How To Market Your Track Like A Pro

TulsaRacewayJune21Feature

 

At the 2016 Performance Racing Industry Show, RacingJunk.com sponsored “How to Market Your Track Like a Pro,” a workshop led by co-owners Osage Casino Tulsa Raceway Park Keith Haney and Todd Martin, plus General Manager “Big Don” Ellison.  These industry pros spoke to a crowded room full of racing industry folks, sharing tips, tricks and advice for marketing a racetrack in the modern age, based on their own success in Tulsa.

Here’s the video, followed by a transcript of key points:

From Todd Martin, “Keith and I didn’t dream this stuff up. We looked at what was out there in the racing business, and we’re trying to take it and make it better.  We have to all work together.  You have to have all of these pieces. If you’re one dimensional, it won’t work. You have to educate your audience to come back…You bring people back to the racetrack from other events.  Use the live feed for those other events.”

The key takeaways were:

  • To be current in the use of technology.
  • Leverage your social media for advertising, broadcasting, and audience insight.
  • Make sure your website works and works well
  • Do what you can for free. There are multiple tools out there to help you schedule, sell tickets, create events, etc.
  • Charge for advertising on your website, and work with your partners. Give them more value than they ask for.

leverage social media as free advertising, as well as analytics for what your visitors are interested in, and for broadcasting.

  1. Website (http://www.tulsaracewaypark.com/)
    1. Is your website mobile friendly? Make sure it is!  If you’re not mobile friendly, you’re not getting to your customer.
    2. Embedding social – Facebook integration tool.
    3. Google Calendar — You can update Google Calendar, the embed code allows you to update in real time and it will publish on your website.  Put flyers up, etc.  Share on social as well.
    4. Google Analytics – how many people are coming to your website?  Show your advertisers what you’re giving them.
    5. Banners — Charge for advertising on the site. Reasonable prices for placement, giving twice the value for the money.
    6. Media Kit —http://www.tulsaracewaypark.com/marketing-a-partnership-opportunities
    7.  LiveFeed at your Race Track. Tulsa has TV channels that Haney owns.  First installed cameras at the track for safety reasons, but now they can use them to broadcast races. Figuring out how to block it out locally through IP Address blocking to bring people to the track.
      1. Set up for selling advertising during that live feed
      2. Broadcast other events at the track, not just your big events to educate people about your track. Bring them in for one thing, get them to return for others.
    8. Consider buying a TV channel for your racetrack.  Sell channels for other races.  Allows other people to come see your racetrack and see what you’re doing at your racetrack.
    9. Selling Tickets Online
    10. Schedule
  2. Partners
    1. Media Kit – Make sure this is on your site.
    2. Google Analytics – Use Google Analytics to show your partners what they’ll be getting, and then what they are getting.
    3. How do you create and measure value.  Deliver what you promise.  Show your partners and advertisers what they are getting. Underpromise and overdeliver for partners who will stay with you. Have to be able to show them results
    4. Example of Wiseco – gave them a free year with the understanding that if they saw results, they’d sign on for a second year.
  3. Tickets
    1. Sell them online.
    2. Use a system like Square to sell tickets, merchandise, inventory in souvenir stand.  Square helps you increase your cash flow during the off-season months.
    3. Event Brite for ticketing in conjunction with Square.  Allows for gates, concessions, other types of ticketing. Live, online ticketing.  Allows you to still get ticket cost.  Passes the commission fee on to the customer.
    4. Keep money that would otherwise walk out of the gate.  Tulsa increased cash flow, increased lost money by 22%.
    5. Printing Tickets – take the eTicket and print it.  The printing cost is smaller than the PoS loss.  Will save 12% at the gate — double entry point.  Making sure the dollar intended for the gate is going where it is supposed to.  Gate entry followed by security check.
    6. Try to get people to buy tickets ahead of time and make it easy.
    7. Have moved to using same ticketing for entrants and spectators.  Everyone who goes through the gate has a ticket. Everyone not going to the track goes through another entrance.  Down to moving office to accounting to a different site.
    8. Ticket has safety waiver printed on the back.  Square/Event Brite provides place for Auto Waiver.
    9. Put all your ticketing up for the year.
    10. Link through your social.
    11. Season ticket packages
  4. Invoicing Partners
    1. Systems like Square allow you to create an immediate invoice and accept a credit card payment for it.  Get paid immediately. Get paid at all!
  5. Utilize local resources in your business community. –Use your local hotels to get free rooms for your event participants.
    1. Work with state travel commissions, municipal governments, etc. to get them to block hotel rooms for you, since you are owed money for bringing tourists into the state. To accomplish this, make sure you track participation!
  6. What else can you use your track for?  If people come to one event, encourage them to come out for races.
  7. Make sure to put commercials on both Facebook and Youtube because they reach different audiences! Don’t just share, actually upload to each platform separately to maximize exposure. Do ask others to share, though, so your content will trend.
  8. Use YouTube to share races, interviews, etc.
  9. Use Google-based blogs, especially for PRs.
  10. Use a bulk email/email marketing program like Constant Contact as well as personal email. Get the emails of people who attend your events when they get tickets online so you can re-market to those same people.
  11. Own your own ads.
  12. Put your sponsors’ ads on your blogs, etc., and show that in sponsor emails so they know what they’re getting.
  13. When you visit tracks, take tips from the marketing they’re doing.
  14. Don’t be intimidated by the size or success of other tracks – your online reach can be just as big.
  15. Marketing with Facebook:
    1. Upload email (monthly) list from email marketing program (like Constant Contact), etc. to obtain permission to market to the people on the list.
    2. Use list to market Facebook events by ZIP code radius. Make sure you market to people who LIVE in a location, not who are currently in a location, to avoid wasting money on passers-through.
    3. Don’t give your track a personal page, as that has limits on reach.
    4. Only hit people on Facebook and associated Instagram.
    5. Run ads only while target audience will likely be awake.
    6. Images which are 40%+ text will not be approved, so avoid flyers – use photos of event.
    7. Add website, etc. URL to videos.
    8. 83% of the population have Facebook!
    9. Market only to the people who like your Facebook page to save money but boost sales.
    10. Have Facebook posts automatically appear on Instagram and Twitter.
  16. Make sure you talk to your partners about marketing partnerships.
  17. If you have in-house marketing people, make sure to give them these tips! And let them be on Facebook – it’s one of the best marketing tools available!
  18. Give marketing partners Facebook insights as well as website numbers and photos of crowds at events to prove efficacy of your advertising.
  19. Racers are required to have photos taken in the winner’s circle. Everything is a marketing opportunity.
  20. Get your tickets done early; make tickets for all yearly events before the start of the year if you can.
  21. You can allow your sponsors to be admins for your Facebook for limited times.
  22. You and your partners can cross-promote events on Facebook.
  23. Ideal time window for paid marketing on Facebook – start ~30 days before the event.
  24. Get partners to put up banner ads, etc. right before your events.
  25. Tie everything together.
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