Racers get to showcase their talents to family, friends and sponsors, and sponsors get their name in front of a large audience
In partnership with IMS Productions, which produces the Verizon IndyCar Series coverage, Mazda has been livestreaming many of the Idemitsu Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich® Tires races, including this weekend’s races at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. For all of those involved in the series, this has been most welcome and beneficial.
“The livestream means a lot to me as a driver,” says points leader Nikko Reger, driver of the No. 01 Slipstream Performance Mazda MX-5 Cup. “Not only do my friends and family get to watch, but it’s a great reference tool, not only to come back and watch myself, but to show to potential sponsors and those interested in me. It’s amazing to hear from those that watch me back at home; every time I get out of the car I have a full inbox of people telling me congrats or get ’em next time! So the more livestreams we can get throughout the year, the better!”
Robert Stout, the 2017 Rookie of the Year and driver of the No. 27 Lucas Oil Products/LucasOilRacing.tv MX-5 for McCumbee McAleer Racing, knows the importance of video to a racing effort, especially since his father has made his career as a motorsports television announcer. When it comes to giving sponsors a return on investment, Stout says nothing beats video.
“The livestream is arguably the most important thing to us and to our sponsors,” he says. “The way that they’re doing it is very good as well, getting the livestream out there through YouTube and/or Facebook, so it’s not just the livestream itself, but it’s being shared and passed around and continuously watched for days after the event. We’re able to see the amount of views that it got, so all that stuff adds up. We take those numbers and crunch them and send them back to sponsors at the end of the year, so we rely on it heavily.”
Most of the MX-5 Cup races run on IndyCar weekends utilizing IMS Productions for the coverage, and Mazda makes the livestream available through the Mazda USA YouTube channel. That provides a return not only to racers, but others involved in the series as well.
“The livestreaming has really been a great platform to build awareness of the property and of the car for Mazda,” says BFGoodrich Motorsports Manager Peter Calhoun. “For Idemitsu and BFGoodrich as series partners, it has allowed the audience to grow not just domestically, but internationally, because obviously the platform can be viewed anywhere in the world, and the numbers have been terrific in the initial races this season. For the competitors, it is a very good showcase of their partners and their vehicles. In a day and age when traditional TV is declining in popularity and has become very expensive, the livestream platform is an affordable way to grow the audience.”
The livestreams from Mid-Ohio will cover both of this weekend’s races. Race 1 will take place at 11:35 a.m. Eastern time on Saturday and Race 2 coverage will begin at 10:05 a.m. on Sunday, and both will be streamed on the Mazda USA YouTube channel.