Track Promoters Get More Paying Fans with ProQ

June 3, 2016
Wouldn’t you like to fill your stands with more paying fans?

Most track promoters say that paying fans are the most important people who come through their gates.  Unfortunately most track promoters don’t have a clue who these people are, let alone how to interact with the majority of them when they’re not physically at their track.

Promoters can change that economically with ProQ motorsports event software. It was designed specifically for motorsports, and it handles all sorts of tasks that promoters need.  It is one consolidated program and one consolidated database.


Ticket Sales in ProQ

Weather determines whether most races happen as scheduled or not.  That leads most fans to pay at the gate rather than buy tickets in advance. That’s not the case with many big venues that assign seats through a computerized ticketing system, but it’s standard for most short-track events with general admission.  The economy has caused an abundance of good seats being available for paying fans even on race day at many super-speedways.

Those promoters have a substantial number of walk-up ticket sales.  Gathering the contact information of these walk-up fans was next to impossible before ProQ.

Pre-event ticket sales, on-site sales and at-the-gate sales can be handled through ProQ.   As a track builds up its database, customer contact information grows.  That info is gathered for seamless outreach and includes social media addresses, past purchases and geographic areas. Contacts don’t have to be imported or exported from one software program to another one to perform many common tasks.  Lists can be generated easily from the track’s database, which is constantly kept up to date.

What about Walk-up Fans?

Walk-up fans may be first-time visitors, casual fans, or devoted ones who haven’t missed a race in years. They might know very little about racing, or their family may have gone to the races together for several generations.  Wouldn’t it be useful to know how often paying fans have visited your track?

Using ProQ, a promoter can easily, quickly and economically send these fans a newsletter about big, upcoming events.  He can e-mail them information that keeps their racing enthusiasm going strong in the off-season.  Also, two weeks after an event he can automatically remind them how to buy track apparel.  He can help them learn more about a driver so they have someone to cheer for when they return.  They might even bring their neighbor if you told them about the two-for-one ticket price offer, too.

Before ProQ the average promoter would never know how to reach these paying fans to interact.  He had no way of knowing who they are, how old they are, or how far they traveled to get to his track. He also didn’t know what division they’re most interested in, or what else they like to do.   Most important, he didn’t know how to reach them by regular mail, e-mail or social media.

High Capability – Low Cost

Now a promoter can learn things like that, and do a lot more, with ProQ.  This software allows track promoters, clubs, sanctioning bodies and other motorsports companies to have a low cost virtual IT department.  At $50 a month for two users, it’s less expensive than the price of most residential cable TV subscriptions. ProQ brings several different pieces of software under the umbrella of one program.  Event management, newsletters, invoicing, estimates, pledges, donations, to-do lists and calendars can all be utilized within the software.

ProQ software is cloud-based, so it can be used anywhere there is an Internet connection, including hot spots on cell phones. A user can work at the track, in a hotel or airport, at home, or anywhere else where he can get online.

With all of a track’s contacts consolidated in one database, event management and outreach are much easier.  In the case of event management, the software can supply and store driver and team registrations, liability releases and even data on individual cars.

Web Forms

Many of the tasks that software is asked to perform involves gathering data through forms. The way ProQ handles forms is integral to its benefits.

ProQ easily creates the input forms a promoter needs.   You just use drag and drop technology to make the form you want and save it.  ProQ then generates the code for that form.  When it is added to the track’s web site, it is ready to use.  The code displays the web form on your site, and grabs any data that is put into it.  For fans, it could include things like address, social media handles, dates of birth, ages, or favorite drivers.   It could also include their history of track visits, apparel purchases or a survey.

For participants, it could include things like medical histories, in-case-of-emergency contacts, and liability waivers.

When a fan or a participant fills out a form online, it automatically sends the information straight into the company’s ProQ database. The whole process is completed on the company’s web site through ProQ.  This eliminates the need to send the customer to other software or websites for fulfillment of their order.  And, when the form is submitted, the customer’s contact information is all safely tucked away in the company’s ProQ database.

Valuable Information at Minimal Cost

Although some fans will guard their personal contact information like it’s something that should be stored at Fort Knox, others will give it happily if there’s something in it for them.   That’s where the creativity comes in, and the cost can be very minimal.

