NASCAR is partnering with blockchain gaming company Virtually Human Studio to reach a younger audience through Zed Run, the digital horse racing game created by VHS. Users can now race NASCAR-branded horses in the game.
NASCAR chief digital officer Tim Clark said he first reached out to Zed Run execs early this year, as the startup saw explosive growth amid a wave of interest in blockchain applications. Clark said he’s taken calls with nearly 40 vendors or potential partners in the nascent category, but the racing organization decided not to join others in quickly pushing out NFT products.
“We’re bullish on the idea that there is going to be this notion of the metaverse, where a virtual version of yourself will exist and be able to move around in that environment and ecosystem,” Clark said in an interview. “How that is going to proliferate itself across NASCAR is very much a long-term play for us.”
ZED Run allows users to buy, breed, and sell digital horses as NFTs, and enter their horses into simulated races against other users to win money. The game, which has more than 100,000 users, recently raised $410,000 in a brand partnership with video game company Atari, in which Atari-themed digital racehorse skins were auctioned on NFT marketplace OpenSea.
“Our teams are aligned in vision and share a passion for using technology as a launchpad to discover a new audience, one that is deeply engaged,” NASCAR chief digital officer Tim Clark said in a statement. “Partnerships like the one with VHS, have the ability to revolutionize the NASCAR brand by bridging the gap between an age-old sport and innovative new technology.”