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Indianapolis Motor Speedway engages Realife Tech to boost fan experience

Experience automation platform Realife Tech has agreed a three-year partnership with Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) to aid the return of fans to the iconic motorsport circuit.

Announced today (Wednesday), the partnership is designed to connect and improve all fan engagement platforms. The first utilisation of the technology will be deployed during this weekend’s staging of the IndyCar Series’ Harvest GP and the Intercontinental GT Challenge’s Indianapolis 8 Hour race.

The partnership includes a venue mobile app personalised for all IMS fans, as well as a full integration with IMS’ new proprietary digital ticketing solution, as digital ticketing will be the only way to enter the track for the races on October 2-4.

Realife Tech said IMS went through a “rigorous vetting process” guided by NTT Data, the official technology partner of Indianapolis Motor Speedway, to evaluate multiple potential mobile app platforms, and ultimately recommended Realife Tech.

As IMS rolls out a comprehensive health and safety plan to protect fans, participants, and workforce at events this October, Realife Tech’s partnership will seek to provide key intelligence and visitor-facing technology features to help fans enjoy race days. Fans will receive information to successfully navigate events via timely, relevant content and answers to many of their questions.

Realife Tech’s new COVID Safety Hub is integrated into the new IMS platform and is capable of delivering a safety-minded experience to each individual fan before, during, and after an event, piloting touch-free solutions.

“Realife Tech is dedicated to helping fans safely return to the traditions they know and love,” said Brent Kocher, chief revenue officer of Realife Tech. “Indianapolis Motor Speedway is one of the most iconic venues in the US, serving as a legacy for many generations of fans across the country. We’re proud to be providing a solution to help fans make a seamless transition and adapt to events in the current environment.”

The IndyCar races will see fans return to IMS for the first time in 2020. IMS this month announced that it had been granted permission to have up to 10,000 fans in the stands for each day of racing action from October 1-4.

This year’s Indy 500 was staged behind closed doors for the first time in its history last month as IMS backtracked on plans to admit fans. The decision from IMS came after officials in July stated that attendance for the 104th Indianapolis 500 on August 23 would be approximately 25% of capacity, with face coverings mandatory for all attendees.

IMS can accommodate around 350,000 fans in the grandstands, suites and infield, and officials in June said 50% capacity would be admitted for this year’s motor-racing showpiece, which had been rescheduled from its usual May date.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the world’s largest outdoor sporting venue and the original plan would have allowed for up to 175,000 fans. The revised plan halved this to around 87,500, but was still set to make the Indy 500 the biggest sporting event since the pandemic began.

In July, Indianapolis Motor Speedway debuted a number of new features, including 5G connectivity and a huge new Pagoda Plaza Media Wall. Plans for the upgrades were first announced back in February, a month after Penske Corporation completed its acquisition of the IMS and the IndyCar series.

Commenting on the Realife Tech deal, IMS president J. Douglas Boles said: “Indianapolis Motor Speedway is steeped in history and tradition, driven by our passionate and dedicated fan community. As we prepare to get visitors back in the stands, we’re thrilled to be working with Realife Tech to communicate and engage with our fans and provide them with the best possible experience.”

BSC Young Boys, the current Swiss football champion, last week teamed up with Realife Tech to launch a new fan experience app.