As the racing season starts to wind down, organizations are assessing their performance and charting the course towards the future.  This month we will look at how they navigated thru the shutdown and laid the foundations going forward.

During the shutdown, sanctioning body officials took the initiative with big changes from a schedule standpoint. Mix it up, new venues, circuit configurations, and date modifications.

Most of races on the calendars were held with a few minor exceptions.  They remained flexible and made changes deemed necessary by municipal officials due to health concerns.

From a minimal admissions revenue standpoint for the prior year, venues knew fans would be in the stands but at what level.  Therefore, they knew the traditional playbook was not going to be the norm. 

Tracks had to consider a broad range of potential solutions. 

They needed to grow the fan base. This meant reaching out to meet the needs of groups who have not attended or following racing.

Increase visibility and ease accessibility thru outreach and promotion.  The goal would be to inspire new and diverse groups to be part of the racing community.

The key to success would be to develop, retain and strengthen the fan relationship on a year–round, two-way basis. The result leads to ticket and merchandise purchases during the season.

It has to be built on trust.  This means the tracks, teams, and drivers will meet the physical, emotional, financial, and digital needs of their supporters.

Once the foundation is solidified, they have an unprecedented opportunity to embrace all fan groups from casual followers to fanatics.

Technology is important on and off the track.  The use of information for data monetization to generate revenue cannot be underestimated.  

Analytics are being used to guide decision-making and support marketing efforts.  Tech platforms and artificial intelligence help racing entities understand fan sentiment and behavior.

The result is connecting with fans in ways that creates a better fan experience and new sources of revenue.

Sports and entertainment have a unique role in society, they have a platform in which they promote positive change.  This has become more evident over the last few years.

Series, teams, and drivers have embraced this critical role in addressing issues related to inequality and injustice. They are making part of the culture and operations.

It is not an easy task since the target is always moving with shifting societal dynamics and trends.

Being proactive with decisions on social justice is not without its controversies.  It becomes news headlines and creates fallout with segments of the racing community.

Working with its key stakeholders and partners, motorsports was able to move forward with positive results.  New teams and sponsors entered the sport and deepened their commitments.

Fresh initiatives such as driver development and internship programs tend to grow opportunities at all levels.

Over the eighteen months, motorsports took the unprecedented initiative to reevaluate certain aspects of its business model to build a new future.  It is not easy to continually reinvent how they think and operate.

Bold moves and willingness to try new things – that’s what racing is all about.