For younger audiences’ traditional media seems unnecessary.
We are in the era of the stream.
Twitch, YouTube and Reddit, that’s where younger audiences are spending their time. So, bigger brands are needing to adapt. In racing, the team is the brand, the series is the brand and most importantly the driver is the brand.
These are the drivers who I see to be the most marketable for younger audiences, the future fans that will build the sport for years to come.
Lando Norris – F1
First of all…this guy is hilarious.
If you look at his socials you will see a series of candid memes, comments and videos all resulting in an extremely authentic image. His social media and personality are approachable. Much like the drivers of the 70s and 80s he makes this highly competitive sport engaging through his personality.
Recently, Norris was streaming on Twitch with YouTube sensations: The Sidemen. Arguably the biggest YouTube group in the UK with over 9M followers. With members KSI (22M) and W2S (15.5M) it is no surprise that 166,354 fans logged onto his Twitch stream of Among Us with the group.
On the stream, he was personable, pretty terrible at the game (oops) and all-around entertaining.
Apart from that though, this gave him an opportunity to be introduced to a group of future fans, who may not have known who he was prior. This helps not only his brand, but the F1 brand as a whole new audience is being reached.
Rinus Veekay – IndyCar
Much like Norris, Veekay’s socials are personable. A proven elite athlete, the IndyCar rookie seems to already be making a name for himself.
Veekay understands what potential fans want to see from him on social media…he’s even nailed traditional. That little spin and finger-gun move that he did for driver introductions at the Indy 500? Yah, it’s been shared countless times by not only IndyCar media, but fans alike.
A lot of times, young drivers can be nervous about displaying their personality when they are meant to fit a certain image of a team, but Veekay seems to have nailed balancing professionalism with character.
In addition to his social media savviness he is a remarkable Dutch racing driver with an extremely well-known mentor: Arie Luyendyk. This alone can make you one to watch in a sport that is so focused on legacy, but the fact that he is living up to the hype is even more remarkable. Veekay has reached a whole new market of Dutch fans making him even more important in building the sport.
Mick Schumacher – F2
The son of arguably the greatest racing driver ever, Mick has worked his way up the junior ranks to find himself fighting for a seat in F1 next season.
Schumacher is a name people know, young and old. This is the name that will be passed on from generation to generation.
I can’t imagine being a fan of racing and not wanting to see this guy bring his competitive edge to F1. Yes, he has a lot to prove, but the legacy left by his father is unrivalled and in-turn fans are craving to have a Schumacher back on the grid. This would even allow for younger fans to understand the importance of history in this sport.
We’ve seen this before with Villeneuve, Andretti, Rosberg and even Verstappen…racing is a family business and legacy is crucial to the continued success of the sport.