Super Human Service: Digital Transformation for the Fan Experience

The Texas Motor Speedway (TMS) faced new challenges with the COVID-19 pandemic. Changes in resources challenged its efforts to maintain an exceptional fan experience and regular communications with partners. While communications with fans and partners spike before and during an event weekend, collaboration with partners and season ticket holders is ongoing. TMS needed the right technology for scalability, speed and agility so it could continue to provide an amazing fan and partner experience.

TMS, owned by Speedway Motorsports, hosts 100 active event days, which see attendance numbers ranging from hundreds to over 100,000. Pre-COVID, the track and property hosted 3 million visitors in one year. The first race of the 2021 season will be the Genesys 300 on May 1 — with 20,000 fans attending. A NASCAR weekend in June will also have a large fan experience.

The Texas Motor Speedway is most known for its intense 1.5-mile oval track, one of the fastest tracks on the circuit. For IndyCar drivers and their teams, everyone needs to be laser-focused for every lap and at every stop. That focus begins in the race shop when prepping the car; the body must be perfectly form-fitted to allow maximum aerodynamic performance.

It’s the ultimate example of “teamwork,” where everyone’s role is crucial.

The Texas Motor Speedway team also represents that fervor and teamwork. They put great emphasis on the fan experience and relationships with their vendors, partners and sponsors. For TMS, the goal was to improve its customer experience technology with an omnichannel, digital solution to meet growing demands. It also wanted to elevate the fan and client services experience. That’s why TMS selected the Genesys Cloud™ platform for its digital transformation.

Fueling the Fan Experience with Digital and Cloud

According to Technology Magazine, the global sports industry is in an historic growth period. While most of the revenue generation for sports organizations comes from broadcasting rather than live event attendance, investment in the digital transformation of stadiums across the globe is growing.

Business Wire reports that the spectator sports market, including racing, is expected to grow the fastest — at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.8%.

Fans use a variety of digital channels — self-service, assisted-service or proactive-service options – to interact with a venue. They leverage their preferred methods of communication: chat, phone, messaging, chatbots and social media. And the majority of fans use their mobile devices at the track.

For many racing venues, fans call to find out parking information, gate open times, if coolers are permitted, what COVID protocols are in place and more. These basic questions are asked repeatedly at every event. A bot could easily answer those repetitive questions — and then route to a human for additional support. Using a bot reduces phone calls, allowing venue staff to manage ticket sales and other tasks.

Questions that come in during a race event can be basic or more serious in nature. The TMS team receives every fan assistance text message and acts in real time to solve their requests. TMS recognized the benefit of digital and artificial intelligence (AI) tools to provide race day information, fan assistance during the race, and partner and sponsor communications.

It chose Genesys Cloud for its digital needs. The deployment, which happens in multiple phases, will include:

  • SMS text automation
  • Website chatbot automation
  • Fan assistance bot with human routing
  • Business and account management for outbound campaigns
  • Other future state needs, including CRM system and Salesforce integration and apps for data

The teamwork between TMS and Genesys is also part of this equation.

Because of time constraints before the Genesys 300, TMS leveraged the Genesys Professional Services team to build the fan assistance bot, in addition to providing a digital SMS channel for communication directly with the TMS hospitality staff while enjoying one of the 144 suites onsite. Genesys Professional Services worked with the TMS business and IT/support teams for implementation. In addition, all new Genesys Cloud customers have access to a Genesys customer success team for support. The success team onboards all customers with best practices, online resources and helpful hints to guide their cloud experience.

Great teams coming together make amazing things happen. The TMS team plus Genesys Cloud provides the perfect example of how their people and our cloud can deliver Super Human Service.

Genesys will be cheering for James Hinchcliffe, driving the No. 29 Genesys Honda for Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport on May 1 — and throughout the 2021 IndyCar season. We’re also cheering for the Texas Motor Speedway and our partnership with them — on and off the track.