IndyCar: How to miss the boat on winning over new fans
by Mark Cipolloni
IndyCar might be a case study for some business student’s Master’s Thesis on how not to win over new fans.
Some examples of things you can do that generates zero new fans:
- Make a big deal about renewable racing fuels. Trust us, fans do not give a crap. They watch to see cars and drivers race. They can’t see or hear the fuel – it does not register.
- Make a big deal about Rubber from the guayule (pronounced why-ooh-lee) plant in the Firestone tires. Trust us, fans do not give a crap about how green IndyCar’s tires are. They watch to see cars and drivers race. Green tires do not register, especially when so much fossil fuel is burnt by race fans and race teams going to and from races by air or ground transportation. No one is going to remember two weeks from now that the winning driver had tires made from a guayule plant.
- Make a big deal about telemetry systems that benefit drivers and safety workers. Trust us they do not give a crap. They can’t hear or see the telemetry – it does not register.
- Make a big deal about tweaks to a 13-year-old chassis. Trust us, they do not give a crap. They watch to see cars and drivers compete. They can’t see or hear the chassis tweaks – it does not register. Race fans do not drive a Dallara to and from work. It does not register.
Casual fans become diehard fans when they fall in love with the venues, personalities and the athletes/drivers.
When you make a direct connection with a fan, then you can hook them. Everything else is just filler fodder.
Watch what F1 does if you want to see how a race series can win over new fans. F1 had 1.54 billion (Billion with a B) cumulative TV viewers globally in 2022 and if you look at the rating data we publish each week you will see how may F1 viewers are in the all-important 18-49 age range. The percentage is more than double any other form of motorsports.
F1 connects with the young and the old, male, female girl and boy, in a big way.