On Sunday May 26, I went to the Coca-Cola 600. I was sure to wear my official NASCAR shirt. I was given a HOT pass, which is essentially a pass to get into the infield of the track. While there, I walked around and got a feel for how the behind the scenes stuff happens at all NASCAR races.
Outside of the Media Center, where all the major news publications, blogs and social media outlets house their representatives, I spoke to Sergeant Bennett about her experience with NASCAR. She passed on the same knowledge that mostly everyone in this industry keeps preaching: networking. Since she’s been a part of the security team for Charlotte Motor Speedway for years, she’s gotten to know a lot of really cool people that wander in and out of the doors. She suggested I should wander around the infield and just speak to everyone. I ended up talking to the Vice President of Communications for Charlotte Motor Speedway, which was really interesting. He also spoke about the importance of connecting with people.
As far as work for my internship goes, I observed the way that the Coca-Cola 600 event ran behind the scenes. I work with NASCAR Digital Media’s Live Operations team on some days; which is essentially the website operations during a race. Understanding the workings of a live event will help me understand how the website is effected in real-time during races.
Interestingly enough, I was watching the Fox Sports camera zipping along its track when it broke, which is an event that is unprecedented. Luckily, no one was seriously injured and they fixed the issue fairly quickly. From a live operations perspective, if one of our feeds had malfunctioned mid-race, we would need to strategize and improvise to make sure that consumers were still getting what they want. Experiencing this race definitely helped me understand the implications of working live events and the importance of quick problem solving.