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Are Drivers Athletes?

Posted by Ana Wieser on 4/19/19 6:12 AM

Sure, racing is a competitive activity, but it’s still debated amongst many whether race car driving should be considered a sport, and if professional drivers are athletes. Autobahn Indoor Speedway & Events in Memphis wanted to get to the bottom of it, so they tried out an easy experiment, surveying customers of their track between April and October of 2018.

Adrenaline Fuels Competition

When employees at the track asked customers this question before they raced, about half (52%) answered that, yes, race car drivers are athletes. That number rose to 98% after people had raced on the go kart track! The adrenaline of driving and competing against others gave respondents more insight and appreciation into what it takes to be a professional racer, from focus, to coordination, to quick reflexes.

Competition Fuels More Purchases

Use this experiment to your advantage. Do you have a timing solution for your karts or provide a driver ranking system for your customers? The adrenaline people feel after a race can be channeled into buying more races or coming back to the track more in the future to beat other racers and even their own personal times. Additionally, the more time they spend at your track or park, the more money they are likely to spend on activities or food and drink.

Beyond Racing

It’s not just go karting tracks that can benefit from competition and adrenaline; you can apply the same concept across other activities at your facility. Trampoline parks and general FECs have started incorporating more competitive activities like axe throwing, laser tag, and more, and gamifying activities that were once less competitive, like trampoline jumping, to give guests an incentive to return again and again.

What do you think: are drivers athletes? How do your customers feel after racing; does that adrenaline rush make them want to go and race again? Competition can be of enormous benefit to your business-if you do it right.

Topics: Karting, Gamification

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