Fan Reaction to Sports Ads At Homestead-Miami Speedway to be studied by Baylor University Using RFID

Nov. 15, 2012

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Media Contact: Frank Raczkiewicz, (254) 710-1964

WACO, Texas (Nov. 15, 2012) - Kirk Wakefield, Ph.D. of Baylor University's Hankamer School of Business, has received a grant from The Wharton School's Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative to use Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) to study fan engagement with sponsors at sporting events.

The study will collect data from this weekend over the course of three days at the last NASCAR race of the season at the Homestead Miami Speedway. RFID stations will be placed around the venue and fans entering a promotional contest will check in at various points during the event. Combining real data of when fans engaged sponsors with data from a post-race survey will help sponsors know the return on their investments in sports.

"The study will determine where fans go and what they see and experience when they are in proximity to sponsor displays or signage while at an event," said Wakefield, the Edwin W. Streetman Professor of Retail Marketing and executive director of Sports and Entertainment Marketing at Hankamer.

"Combining information from the RFID tags and the surveys will allow us to look at fan behavior like never before," said Wakefield. "This will enable us to quantify the value of targeting passionate fans who spend more time at events compared to passive fans who may attend or watch on TV but aren't fully engaged."

Past advertising practice assumes all fans are equal- that the cost of reaching 1000 fans at one sporting event can be compared to reaching 1,000 fans at another venue. "You aren't comparing apples to apples," Wakefield said. "If the fans at a St. Louis Cardinals game are more passionate than fans at a Los Angeles Dodgers game, then the Cardinals' fans are more likely to pay attention to and be loyal to team sponsors. NASCAR fans are some of the most passionate fans on earth, so this is a great place to carry out our research."

Also participating in the study are Anne Rivers, senior vice president and director of brand strategy at BrandAsset Consulting in New York City; and Eric Smallwood, senior vice president and Liam Weseloh, regional vice president, both of Front Row Marketing Services in Port Huron, Mich.


Baylor University is a private Christian university and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having "high research activity" by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The university provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 15,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating university in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 11 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.


Baylor University's Hankamer School of Business provides a rigorous academic experience, consisting of classroom and hands-on learning, guided by Christian commitment and a global perspective. Recognized nationally for several programs, including Entrepreneurship and Accounting, the school offers 24 undergraduate and 13 graduate areas of study. Visit and follow on Twitter at

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