How Toyota Drove Nascar Fans Into Dealerships

UberMedia analyzed geo-data at Nascar races and dealer showrooms as Toyota celebrated its 10th anniversary in Nascar with a new Camry.

Toyota’s promotion of its 2018 Camry during Nascar races appears to have proved the axiom that “nothing succeeds like success.”

Case in point, Nascar fans who saw a Toyota win during The Daytona 500 Monster Energy Nascar Cup Series, which kicked off at the end of February, were more likely to visit one of the brand’s dealerships, according to cross-channel analytics platform UberMedia.

UberMedia used its mobile location data analysis to look into the effect that Toyota’s Nascar participation — now in its 10th anniversary in chartering a racing team at Nascar — has had on influencing people to visit actual dealerships during 2015 and 2016.

Nascar’s Car Shopping Influence

Additionally, UberMedia looked into how winning a Nascar race influenced spectators to later visit dealerships of the participating brands (Chevrolet, Ford, and Toyota).

While a win for a Ford or Chevrolet brand also boosted respective dealership visits, UberMedia noted that Toyota appeared to benefit significantly more from its victories when compared to its rivals.

Toyota 2018 Camry makes its debut before Nascar kicks off.

UberMedia’s data shows Toyota has found its place in Nascar.

UberMedia’s Business Intelligence Study showed that mobile device owners in attendance at a race where a Toyota Camry won were also more likely to be observed at a Toyota dealership in the 30 days after the race.

“We saw a 25.2 percent change when we compared that to the race attendees who visited a Toyota dealership in the 30 days before a race. When compared to the percent change Ford (3.6 percent) and Chevrolet (2.5 percent) saw, it looks like they are winning more than just races,” says UberMedia CRO Michael Hayes.

To determine dealership visits by Nascar fans, UberMedia derived its location data largely from its owned and operated apps. The company also has an SDK integration and “always on” app network, in addition to bidstream data. (“We don’t use panels like some other approaches,” Hayes notes. “We feel they aren’t as accurate.”)

Toyota’s Nascar Cup 1

Scratching The Surface

Location data from those devices were analyzed to provide a detailed view of Nascar fans and their visitation patterns to automotive dealers, Hayes says. Analysis included identifying the likelihood of race attendees to visit a dealership lot before or after a race, and whether seeing a certain manufacturer win a race influenced that likelihood.

“We’re really just scratching the surface of what mobile location data can reveal about how fans or consumers interact with specific brands and under what circumstances,” Hayes adds. “This is especially powerful when viewed across the overall marketing mix. Toyota likely has annual sales events and promotions to this audience they’re already investing heavily in. Excitement and viewership of the race adds to this and could be what inspires them to visit the lot in person.”

What Toyota Runs On

While it wasn’t clear to UberMedia whether other factors aside from winning — such as larger promotions or specific ad targeting to Nascar audience segments — likely spurred dealership visits to Toyota at a higher rate.

But considering that Toyota’s win at the Daytona 500 in 2016 — the first time an import manufacturer won since the first race in 1959 — likely brought it greater attention versus other official sponsors.

In January, Toyota released the 2018 Toyota Camry TRD, in part, aimed at Nascar fans. In an interview with Autoweek, Toyota’s VP of Integrated Marketing Ed Laukes said that now “fans can enjoy driving a Camry that closely resembles the one their favorite Nascar driver races each weekend.”

As more automotive marketers ramp up location targeting to align national to local sales, it will be interesting to see whether the competition for driving dealership visits among sponsors who spend an average of $15 million shows a tighter race between brands this year among the estimated 75 millions Nascar fans.

About The Author
David Kaplan David Kaplan @davidakaplan

A New York City-based journalist for over 20 years, David Kaplan is managing editor of A former editor and reporter at AdExchanger, paidContent, Adweek and MediaPost.