Imagine posting four or five attractive, friendly young girls with iPads between your ticket windows and the base of the grandstands. They ask the person who just bought a ticket if they’d like to enter a contest for a special prize tonight. The prize could be something that would be an unusual treat for the fan but doesn’t cost the promoter a thing.  Like the opportunity to be in the flag stand and wave the green flag for tonight’s feature.  Or the opportunity to ride in a push truck or pace car.

All they need to enter is for the paying fan to give them his contact information and answer a few optional questions.  As the girls fill the form out online through their iPads, the data is immediately captured.  It goes through the track website and into the track database through ProQ.   At the right time, you choose the winner and call them up to the stand. They sign an online liability release, and get their prize.  Everyone is happy – even fans who didn’t win tonight.  They think they will have a chance to win next time.

Ideas for a Tight Budget

Promoters who are on an even tighter budget could still capture the data by their 50-50 girls, who would fill out the form for the fan online through their own cell phones.  Promoters who have no extra money to spend at all can still get in the game if they have an enthusiastic announcer.  He could have fans fill out the form online through their cell phones.  It gives them something to do in their seats while waiting for a caution-flag to end.

If a promoter offers an incentive each week, before long he’ll have the contact information for a lot of his paying customers and fans. The incentive could be as simple as two free passes to an upcoming event, too.

Paying Fans and Newsletter Outreach

As a track builds its database, it can reach out to paying fans anytime through ProQ via social media, straight e-mails, or newsletters.  ProQ makes designing a newsletter quick and simple. Delivery is easy and inexpensive too. At one cent per e-mail address, it’s half the price of other comparable bulk e-mail servers.  It’s also fully compliant with current Can-Spam rules.  That makes it less likely for bulk e-mails to end up in the recipient spam folders.  Naturally, recipients can easily unsubscribe anytime.

You can sell tickets and other merchandise through ProQ too, since the track’s entire database is in one place.  It’s not hard to develop lists of customers and potential customers grouped in any number of ways.  One such way is by geographic location through Google Earth, which can be accessed within ProQ too.

Simple Event Registration

Event registration is simplified and streamlined with ProQ. Wouldn’t it be great for a track to dispense with all the paperwork and messy handwriting.  Car, driver and team information is available to track staff 24/7 anywhere there is an internet connection.

The registration can include medical record forms as well as emergency contact information. If a driver is taken to the hospital by ambulance, a promoter won’t have to run to the office to find his paperwork.  The information came in from a web form, and is all stored online and readily available.  If a promoter is really on the ball, he can e-mail that with insurance information to the hospital before the ambulance even arrives.

Continuity as Staff Changes

ProQ also aids continuity. Most tracks employ a number of part-time staff members that may vary slightly from year to year. When all the workers are using ProQ, the tasks are standardized.  That cuts down on individuals’ different ways of doing things.  And when a worker is absent or leaves, another one can easily take up where the first one left off.  There are “notes” sections and “tasks” sections to help provide information that gets employees up to speed quickly.

ProQ can also help your advertising manager as he solicits companies to buy advertising space for billboards, hospitality space for any suites you might have, and the naming rights to your biggest events. There’s a whole other blog on soliciting sponsorships that should provide some inspiration.

Even the ticket sales for your year-end banquet can be handled with ProQ’s invoicing system.  When you lose that key employee just before the banquet, you’ll be glad the new guy has the data available.

The Final Lap

This software streamlines all sorts of tasks that are common in the business of running a racetrack.  One of the most compelling reasons to sign up for ProQ is simply obtaining the contact information of the previously unknown walk-up paying fans.   If that was all you got, that would spur all sorts of outreach possibilities.  But you get so much more in this package of tools.

It’s all mobile-friendly too, so receipts or invoices can be called up on a smart phone and shown on the spot.  Even if fans never visit the track’s Web site, data can be obtained on site with a little creativity.

There’s no limit to the ideas that could be generated.  Many businesses have found that their most successful improvements originally came from a customer’s suggestion.  With ProQ, getting that suggestion input isn’t just possible, it’s easy.

By Linda Mansfield and Restart Communications