor) as well as eight sponsored activities, each of which was designed to create user-generated content.

“The idea on everything was to give attendees the opportunity to create their own content. They like music and social media, and they want to tell the story the way they want it to be told.”  

For example, Unilever’s Axe brand sponsored a photo booth where attendees could have their picture taken with motorsports and music paraphernalia, while McDonald’s sponsored a ball pit that attendees could jump into.

McDonald’s also sampled Egg McMuffins, parfaits and other breakfast items to promote the launch of its all-day breakfast menu the following day.

“With the launch of all-day breakfast, the McDonald's mobile restaurant was on-site, serving up some of our customer's breakfast faves as attendees tried out the giant ball pit and shared their experiences across social channels, resulting in positive online conversations and new connections with millennials,” said Julie Wenger, senior director, U.S. marketing, brand & marketing content, McDonald’s USA.

Attendees shared the content via #SoundGarage, #AllDayBreakfest and other hashtags.

Nine sponsors participated in the Sound Garage, up from five in 2014. Sponsors included The Clorox Co., The Coca-Cola Co., DC Solar, Kimberly-Clark Corp. and Target Corp. Big Machine Label Group presented the concert.  

Each company paid a rights fee to participate in the event, said Olguin, noting that the fees more than offset production costs.

“It gave us the opportunity to put money toward our core business.” 

Like the 2014 event, CGR hired social media intelligence agency MVPIndex to identify social media influencers who live within 100 miles of the team’s shop. The team segmented the attendees into three groups: influencers, curators and heavy users.

“Instead of simply looking for social media influencers, we opened it up to curators. They may have fewer followers but more interaction and engagement.”

The team this year added a new element to the event: tickets to the Drive for the Cure 300 presented by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina NASCAR Xfinity Series race. The race took place the following weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

“We needed to do a better job converting attendees into race fans. This year we gave out 100 tickets to a VIP event to make the connection between meeting a driver at the concert to actually seeing a race, with the emphasis on turning them into race fans.”

Sound Garage: 2015 Impact Analysis
Sound Garage: 2015 Impact Analysis

Source: Chip Ganassi Racing