This week marks the 29th anniversary of the launch of RACER magazine. I could not have imagined the journey that began when RACER debuted in a crowded motorsports art gallery on Pine Avenue in Long Beach, CA on the evening of April 11, 1992 (above). Today, RACER magazine is one of only a few high-quality racing publications left. Thankfully, we enjoy a high 70% renewal rate and RACER’s paid subscriptions grew by more than 13% in 2020.
In addition to our usual 42,120 print and digital circulation, our team is proud that the digital version of the Spring 2021 Season Preview edition of RACER is being distributed to an additional 35,000 members and supporters of The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation to celebrate the opening of their hugely impressive “Driven To Win – Racing in America” permanent exhibition presented by General Motors. Similar programs are planned with other leading motorsport and automotive museums as our sport moves past the pandemic and into its next great era.
Our mission remains as it was in the beginning. RACER was created to share the heroic power and exotic beauty of our sport and to transform curiosity into interest that becomes a lifelong passion for racing. We never forget that racing is an inspiration-powered business and thanks to the passion and devotion of committed racing fans, our RACER digital audience continues to grow at an astonishing rate. In the first quarter of 2021 our site users increased 42.56% over Q1 2020 and we saw our highest user traffic month in history with February delivering 1,224,218 unique users along with our highest single traffic day (so far) on Saturday February 6 with 313,256 users visiting our site. Quarter one 2021 also delivered 751,645 more users than in Q1 2020 and overall users came in at more than 2.5 million and not far from the user tally for all of 2017!
Q1 2021 also marked the first time in our site’s 24-year history wherein average monthly user traffic was above 900,000. One key reason for this remarkable growth is the high energy and engagement of RACER’s readers who generated 1,115,203 shares of stories directly from our site in the first quarter.
Unlike some competitors, 88.33% of our site audience originated from North America in Q1 2021. The following metros led the way: 1) Los Angeles, CA; 2) Indianapolis, IN; 3) Chicago, IL; 4) Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto, CA; 5) New York, NY; 6) Atlanta, GA; 7) Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne, FL; 8) Charlotte, NC; 9) Dallas Ft Worth, TX; 10) Boston, MA – Manchester, NH.
In Q1 2021 our RACER audience trended younger with the 18-24 age segment leading with 70.19% growth compared to Q1 2020. Those under the age of 55 now represent 58.03% of RACER.com’s online audience versus 55.36% in Q1 2020.
RACER’s social media and off-site distribution channels such as Apple News and Google News also delivered impressive visibility, reach and engagement as detailed below.
As we emerge from the shadow of the global pandemic, the 2021 racing season is shifting into high gear and our RACER commercial and RACER Studio teams are working with leading racing series, manufacturers, sponsors and teams to develop advertising and content marketing programs that leverage our ever-growing reach and engagement. On Wednesday, April 14 we will launch INDYCAR Debrief, a video program powered by the NTT INDYCAR Series and presented by Firestone. It will be co-hosted by Jen Horsey and IndyCar racer Conor Daly – who, I am proud to mention, made his debut at the RACER launch party in 1992. Conor has certainly come a long way, but so have we and none of this would have been possible without the support of our loyal readers, advertisers and series partners to whom I offer a sincere thank you.
The younger Daly’s relationship with RACER started right at the beginning of both sides’ journeys – and both have come a long way since.
As we now look forward to our 30th anniversary in 2022, I would also like to thank RACER Editor-In-Chief Laurence Foster and RACER.com Editor Mark Glendenning along with Founding RACER Publisher Bill Sparks, Associate Publisher Bruce Kukuk and Accounting Manager Sandra Carboni-Alexander for leading the way to this milestone moment. Along with them, our RACER Media & Marketing, Inc. ownership group that includes myself and Rob and Chris Dyson salute our entire team: Andrew Crask, Joey Barnes, Steve Nickless, Rob French, Raelyn Stokes, Nick Lish, George Tamayo, Molly Binks, Victor Uribe, Philip Royle, Paul Laguette, Ree Tucker, D. Randy Riggs, Cyndi Paceley, Scott Pacely, Rick Bisbee, Debi Brand, Robin Miller, Marshall Pruett, Kelly Crandall, Chris Medland, Marty Fiolka, Richard James, Eric Johnson and Ryan Kish along with ace photographer Michael Levitt and his great team at Motorsport Images USA.
As I’ve written before, I believe that this season will be the restart of a lifetime for our sport, so please consider RACER as your drafting partner in the race for audience and engagement. Racing’s future is now, so let’s win this race together.
All the best,Paul PfannerFounder and CEO,Racer Media & Marketing, Inc.
Commercial team contact information:
Raelyn Stokes, Business Developmentraelyn@racer.com / 949.417.6705
John Chambers, Global Salesmotoring1@aol.com / +44.0.7770.643749
Rick Bisbee, Advertising Salesrick@vintagemotorsport.com / 312.285.8720
Bruce Kukuk, VP & Associate Publisherbruce@racer.com / 949.417.6720