Fan interaction in motorsports
What would you do, if you can decide wether it is left or right, or if somebody can go fast or not? How can fans contribute to motorsports?
As I am starting my master thesis in the field of digital media, I came across the question of interaction and sports. How do we, as the audience and fans, can interact with our favorite sports? Since the internet evolves, there is more opportunity to be in touch with sports persons, clubs and leagues as well as the news around it. We can grasp information in an instant of a second, always and everywhere. But what else is the role of a fan? Can we somehow contribute to our sports?
The Formula E has made a great effort to develop the traditional racing on a circuit into a more engaging spectacle. First of all the use of electric cars is new and stands in contrast to other racing series. Furthermore the Fan Boost is a tool, which allows the fan to vote for their favorite driver and to help him gain boost during the race. Therefore the Formula E is the first competitor in racing to open up to the fanbase having an active role. Contribution by fans and putting them into a new role is a key factor to create new and interesting experiences. Out of this, I want to research how people would like to shape a racing series on their own. What actions does the fan want to control, where he wants to interact?
A future and digital oriented racing series
To begin with, I think all the new technology available on the market and the growth of cloud services will not only change our behaviour or how we work, but it will as well affect other parts of life. One part will be sports and motorsports is a part of it. This might end up in dramatic changes for a traditional racing series, like Formula 1 for example. Through technology we stay in contact with people from all over the world and are used to get a constant stream of information. This also triggers our need and desire for more personal shaped and created content. We want to be part of our heroes on track, in the pitline or oversee everything happening in a race. We want to be involved in the adjustment of rules or regulations, which can make a race more interesting and thrilling. Small grasp hidden information in the teams grab our attention and we want to know about it. Out of this, a new role-not only for the racing series as a brand-will emerge, but also for us as fans. So what would you like to change or where would you like to have influence during a race? And how would you deal with the point of maintaining fairness and true sportsmanship after all?
But the questions is not only where to interact and what to control, but furthermore also with what kind of media are you willing to do that? Or what are your expectations? Is it an app you can use on your phone while sitting at the race track or is it VR, which allows you to take a seat virtually in the race?
I would appreciate your ideas, thoughts and any comment on what you think could be done, to put the fan more into action and make them a part of the show.