Short Track Racing | A Vision of Our Sport’s Future: Part 9 – Community Immersion
In order to create a larger following for short track racing, race tracks have to create a marketing campaign that portrays the sport in a positive manner. Facilities also have to hold credible representation among the local public. To do this, track representatives have to educate nearby citizens and show participation in the surrounding community.
Speedway staff members should occasionally discuss different progressive methods to contain race car noise from neighbors of the track, such as sound barriers and absorbers. Then it is necessary for track personnel to take the time to educate people that our tracks have these noise controlling devices. Instead of fighting with neighbors, work with them and enlighten them.
We have to communicate to neighbors that auto racing is no longer an obnoxious, roughneck type sport. Our speedways are surrounded by good-hearted, hard-working people. They also give the younger generation a place to attend, become a social part of a family-oriented environment, and spend time with other goal-oriented folks. Auto racing teaches hard work and principles of mechanics, technology, & engineering. It is important to encourage neighbors to become part of the speedway community by exposing the beauty of the sport to them (many aspects of which are mentioned in the introduction of this statement).
We should also be contributing to the community. We have to participate, reach out, and be an influence while working alongside the townspeople. It’s important to be understanding… Some people will always shun the concept of auto racing. The best we can do is attempt to educate them, and try to be a positive community member. We have to work on creating a movement of acceptance from the general population.
It is vital for tracks to be involved in community activities. Members of the speedway staff should become involved in local politics and attend town meetings where plans are discussed for the district’s future. It benefits the facility greatly to have an advocate present at such meetings to discuss the positive impact that the race track can have on the future of the local community.
Tracks should also actively be creating and/or participating in charity events and fundraisers. Holiday events are excellent opportunities to contribute to the community by providing entertainment. Halloween festivals with hayrides and Christmas drive through illumination ceremonies with majority proceeds going to selective charities are ideal. Holiday events can start off small and investments can be made over the years to increase attraction. This only makes sense with the race track’s large working space and off-season time frame. They benefit the speedway as a form of income while showing community appeal and immersion.
Other community type events could include harvest fairs, farmer’s markets, family-oriented events, small business fairs, and local food & spirit expositions. These type of events and specialty gatherings are an important part of appealing to a wide variety of demographics and can also provide an opportunity to cross promote with local businesses.
We have to place emphasis on constant improvement, especially on those aspects of racing considered unpleasant by the general public. If the public is aware that facility administration is always working to make local racing cleaner, quieter, and more family oriented, they will develop a strong fondness for the speedways and for the racing community as a whole.
Click here for Part 9 – Community Immersion