Richmond Raceway Takes Unique Approach to Fan Engagement With Seven-Day Trip

The Richmond Raceway Simulator, along with the Richmond RV, will make stops at five short tracks and Daytona International Speedway as part of Richmond Raceway’s activation prior to the 2019 NASCAR season. Image from Richmond Raceway.

With an RV and a racing simulator, Richmond Raceway has taken its marketing and activation for the 2019 NASCAR season to the next level. The Richmond Raceway Road Trip, set to begin on February 10, will happen at short tracks across the Southeast before concluding with four days at Daytona International Speedway.

The team from Richmond will drive an RV and Toyota Tundra with a trailer carrying its state-of-the-art racing simulator to engage fans of all types of racing from the grassroots to the national level. Activation will take place at short tracks in five states and the Daytona International Speedway.

“Local tracks are the heart of racing,” said Richmond Raceway President Dennis Bickmeier. “It’s such a unique opportunity that we have to visit those tracks and have authentic, face-to-face chats with fans. Not only do want to see Richmond fans, but we also want to strike up conversations with new fans.”

The Richmond RV and simulator will be at Daytona International Speedway for DAYTONA Speedweeks presented by AdventHealth from February 10-11 before stopping at several of the Southeast’s premier short tracks.

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Of the short tracks, first up is Langley Speedway (Va.) before stops at Southern National Motorsports Park (N.C.) and Myrtle Beach Speedways (SC) with the simulator. The final two short track stops on the list are in Georgia and Florida respectively – Oglethorpe Speedway (Ga.) and New Smyrna Speedway (Fla.) – the latter of which is just a 12-mile drive from Daytona International Speedway.

Throughout the tour, Richmond Raceway’s team will push content across the track’s social media channels and connect with local media in each market to give the track increased fan engagement and brand awareness.

The track will also continue to support Racing Virginia’s social media on the tour. Racing Virginia is a collaboration among Virginia racing venues from paved tracks to dirt tracks and even NASCAR venues. The goal of the publication is to provide news and information of about all the racing action that takes place in the Commonwealth.

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For the leadership team at Richmond, the simulator continues to provide new opportunities to marketing and activation compared to the spin to win games or a promotion that allows fans to win free tickets or merchandise. The Richmond Raceway Simulator was introduced prior to the 2018 NASCAR season.

“Richmond, Virginia is a very festival-centric place,” said Bickmeier. “The simulator provides an experience for the fans and a chance to race at Richmond in a unique way. For us, it means we’re able to keep them at our display longer and engage with them, thus more time to build authentic relationships.”

Not only can fans race the two-seat simulator, which is powered by iRacing, on the three-quarter mile Richmond Raceway, but they can choose from over 75 other tracks, including several throughout the state of Virginia.

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For its final stop, the Richmond RV and simulator will be parked at Daytona International Speedway from February 14-17 prior to the 61st running of the DAYTONA 500. The simulator will be loaded into the Sunoco Injector, and the RV will be in Daytona’s GEICO RED Premium RV Campground for additional activation.

“Being parked in one of the campgrounds at Daytona is a great opportunity to engage with more fans over a prolonged period at Speedweeks,” said Bickmeier. “Camping is a hot commodity in NASCAR right now. When I first got to Richmond seven years ago, we had 675 camping spots, and this past fall we parked 1,306 RVs. We’re trying to find every nook and cranny to park RVs, and being in the GEICO RED Premium RV Campground at Daytona will allow us to spread awareness about Richmond.”

For Bickmeier and staff, being at Daytona is pivotal, not only because it is the start of the NASCAR season but because many Richmond fans will be making the trip for the DAYTONA 500 weekend.

“It’s a unique opportunity for us to finish off our trip at Daytona,” said Bickmeier. “We want to draw attention to the start of the NASCAR season and the fact that our race weekend will be less than two months away on April 12-13. Fans from all over the world come to Daytona and many Richmond supporters will be there. We’ll have a chance to engage with fans from our region and beyond.”