IBJNews

IndyCar Series makes deal with popular Facebook game

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The IndyCar Series and Indianapolis Motor Speedway have signed a licensing deal with California-based Cie Games to have the open-wheel racing cars and drivers featured in the popular Facebook game “Car Town.”

Financial terms of the deal made earlier this month were not released, but the marketing bounce for the series could be substantial.

Car Town, launched in August 2010, attracts 8 million players, with 46 percent of its gamers playing at least once every three days, making it one of the most in-demand games available on Facebook, according to officials of the social network.

IndyCar Series officials said they were drawn to the deal with Cie Games and Facebook by the game’s growing following and demographics. Eighty percent of Car Town players are 35 or younger, according to Cie officials.

The deal could also lead the IndyCar Series to partnerships with Car Town’s growing list of sponsors, including Honda Motor Co. and State Farm Insurance Co., among others.

The licensing agreement gives the IndyCar Series its first gaming partner in more than three years, series officials said. It represents Cie Games' second major motorsports deal this year. It signed a deal with NASCAR in February.

The game gives players an opportunity to build garages and buy and race cars against other players.

Car Town this month started showcasing several IndyCar-branded features and drivers.

Car Town users can enter the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s Gasoline Alley and garage area where they can select a car driven by IndyCar Series drivers and complete the Indy 500 Challenge with the help of a pit crew they select from among their Facebook friends or by spending in-game points. Players can also race against the clock and compete against other Car Town pit crews, striving to top the Indy Pit Stop Challenge leader board.

The game will feature the cars of 13 IndyCar drivers, including Danica Patrick, Dario Franchitti, Marco Andretti and Graham Rahal, and the 2011 Indianapolis 500 Event Car, which honors the 100th anniversary of the first Indianapolis 500.

“We’re only scratching the surface in terms of the ways the virtual world of social gaming can bring new experiences to players and new marketing opportunities to companies and brands across the spectrum,” said Cie Games Chief Creative Officer Dennis Suggs in a prepared statement. “We think the sky’s the limit in terms of the creative executions brands can deploy to break through to new audiences using social media and social games.”

Additional IndyCar features are scheduled for release throughout the 2011 Izod IndyCar Series season, Suggs said.

IndyCar officials said the Car Town deal marks the beginning in a new era of marketing for the series.

“Car Town is not the end of our push into gaming,” said Casey Kohler, IndyCar Series marketing director.

The game was attractive to the series’ marketing efforts, Kohler said, because it offers a cost-effective way to tap a fast-growing media vehicle with a built-in automotive fan base.

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Social media...a DANGEROUS match to play with
    Word out of Indy today: Facebook fans revolt to get DONALD TRUMP tossed out of pace car duties for Indy 500.

    Be very weary of this FACEBOOK social media stuff IMS. You have opened a can of worms that will be your un-doing. These blogs and forums were tough, but the Facebook word can spread like wildfire and then you have no eyeballs to watch anymore. And it can happen very quickly.

    So, keep treading water...the sharks come out after dark.
  • INDYCAR Owners REJECT Bodykits
    Word on the street is CART owners UNANIMOUSLY have voted down the BODY KITS for the 2012. Now what?

    Your public tax dollars at work....remember the bonds for the Dallara plant friends...

    It's gonna be all 10 year old chassis next year...mark my words. Bwahahahaha!

    CART owners OWN this series! Hahahhaha!
  • VerSusS? I hardly even knew ya!
    Holy Mackeral! The VerSUs website (used to promote the IRL) is GONE. NBC put it to it's death last evening.

    So, the curious cat went to the new and improved NBC site...looking IRL/Indycar coverage...AND WHAT DID HE SEE?

    Yup....one tiny link and a GIANT NASCAR photograph promoting the Richmond NASCAR race Saturday evening.

    I thought there was value in the Indycars? Why would NBC do this to Indy, the 'Most Important Race in History'? I believe the series is in a load of trouble....
  • Excellent point
    Your point Disciple/Defender? Are you saying CARTown is equal to or greater than a Super Bowl advertisement? Or advertising around the NCAA's? Or the Masters?

    Look, the INDyCarz are on the cheap bro...I don't even see Google Ad Sense ads promoting the "Most Important ZRace in History". Most not be so important....

    BTW, is this the super mega activation that was promised? Where's all the tie-in's you lied about? Do you want me to dig up your words about that too?
  • Now Isn't That Just Precious
    Out of one side of your typing hand you lament what you perceive as a lack of promotion by Indy Car, then out of the other side you decry promotion that is contemporary and targeted to a potential new group of fans.

    Thank goodness you remain so obsessed with every aspect of the series. Not only does it bode well for the future, you and your little friends are just the cutest little things.

    Art Linkletter (rest his soul) was right. Kids really do say the darndest things.
  • Ben Franklin was no dope
    O'l Benjamin is quoted as saying "it is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority". If IMS is authority and I am citizen, I must continue to question it's authority of the sport, which it has failed at for 16 years.

    Open your eyes friend, if it was all rosy sailing CARTown wouldn't be needed.
    • Sad
      I really have pity for people like Chief and others who resort to Anthony's articles to jump on their proverbial soap box and continue complaining... How many years have you guys been at it? And how many of your doom and gloom deadlines have come and gone with no real accountable results? Pretty sad, folks... Pretty sad.
    • Desperado
      Hahahaha, the Speedway Apologists are looking under every rock they can find to reveal a possible fanbase.

      the IRL exhausted traditional means for attracting fans, now they're gonna poison the watersf the social media network.

      One point that sails over all their heads...if the product didn't suck or was directly related to the IRL or the IMS, the fans would be there.

