Thursday, August 5, 2010
What can IndyCar learn from the World Series of Poker?
But all my thoughts didn’t entirely lie in the world of gambling and side-bets; but did totally relate to that world and what the IndyCar Series could really do to help themselves, and help participants and fans. You see, just as the smartest man in the world, Shane Rogers, points out it’s all about transparency and connecting with both participants and fans for a sanctioning body.
has a twitter account! This account wasn’t just for generic or PR use even remotely; Jack himself used it during the tournament to answer questions by not only fans, but also to clear issues up with players who were complaining on twitter.
Think about this for a second, this is an event without live TV or radio coverage, yet because of the perfect use of technology by tournament officials and reporters, I was able to follow 50+ tournaments, know the important hands, and also know the length and reasoning behind any penalties; and also watch as issues arose and were solved.
Sure he didn’t answer every single little query, but he handled the main issues and the ones that made sense to be addressed. It made me feel like the WSOP cared about fans and players equally, not in some quiet back room blocked by security for public access like the way FIFA handles the World Cup and how IndyCar has not only handled the Helio decision, but just about any race call.
While obviously there’s humor laced in the above statement, there’s also a lot of seriousness. I think IndyCar could benefit the series for fans, drivers, teams, and media alike by taking the same approach as the WSOP. No I don’t think Brian Barnhart has the time to be on twitter during a race, nor should he attempt it; BUT I do think whoever runs the IndyCar main twitter accounts could just put Barnhart's radio signal in one of their ears and relay the definitive calls that TV NEVER broadcasts yet would be so vital to us all. Fans could have a chance to know about it. “Driver Abcdef black flagged ‘drive through’ for blocking car #72 in turn three.”
And just like that, people know why Townsend Bell and Graham Rahal were furious during the Indy 500, because TV and radio certainly didn’t care to let us know. “Car #87 out of the race due to a broken fuel pump” “Car #23 black flagged for race due to inconsistent speed.” And when twitter nation is filled with speculation about the same issue it could be addressed: “ICS rulebook #X states inside line going into an apex is for passing only, otherwise considered blocking.”
Now just imagine if the IndyCar twitter account not only said car#3 was black-flagged, but told us which rule was violated and that it was being reviewed. Imagine if fans had an accurate count of how many warnings were given during a race, and to whom.
It just seems like such an easy and small step to take, one I’m sure you could easily find an unpaid intern or even a fan for. They don’t need trade secrets; it just needs usable definitive information to come out of the twitter account consistently during the race; and one that actually addresses issue people want to know about.
One can dream and hope…