With PRI Show 2023, SPEED SPORT wraps up an amazing year of growth and looks ahead to celebrating its longevity and commitment to the sport.
MOORESVILLE, N.C. — Preparing for our annual rendezvous with the rest of the motorsports world at the Performance Racing Industry Trade Show in Indianapolis, I’m struck by just how much SPEED SPORT has evolved since Ralph Sheheen, Mike Kerchner and I took the reins in 2011.
A lot has changed, and I couldn’t be prouder of the amazing team we’ve built, and how they’ve enabled us to continue to grow, adapt and evolve into a much larger, diverse and dynamic motorsports media company than when we started.
This year has been the strongest yet for SPEED SPORT — with solid growth in all aspects of our business. The cornerstone is and always will be our editorial group, led by Mike Kerchner. Together with Mike’s steady hand and the support from our partnership with NASCAR Digital Media, SPEEDSPORT.com, our flagship editorial property, has experienced phenomenal growth.
In the past 12 months, reach has grown by more than 10 percent — now averaging more than one million monthly users, and engagement has more than doubled to better than 6 minutes spent on site each session.
The Daily — our free daily e-newsletter, has soared in reach while holding industry-leading engagement. Going into 2024, the go-to source for racing headlines will be landing in nearly 200,000 inboxes every morning, while continuing to enjoy a 25 percent or greater open rate — with an overwhelming percentage of use on mobile devices.
Despite moving to a completely ad-supported digital approach to content, we’ve remained committed to quality journalism. If anything, focusing on digital has allowed our stellar team of award-winning contributors to explore and expand new ways of communicating news, information and opinion. Short form video, television, and social media are now important tools to serve our evolving audience.
Social media serves a crucial function to not only deliver content to our existing followers, but to expand our reach to casual and aspirational motorsports fans as well. On that front, SPEED SPORT has enjoyed record growth this year. Reach on our primary social platforms Facebook and X has more than doubled, surpassing 15 million views, while engagement has simultaneously grown by 50 percent.
Our streaming network continues to grow, delivering 2,500 live broadcasts this year to more than 100,000 subscribers across our 75+ individually-branded affiliate channels.
Led by industry pioneer Chris Graner, SPEED SPORT TV and the Riivet streaming platform remains the leading solution for live broadcasting and marketing for grassroots motorsports — and as we move into 2024 — the primary source for quality domestic programming for our new television network.
SPEED SPORT 1, our motorsports television network, has already surpassed the competition in delivering free live racing broadcasts, with more than 400 live events broadcast in 2023.
We continue to roll out the SS1 app, which is now available for iOS and Apple TV, and will soon be released on Amazon Fire, Google Play, Roku and more. Most importantly SPEED SPORT 1 will begin to launch on major tier-one free ad-supported TV platforms (FAST) in the first quarter of next year. Of course, we’ll announce those launches as soon as we can.
And finally, a huge growth area for SPEED SPORT has been in our production group. We’ve been packaging content for leading television networks since 2015 (winning many awards along the way), but with the expansion of our streaming network and the launch of SPEED SPORT 1, the need for producing and packaging content for live streaming and television has never been greater.
In 2023 SPEED SPORT Productions executed and produced more than 500 hours of programming — from our own SPEED SPORT LIVE From show to Ultra4 USA, Unlimited Hydroplanes, short course off-road racing and some of the biggest short-track events in the country, as well as our popular podcasts style shows like Fast Car to NASCAR with Mike Wallace and The Ralph Sheheen Show.
Next year, our focus on productions will continue to expand into more original programming, studio shows and stand-out live motorsports programming to anchor the SPEED SPORT 1 prime-time lineup.
Who knows what else next year will bring?
The PRI Show is often full of opportunities that take us in unexpected and exciting directions — it’s the most important reason we attend. So even as SPEED SPORT turns 90 years old, we are still every bit as passionate about what lies ahead for our brand and the amazing industry and fans we serve.