The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series was well represented at the annual SportsBusiness Journal Motorsports Marketing Forum held recently in Las Vegas.
Gary Darcy, NHRA senior vice president of sales and marketing, participated in a panel with other top executives from a variety of motorsports arenas in a session titled “Creating the Ultimate Fan Experience.” The panel, which also included NASCAR’s Steve O’Donnell, Hulman & Co. Chief Revenue Officer Jay Frye and Circuit of the Americas Chief Marketing & Revenue Officer Geoff Moore, discussed strategies for attracting more fans to the race track. Among the topics outlined were ensuring the on-track product is competitive, continuing to build star power among drivers, focusing on at-track digital connectivity plans and creating more interactive fan opportunities.
In another session titled “Race Veterans Weigh in on the Evolution of Motorsports,” seven-time NHRA Top Fuel world champion Tony Schumacher was the featured speaker. During the engaging discussion, Schumacher talked about how the sport has evolved through the years, touching on a variety of topics, including competition, sponsorship involvement, fan engagement and balancing the driver’s personal life away from the track.
Executives from Coca-Cola also participated in a session titled “Go on Yello: The Coca-Cola Company moves to Mello Yello for the NHRA title sponsorship.” Al Rondon, senior sports marketing manager for Coca-Cola North America Group, and Jim Bailey, president of Red Moon Marketing, outlined the brand’s goals and how the company uses the NHRA sponsorship to help earn market share in the citrus soda category.
The Motorsports Marketing Forum is hosted annually by Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal and Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Daily. Since 1999, the Motorsports Marketing Forum has been considered an indispensable stop on the motorsports circuit. It is the one event that brings the racing community together to hear perspectives from top corporate brands, teams, sanctioning bodies, track owners and agencies. The Forum continues to examine the latest trends that are shaping the motorsports landscape and provides insights from industry leaders outside of the sport.