This article first appeared in the
Autumn 2017 issue of The Record.
Part of Virgin Group and based in the UK, the DS Virgin Racing team competes in Formula E, a series of racing events for electric cars. DS Virgin Racing has two main goals: to act as a testing ground for new electric motor technologies, and to promote electric cars as an option for everyday use. To help it achieve these goals, the company wanted to find new ways of engaging fans through social media, music and gaming, and make Formula E a popular and profitable race series.
Working with Microsoft, DXC Technology developed, tested and implemented a social media analytics solution in just 45 days, enabling DS Virgin Racing to use it for the first race of the 2016-2017 Formula E racing season in Hong Kong. Powered by DXC Analytics, the solution uses Microsoft Azure Data Factory and Azure Machine Learning to analyse data from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and client campaigns, while Microsoft Power BI provides data visualisation and reporting. This allows DS Virgin Racing to quickly capitalise on externally generated social media activity to grow its brand and the fan base.
DXC Technology also created a social wall that travels with the DS Virgin Racing team, providing it with a way to showcase the real-time analytics of Formula E-related social media activity. The wall is used for customer, sponsor and press exhibitions.
As part of its new fan engagement initiative, DS Virgin Racing also implemented a FanBoost feature, which goes live six days before the race to enable enthusiasts to vote for their favourite driver via a text message. The three most popular drivers are awarded with a five-second speed boost to use at any point during the race.
In the long term, DS Virgin Racing will continue to develop more targeted marketing campaigns, evolve its business to support fans’ demands and become an even more well-known name in the car racing industry.