      Sucks to be them...but, I suspect this is better than MySpace, so roll with it. Hahhaha, jealous of "CARTown". Bwahhahhaha!
    • How Desperate Are Some of You Anyway?
      I see that jealous, obsessed delinquency threatens to overrun this comment section as well. The Indy Car Series continues to thank its most dedicated followers.
    • THe IRl
      Where else are you sure to get a negative 90% return on your investments.
    • Plus
      Consider this, too. Whatever little social media hay you make with Car Town is going to be...er...Trumped by the choice of pace car driver. Once the Car Town press release hits cool off, do a little Google test and see which is being discussed more, and more negatively.
    • Really?
      A Facebook game is "out in front of the trend"? I'll consider that dubious position while I and the rest of most Facebook users go unfriend some people who insist on posting Farmville and Mafia War invites...
    • +1!!!!!!!!!
      13 unrecognizable faces featured on Facebook! Perfect!
    • The Obsessed Get The Scoop Again
      Smart activation in social media is actually a very necessary approach these days. Indy Car is exploiting this niche commendably.

      Kudos to those out in front of the trend.

      I see the obsessed bitter children have already deposited additional waste material in this comment section as well.

      Indy Car thanks you for your rapt attention to every minute detail of their ongoing business operations.
    • Wow
      Way to reprint the press release, IBJ. Good stuff.
    • This is incredible
      Who would have thunk it, the panacea of AOW fanbases is on Facebook. The sport will be saved now...

      The concept of the Speedway spending less and getting more has sadly exercised it's hand again at being completely clueless about the marketing of the sport. The exploitation of social media to spread the IRL cancer will backfire.

      CART-own, fascinating...

    • More Good News
      Nothing but good news coming from this series as of late. Glad to see it. Randy Bernard has gone above and beyond.
    • Oh Boy
      Hello Shark, I'm going to jump over you, OK?

    Post a comment to this story

    COMMENTS POLICY
    We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
     
    You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
     
    Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
     
    No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
     
    We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
     

    Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

    Sponsored by
    ADVERTISEMENT

    facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

    Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
    Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
     
    Subscribe to IBJ
    1. Uh, sorry Johnnie, but you are incorrect. Despite the assertions by yourself and various defenders and captains, sports attendance is NOT off significantly at most sporting events in the US. Variances in attendance has been in the range of single digits, both + & - for years now. MLB has had most of its best overall attendance nubers in the last decade, and that trend has been consistent for most major sporting events. The number one issue cited by most fans when asked about attendance is the overall cost of attending. The presence of HD and big screen televisions in home doesn't even register, as a factor for not attending an event. VALUE in the product is the key, and apparently is something lacking in the current ICS. What other explanation is there when with what is routinely touted as the "best" racing on the planet, fans are staying away in DROVES. A "close" title battle into the last event at Fontana, with the "cars and stars" of the ICS, and who showed up? MAYBE 8K. Sorry, but HD TV isn't to blame for that kind of fan apathy.

    2. Do you need finance to establish your business ? Are you interested in getting a loan at 3% from our private company? If so please Email: suntrust_oil@blumail.org

    3. If she was worth the $ the public outcry over direct tv dropping them would have kept them on their dishes as we have seen with other companies. I too quit watching channel 13 after she showed up since I left channel 8 because of her all show rather than production results. When Randy on 8 corrected her she had a big head and incorrectly challenged his correction for pronunciation of a city. Other antics while she matures was too much for me with her very inaccurate forecasts. All the forecasters were predicting rain until Thursday except Chris. They predicted sunny on Thursday but instead of rain until Thursday upon which the sun would finally make it out in full glory Chris was right on the money just as I too predicted looking at the radar on weather.gov. One thing I love about Angela is the fear you can see in her every time it thunders in the winter. It far exceeds the entertainment value of her body language (high heel noise drags, depression, etc) when her forecasts are so incorrect. Her hair stands on end, you have to see it!!!

    4. Good Day, Apply For A Loan I am Mr Fernadez Antonio, a private Loan lender and a cooperate financial for real estate and any kinds of business financing. I also offer Loans to individuals, Firms and cooperate bodies at 3% interest rate We offer any kind of loans. email us via fernadezloaninvest@outlook.com LOAN APPLICATION FORM First name:......................... Middle name:......................... Last name:........................................ Date of birth (yyyy-mm-dd):....................... Gender:........................................... Marital status:................................... Total Amount Needed............................... Loan Duration.................................... Address:.......................................... City:............................................. State/province:................................... Zip/postal code:.................................. Country:.......................................... Phone:............................................ Fax:.............................................. Mobile/cellular:.................................. Monthly Income.................................... Occupation:....................................... Best Regard, Mr Fernadez Antonio.

    5. i will love to share my testimony to you all the people in world i got married to my husband about 2 year ago we start having problems at home like we stop sleeping on the same bed,fighting about little things he always comes home late at night,drinking too much and sleeping with other women out side i have never love any man in my life except him. he is the father of my child and i don't want to loose him because we have worked so hard together to become what we are and have today .few month ago he now decided to live me and the kid,being a single mother can be hard sometimes and so i have nobody to turn to and i was heart broken.i called my mom and explain every thing to her,my mother told me about DR.okoro how he helped her solve the problem between her and my dad i was surprise about it because they have been without each other for three and a half years and it was like a miracle how they came back to each other. i was directed to DR. okoro on his email:okorospell@gmail.com and explain everything to him,so he promise me not to worry that he will cast a spell and make things come back to how we where so much in love again and that it was another female spirit that was controlling my husband he told me that my problem will be solved within two days if i believe i said OK So he cast a spell for me and after two days my love came back asking me to forgive him i Am so happy now. so that why i decided to share my experience with every body that have such problem contact Dr okoro the great spell caster on his email addresses spellcasterforlove@outlook.com

    ADVERTISEMENT