SBD/January 4, 2013/Media

NASCAR's Marc Jenkins Discusses New Website, Says He Is Pleased With Response

Jenkins says his staff will aggressively seek out viewer feedback for the new site
NASCAR Thursday unveiled a new website, revealing a homepage with large, bold images and informational graphics. The site was developed over the last year and came after NASCAR reacquired its digital rights from Turner. Fans on Twitter largely praised the site for being a major improvement over its predecessor. NASCAR also got some constructive criticism from fans who did not like the amount of vertical scrolling on the site or the cutout images of drivers' heads, which looked disembodied. NASCAR VP/Digital Media Marc Jenkins discussed the launch.

Q: What was your work schedule like leading up to the launch?
Jenkins: We've pretty much been going around the clock. Everyone is excited about it. Most (staff) didn't leave (Wednesday) night until 1 or 2 or 3 o'clock in the morning. They didn't have to be here. They just wanted to see it. It's like launching a ship. You don't hit the bow with a bottle of champagne but you want to.

Q: What issues did you run into the first day?
Jenkins: We had minor glitches here and there, most of which weren't seen by the fan. There were formatting issues in deeper pages. They were easy to solve.

Q: What feedback have you gotten so far and what changes will it lead to?
Jenkins: We've been very aggressive in surveying off the site. We want feedback. We study traffic and of course monitor social media. Overall, there's been an overwhelming positive reaction and there's been constructive criticism. It being a new site, it's different. We were successful with the tour video. We're thinking of other guides to help people and enhance the user experience.

Q: There were comments about drivers' disembodied heads and the amount of scrolling. Will that be something you change?
Jenkins: Scrolling we feel is a factor people will get used to. There are also other ways to navigate the site. You can choose whether you scroll or navigate (using a navigation bar). The (disembodied) head is part of getting ready for the season and knowing there will be firesuit changes. It's a compromise. All the sponsors aren't set now and a lot of firesuits haven't been set up.

Q: How does traffic compare to the previous site?
Jenkins: It's too early to tell. It's not a significant enough sample size now. But we feel good with what we've seen so far and the level of engagement.

Q: What is next?
Jenkins: We're pleased with the reaction so far. Now we're just focused on continuing to improve. You'll see us continuing to listen to what fans have to say.
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