The National Hot Rod Association (NHRA), the largest motorsports sanctioning body in the world, recently came to Sony with a simple request — to increase the value of their production assets and use them to support enhanced storytelling. According to Mike Rokosa, the NHRA’s technology executive, the organization sought to reach more consumers on more devices with more content, in a faster manner. He found that Sony “had, or partnered with other entities to provide all of the pieces of the puzzle that would allow the NHRA to maximize fan engagement and create new fans.
NHRA and Sony found each other at the right time and in a way that worked for both of us."
Technology Executive, National Hot Rod Association
After initial discussions, the NHRA realized the value in Sony’s resources and expertise and appreciated their common vision to develop and jointly design solutions that streamline workflows and address growing content needs. After learning more about Sony’s range of production capabilities, the NHRA chose to transition to cloud-based distribution workflows using Sony’s Intelligent Media Services, many of which were created or customized to meet the NHRA’s specific needs. Now the NHRA has expanded into a content factory through their implementation of Sony’s turn-key technology, which Rokosa commented “allow us to invest in and broaden the NHRA’s assets, as opposed to building our own hardware.”
To go to an NHRA race is an experience unlike any other. A general admission ticket gives you full access to the pits, allows you to interact with the racers and crew and view 10,000 horsepower funny cars and dragsters that shake your bones to the core as they race down the track at speeds of up to 339 miles per hour. Working hand-in-hand with Sony, NHRA is now able to preserve, digitize and share archival footage, publish real-time video updates for social fans and bring a new pipeline of content to on-demand viewers, bringing the thrill of an NHRA race to fans anywhere, anytime.
Through Memnon’s digitization and archival capabilities, NHRA has found what Rokosa believes is “a viable and cost-effective solution” to preserve valuable content from their more than 50 years of historical assets that he says “doesn’t add extra infrastructure or support.” Once this analog content has been digitized via Memnon, it can be housed in Sony’s collaborative Ci Media Cloud platform for secure access and simple sharing from virtually anywhere. Additionally, NHRA fans will experience the thrill of live drag racing action on a new platform, called NHRA.TV starting this season. NHRA.TV will operate on a cloud-based video streaming platform utilizing Sony’s Intelligent Media Service, Ven.ue, to provide an ever increasing catalog of exclusive drag racing video content on demand and live.
Working with Memnon, the NHRA will begin to convert a library of 35,000 analog assets to have them digitized in order to protect and unlock the potential of this historical content — some of which has never seen the light of day. If kept too long, these important NHRA historical records could deteriorate, get lost or become obsolete due to changing formats and technologies. By digitizing their library, the NHRA will be able to preserve interviews and footage associated with their rich legacy. They will also be able to save space by hosting everything for ubiquitous access in the cloud and create new storytelling opportunities that have the potential to be monetized through Ven.ue’s OTT platform to open up a new revenue stream.
While Memnon hasn’t previously worked in the 2-inch realm, they have adapted their technology and will be able to accommodate the dozens of 2-inch tapes that the NHRA has in their archives. After Memnon digitizes the content it can live in the Ci Cloud Platform.