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In an effort to rev up the social engines of race car lovers everywhere, eBay is launching an extreme Twitter conversation hub for the Toyota Grand Prix in Long Beach.

eBay, in partnership with social media experience generator BumeBox, is going all-in on social with an eBay Motors’ branded microsite that aims to bring the live and behind-the-scenes drama of the IndyCar event to viewers at home.

eBay Motors Racing

Above: click to enlarge

The eBay racing page, which pulls in Twitter content with #ebayracing and other hashtags, includes official photos and videos from event participants, fan tweets and photos, a live leaderboard, tweets from the track, a Twitter-powered voting module for cheering on drivers, and social sharing options for site visitors.

“We think the needs of the consumer have changed,” BumeBox founder and CEO Jon Fahrner told VentureBeat. “The consumer wants a compelling real-time experience, especially if it’s from a premium brand, and we’re the framework for those types of experiences.”

BumeBox, the mastermind behind eBay’s Twitter-ific racing page, makes a sophisticated application that powers real-time social experiences for large companies that want fully-branded “Twitter parties on steroids,” live video experiences, and interactive events on their own websites or Facebook Pages. The one-year-old Palo Alto-based company counts 20th Century Fox and Marc Jacobs as clients.

For eBay Motors, already a sponsor of IndyCar events, the social media push is designed to make gearheads think of eBay for their car parts and accessories needs, Fahrner said. This weekend’s Grand Prix is just the first of several #ebayracing events BumeBox and eBay Motors are collaborating on.

“We want to make it so that the experience means something to someone at the race and to someone at home,” Farher said. The companies have even put the #ebayracing hashtag on a race car. “It may be the world’s fastest hashtag.”

And, according to Fahrner, the campaign should slip in nicely with the existing Twitter culture of racing events. “This is just a natural progression, a reaction to what was organically happening for racing fans.”


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