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Motorsport Marketing typically consists of Event Management, Experiential Marketing, Communications, and other undertakings within the sport.

But how are these activities connected to motorsport safety?

EVENT MANAGEMENT: The construction, operation, and management of motorsport events must put safety first. Risk management should be at the top of the list. Event managers must weight cost and risk to determine how best to plan and execute the event. Without consideration given to risk management, event managers can suffer financial loss, reputation damage, and even civil or criminal liability.

EXPERIENTIAL MARKETING: We’ve all seen extensive experiential marketing taking place in motorsport paddocks. Most of these activations include complex, custom-built displays designed to engage target consumers and create interaction. Many integrate hands-on contact with the individuals. These customized displays need to incorporate the same safety standards of permanent structures to ensure the safety of the individuals that come in contact with the display. The construction must also keep the safety of the display workers in mind as well.

COMMUNICATIONS: Safety issues frequently land on the desk of communications professionals who must deftly deal with the situation. Crisis communications and crisis-related plans are often a failure in motorsports. Having experience is key, but planning is paramount. Most organizations don’t seem to understand that, without a well-planned crisis communication plan, response will be impaired, stakeholders will be in the dark or misinformed, and the reputation of the organization will be harmed. Mishandling of the situation could even result in the organization being held criminally negligent. Proper planning can help avoid these risks.

As evidenced above, safety impacts marketing in myriad ways, but marketing can also impact safety. The existence of the Motorsport Safety Foundation is an example of a marketing activity designed to raise awareness and create change in motorsport safety. Marketers in the sport should heed to safety when planning and executing their own programs.

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Gene Cottingham

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Ruthie Forbes

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