SBJ/June 24-30, 2013/Media

Community builder: Livefyre hired to add comment function to NASCAR.com

NASCAR is making it possible for fans to comment on articles online.

The sport hired the software company Livefyre to provide a commenting service on NASCAR.com that allows fans to post comments instantaneously. Fans also can bring friends on Facebook and followers on Twitter to the site by tagging them in their comments.

When NASCAR launched its new website in January, it included a comment function developed by its digital developers, Sapient Nitro and Omnigon. But the sanctioning body pulled the service down because it was disappointed in its functionality, said Tim Clark, NASCAR senior director of optimization.

NASCAR was searching for a new partner when several members of its digital team learned about Livefyre at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas. Marc Jenkins, NASCAR’s vice president of digital, and Livefyre CEO Jordan Kretchmer later worked out an agreement.

Livefyre also powers real-time commenting sections on SI.com, FoxSports.com and The Wall Street Journal’s AllThingsD site. Its commenting software became available on NASCAR.com June 5. Clark expects it to boost traffic and extend the time visitors spend on the website.

“There should be a degree of community on site,” Clark said. “Giving fans a chance to continue conversations and invite other fans into the conversation will deepen the experience and improve what fans are getting out of the site.”

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