As we near the midpoint of 2021, auto racing is roaring back to full vibrancy as the world begins to emerge from the dark shadow of the pandemic that brought so much suffering and hardship to so many.
Thanks to the passion and optimism of our RACER audience — inspired by the excitement surrounding some of racing’s biggest events — their energy and turbocharged engagement delivered an all-time-record month for RACER.com in May.
These stellar Google Analytics growth metrics are shown above but it is also important to note that in the first five months of 2021 RACER.com has already attracted more unique users than in all of pre-pandemic 2019 — 4,701,435 vs 4,575,502.
With four NTT IndyCar Series races in May, culminating with the 105th Running of the Indianapolis 500 plus three Formula 1 races, including the Monaco Grand Prix and IMSA, SRO America and Trans Am also returning to action, our RACER team anticipated a record setting month. But it was May’s five NASCAR Cup race weekends — highlighted by the series’ debut at a rainy Circuit of The Americas along with the sport’s longest race, the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway — that drove some of the month’s top stories and a significant portion of our user traffic and social media activity.
As I have shared previously, I believe that 2021 will be the restart of a lifetime for our sport and for our society at large. I also believe, with some recent evidence, that those with the racer spirit will drive us forward to a new era where the energy of the audience will finally be recognized as the true power behind the growth and engagement needed for racing to not only survive but prosper in the century ahead.
In an age when it is fashionable for marketers to mimic youth culture in an all-too-often vain attempt to chase the vapor of what’s supposedly next at the expense of what is real, it was refreshing to see a 46-year-old racer chase his dream and make it a brilliant reality that now belongs to the ages.
As strange as it may sound to most of you reading this, I am sure that someone somewhere believes that the outcome of the 2021 Indy 500 was bad for our sport because Helio Castroneves is not a regular in the series. I say wake up and smell the strawberry-flavored milk. Helio made many of us feel like the weight of 15 months of loss, doubt, pain and sorrow was finally off our shoulders.
Helio’s joyous, extended Spiderman victory celebration following winning his fourth Indianapolis 500 defined not only his greatness but also the incalculable gravity of raw human emotion that still powers our sport. The shared joy of Michael Shank, Jim Meyer and their small but mighty team was also a reminder that we are living in a time where anything is possible if you believe it is and you work relentlessly to make it so. The world saw and felt this in a way we’ve not seen in a very long time and in that moment, the Indy 500 was finally back to where it belongs.
Which leads me to Paretta Autosport, which brought a wave of fresh, positive energy to the Indy 500. Beth Paretta and her women-forward teammates have recaptured some of the magic that was lost in this era of spec racing cars. They dared to embrace the power of uncertainty because their race is to the future — which is what the Indy 500 should be about. Beth and Simona De Silvestro had the power to change the world for the better with every lap and pit stop they completed and the attention they deservedly attracted and the opportunity they highlighted for our sport is far more powerful than any marketing campaign.
Kudos to Roger Penske and Team Penske for standing with this young team and being true to Beth’s brave vision and mission. Props also go to the good folks at Rocket Pro TPO and to MoneyLion. All of you are living proof that racing is really an inspiration-driven business and that our sport is at its best when we have something and someone truly worthy of our respect and emotional investment.
Paretta Autosport also proved that our sport can grow beyond its core audience when people care about why we race — and who we really are — because racing is the ultimate truth wherein victory travels at the speed of thought in the endless race between our fears and our dreams.
Founder and CEO,
Racer Media & Marketing, Inc.
Commercial team contact information:
Raelyn Stokes, Business Development
firstname.lastname@example.org / 949.417.6705
John Chambers, Global Sales
email@example.com / +44.0.7770.643749
Rick Bisbee, Advertising Sales
firstname.lastname@example.org / 312.285.8720
email@example.com / 225.335.9060
Bruce Kukuk, VP & Associate Publisher
firstname.lastname@example.org / 949.417.6720