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NASCAR Chooses AWS Cloud To Drive Video, Media Enhancements

‘In a previous relationship with Microsoft, NASCAR built some competition-specific products in Azure,’ said Craig Neeb, NASCAR’s executive vice president of innovation and development. ‘AWS’ cloud offers the scale and reliability to make a profound impact on our sport’s business and technology needs as we innovate into the future.’

NASCAR has tapped Amazon Web Services as its preferred provider of cloud computing, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and will migrate its 18-petabyte video archive to the AWS cloud.

The privately held auto racing company, which previously used Microsoft Azure, now has a multi-year agreement to use AWS technologies to build cloud-based services and automate processes to improve NASCAR’s operational efficiencies with its video and media assets.

“In a previous relationship with Microsoft, NASCAR built some competition-specific products in Azure,” said Craig Neeb, NASCAR’s executive vice president of innovation and development. “These products, including the Race Management App, helped NASCAR improve the live officiating process and house all the inspection information in one centralized location. AWS’ cloud offers the scale and reliability to make a profound impact on our sport’s business and technology needs as we innovate into the future.”

In migrating its 18-petabyte video archive to AWS, which amounts to about 500,000 hours of content, NASCAR will leverage Amazon Rekognition. It will use the AWS service, which adds intelligent image and video analysis to applications -- to automatically tag specific video frames with metadata such as drivers, cars, races, laps, times and sponsors, so NASCAR can easily search the tags to find iconic moments from races and quickly share them with fans via video clips on NASCAR.com and social media channels. NASCAR said that using AWS should save it thousands of hours of manual search time each year.

“The efficiencies we’ll gain with AWS’ cloud-based services and automated processes will greatly enhance how our industry leverages the sport’s history, positively impacting the entire ecosystem and, more importantly, our fans,” Neeb said.

NASCAR also will use AWS services to improve its media assets, including its websites, mobile applications and social media presence that helps reach its 80 million fans worldwide. Amazon SageMaker will allow NASCAR to train deep learning models against its 70 years of historical footage to enhance metadata and video analytics. The Amazon Transcribe automatic speech recognition service will allow NASCAR to caption and time-stamp every word of speech in archived videos, allowing NASCAR video producers to easily locate source footage through text searches. NASCAR will use AWS Media Services, including AWS Elemental MediaLive and AWS Elemental MediaStore, to support NASCAR Drive, which puts fans in a NASCAR driver’s seat using in-car cameras and live audio and leaderboards. The AWS Media Services also will enable NASCAR to process, package and store broadcast video content, including live races, for delivery to broadcast and industry partners.

The collaboration will include a new “This Moment in NASCAR History” powered by AWS video series that will debut on NASCAR.com heading into the June 9 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway.

The Daytona Beach, Fla.-based NASCAR, a privately owned company, would not disclose the terms of its AWS deal.

AWS also works with other professional sports teams and organizations, including Formula 1 auto racing, Guinness Six Nations rugby, the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team, Major League Baseball and the National Football League.

“Amazon’s 20 years of machine learning experience, along with our broad analytics and machine learning capabilities, make us the best choice for organizations who want to use machine learning to gain insights into their data and establish new levels of engagement with their customers,” said Mike Clayville, AWS’ vice president of worldwide commercial sales. “NASCAR is utilizing cloud technology to enhance the way people experience the sport and deliver even more impactful content to fans. AWS’ unmatched portfolio of cloud services gives NASCAR the most flexible and powerful tools to bring new elements of the sport to live broadcasts of races.”

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