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Volume 20 No. 45
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Ingenuity Sun Media to provide digital display networks at SMI tracks

On the heels of its deal with NASCAR’s other major track operator, Ingenuity Sun Media has signed a multiyear deal with Speedway Motorsports Inc. to build a digital-display network at SMI’s eight speedways.

The deal will be announced this week. It officially will kick off during next weekend’s national series races at Sonoma Raceway and will be fully rolled out at all SMI facilities by next year.

ISM, a New Jersey-based company that specializes in digital advertising at places like malls and universities, came into NASCAR — and sports in general — this year with a deal with International Speedway Corp., which owns 12 speedways and hosts 19 annual Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series points races. It included bringing nearly 200 new digital displays and dozens of 86-inch screens to ISC’s tracks.

While SMI has built permanent screens at multiple venues it owns, including Bristol Motor Speedway’s center-hung Colossus TV that cost roughly $6 million, it decided that the opportunity to dot tracks with numerous other displays and leverage an accompanying ad network was worth getting in on.

Jeff Hutchins, president of ISM, said the SMI and ISC deal structures are similar. “If you show SMI that it’s going to increase engagement, put butts in seats and generate — not just from us but the advertising — a new line of revenue you didn’t have before, it’s kind of a no-brainer.”

Similar to the deal with ISC, SMI’s deal with ISM Connect, ISM’s sports arm, will include the deployment of nearly 200 displays and 86-inch BoldVu screens supplied by ISM partner Manufacturing Resources International. The screens show a mixture of content from the tracks and ISM such as news, promotions, way-finding technologies, real-time traffic, weather alerts, event schedules and games.

ISM also will offer a standalone app and integrations with each track’s individual app to feature the same content that’s shown on screen. The deal was negotiated by Hutchins and John Cox, SMI’s vice president of business development.

ISM said it has signed more than a dozen brands to be part of the ad network with ISC so far, though the program with SMI is just starting. Brands involved in the ISC program include Monster Energy and Honda. Both ISM and SMI will be selling the new inventory and sharing the revenue.

ISM generates consumption analytics of the screens by using technology that tracks eyeballs watching the screens. Hutchins cited data showing that fans who are in areas near the screens are spending nearly 29 percent of their time looking at the screens, and that average viewing times of the screens at ISC tracks this year has been just less than three total minutes.

ISM also recently struck deals with two of the three independent tracks that host NASCAR’s top series, Pocono Raceway and Dover International Speedway. It’s also working on deals in stick-and-ball sports.