In 2017, the performance racing industry saw steady sales and a strengthening of the market in general. 39% of retailers in the industry said that street racing and strip racing provided a majority of their client base. Stock car racing and modified represented a 28% market share.
Despite the market strengthening for the industry, retailers were not always seeing better revenues. Performance Racing Industry Magazine found in a recent survey that 31% of retailers said that a decline in the number of racers or cars in their community was the most significant challenge their business faced. That was greater than e-commerce competition (26%), cost of goods (25%), and low margins (24%).
Although 37% of industry professionals expect to do more business in the coming year, 53% said that they expect their business to remain about the same.
The performance racing industry is comprised of several different sporting events, including automobiles, motorcycles, trucks, drones, and even lawnmowers. In total, annual sponsorship spending within the industry totals $5 billion annually.
Important Performance Racing Industry Statistics
#1. Engine building is the most common employment opportunity in the performance racing industry, representing 24% of the opportunities. Fabricators are a close second, rounded up to 24% as well. 19% of the positions are retail-based. (Performance Racing Industry Magazine)
#2. 34% of the customers who work with the industry are between the ages of 30-39. Another 33% of customers are between the ages of 40-49. (Performance Racing Industry Magazine)
#3. 59% of industry professionals say that their newest customers directly compare in age to their current clientele. About 1 in 3 people say that their new customers are younger than their average customer. (Performance Racing Industry Magazine)
#4. 60% of industry professionals say that their go-to resource to provide information to customers about their products and technology is an industry trade show. That was more popular than working with manufacturers (52%), using media resources (44%), or speaking with warehouse distributors (18%). (Performance Racing Industry Magazine)
#5. 52% of the businesses involved with the performance racing industry have been operating for 20+ yeas. Only 1% of the businesses in the industry right now are a startup and 6% have been in business for 2 years or less. (Performance Racing Industry Magazine)
#6. 17% of industry firms say that they spend nothing on marketing to their potential customers over the course of a year. 1 in 3 businesses say that they rely on word of mouth advertising as their primary option to generate awareness for their company. (Performance Racing Industry Magazine)
#7. 48% of companies in the performance racing industry say that they invest into sponsorship marketing opportunities. 59% of those opportunities are with a specific racing team. (Performance Racing Industry Magazine)
#8. 6% of Americans say that their favorite sport involves performance racing. (Statista)
#9. The brand value of the Daytona 500 in 2017 was $140 million. In comparison, the amount invested by Red Bull into the performance racing industry in sponsorships totals $110 million per year. (Statista)
#10. Ferrari is the most valuable Formula 1 brand in performance racing, with revenues totaling $349 million in 2016. (Statista)
#11. TV viewership of the Daytona 500 in 2018 was about 9.3 million people. In 2016, over 11 million people tuned in to watch the race. (Statista)
#12. 15% of people say that they watch Formula 1 racing because of the risks involved that come with drivers operating at such high speeds. (Statista)
#13. Hendrick Motorsports is the most valuable NASCAR-related brand, with a total value of $325 million in 2017. The team earned $180 million in revenues in 2016. (Statista)
#14. Racing and individual sports in the United States earns about $13 billion in revenues as a combined category. About 137,000 firms currently provide some type of performance racing or individual sporting services in the country. (IBIS World)
#15. 49% of companies that operate within the performance racing industry do not have a website. That may account for the fact that only 17% of all companies consider a website as a primary advertising resource. (Performance Racing Industry Magazine)
#16. 51% of companies say that they do not use social media to promote their business. 52% say that they never regularly email their customers about new sales, products, or services that are available. (Performance Racing Industry Magazine)
#17. For the companies that do use social media to market themselves, 93% of them are using Facebook. Only 23% of companies say that they use Instagram. (Performance Racing Industry Magazine)
#18. 83% of the firms which are active in the performance racing industry employ between 1-5 people. Only 3% say that they employ a minimum of 21 people. (Performance Racing Industry Magazine)
#19. 63% of industry professionals say that they put in more than 40 hours per week if they have a retail business. 17% say that they are averaging more than 60 hours per week. (Performance Racing Industry Magazine)
#20. 51% of companies say that they had 0 new products added to their inventory in 2016. (Performance Racing Industry Magazine)
#21. 41% of companies in the industry say that they offer time off for racing as an employee benefit. That is the same percentage which say that they permit their employees to work on their own cars in the shop. Only 35% of companies say that they offer paid vacation time. (Performance Racing Industry Magazine)
#22. 43% of people who say that they are interested in performance racing are also interested in the e-sports industry. (Racecar Engineering Magazine)
#23. There are currently 4,300 motorsport businesses operating in the United Kingdom. 87% of them export products or services globally. Even 70% of Formula 1 teams are based in the UK. (Racecar Engineering Magazine)
#24. Toyota is the most active company sponsoring NASCAR activities within the industry. They are 13.9 times more likely to provide a sponsorship than the average of all sponsors. In second is General Motors (11.6), then Sprint (10.1), and then Coca-Cola (7.3). (IEG Sponsorship Report)
#25. Automotive aftermarket brands are the most active category for the performance racing industry, with companies in this category 6 times more likely to make a sponsorship. Retail companies are 5.9 times more likely, while automotive companies are 5.7 times more likely to sponsor NASCAR. (IEG Sponsorship Report)
#26. The average price for a ticket to attend a NASCAR event is $92.16, with the racing series bringing in $3.1 billion in year in total revenues. (Statistic Brain)
#27. More than 500 people have died from performance racing activities in the past 25 years in the United States. About 70% of these deaths occur during events which use a short track. (Charlotte Observer)
#28. 22% of the fatalities which occurred within the industry occurred at drag strips. (Charlotte Observer)
#29. Formula 1 teams earned $1.5 billion in revenues during the 2016 season. The teams involved, however, created a $336 million net loss because of the costs of racing. New hybrid power units for the industry may cost up to $19 million each year. (Forbes)
#30. Red Bull had the highest revenues in Formula 1, but its total revenue only grew by 3.6% due to performance issues with a new V6 engine. (Forbes)
#31. 71% of NHRA drag racing fans are men, with the 25-54 age demographic representing the largest percentage. 71% have a household income of $75,000 or less. Only 44% of NHRA fans are employed full-time, but 37% are currently attending a technical or vocational school. (Boteler Racing)
#32. NHRA fans are 20% more likely than NASCAR fans to be Hispanic and 6% more likely than Indycar fans. They are 34% more likely to be African-American compared to NASCAR fans as well. (Boteler Racing)
#33. NHRA fans are 227% more likely to go hunting as an interest outside of drag racing compared to the general population. Fishing, camping, and boating are also over-indexed for the fan base.
Performance Racing Industry Trends and Analysis
The enthusiasm for the performance racing industry is only going to keep growing. On a global stage, this industry reaches 194 countries. Only the Olympics and the FIFA World Cup engage a larger global audience with events and, aside from qualifiers, the performance racing industry is the only option for annual events.
What the industry must do is embrace what technology is able to provide. A majority of industry professionals are under-utilizing the internet as a way to gather leads, create communities, and speak with future customers. Although the industry is a destination business, more than half of e-commerce activities occur on a mobile device. The businesses which are willing to be on social media, establish a website, and engage on forums are going to be the ones most likely to succeed.
At the same time, it must also continue to embrace its roots. By 2040, autonomous vehicles may account for up to 75% of the cars on global roadways. That creates a big opportunity for the performance racing industry, as it will continue to allow drivers and fans of racing the experience of high speeds and danger.