ICS: Andretti Autosport Unveiling Is Wake Up Call For Teams

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Updated: January 13, 2014
Andretti Autosport Driver Unveiling

Photo Credit: IndyCar

 

By Thomas Hitch – IndyCar/NASCAR Contributor (@ThomasCHitch)

January 13, 2014

INDIANAPOLIS– Drivers exit their Andretti Autosport hauler, smoke fills the room and outside of the hauler is the drivers’ car, showing off their colors and firesuits, as the annual unveiling of Andretti Autosport’s driver lineup for the upcoming IndyCar and Indy Lights Series season proves to be a marketing action all motorsports organizations must adapt.

Michael Andretti led his organization’s team launch at Andretti Autosport’s race shop in Indianapolis. The launch was hosted on a new website – AndrettiTV.com – where fans can look at live video to Andretti Autosport’s headquarters, subscribe to exclusive behind-the-scenes video, purchase team merchandise and more.

Though sponsorship news had previously been released for all teams, Carlos Munoz will have Cinsay on board as the fourth Andretti entry in the IndyCar Series.

James Hinchcliffe shared his new United Fiber & Data paint scheme, allowing fans to reminisce of a similar look of the late Greg Moore. Marco Andretti’s No. 25 showed his Snapple colors and 2012 IndyCar champion Ryan Hunter-Reay hosted familiar colors for his DHL No. 28 Honda.

Being a step ahead of the competition is an understatement when it comes to Andretti Autosport’s marketing department. No other teams in IndyCar or NASCAR provide their fans a preseason look at their drivers and cars.

In a way, it is Andretti Autosport’s preseason media day, because after drivers are available to the media. When it comes to a star-filled organization, Michael Andretti and his marketing department have found no issues in selling their drivers as superstars in the team launch.

And it works.

It was a surprise to see Andretti Autosport launch their new website, but even more exciting as fans are able to see their new colors and the driver interaction with the media and their team owner.

The idea of selling drivers in a low-cost way is excellent and a shock many marketing teams in IndyCar or NASCAR have not done a launch in the past.

Obviously, Andretti Autosport is one of the biggest organizations in the IndyCar Series with a team owner who has won multiple championships and races in the open-wheel realm of motorsports. However, it should not be a thought the smaller teams could not benefit for launching their driver or drivers in a similar way. With the low-cost of streaming video on a website, it should be in every team’s best interest to provide their fans with more driver interaction, especially, with drivers such as Helio Castroneves, Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan, Simona de Silvestro, Graham Rahal and other popular drivers in the sport.

Another idea is for the IndyCar Series to have their own series launch prior to their season premiere event at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on March 30. It would be great for the sport and a perfect opportunity to showcase their full-time drivers and give them recognition they do not normally receive outside of the Indianapolis 500, IndyCar’s premier event.

Though Munoz is a rising star in IndyCar, Hinchcliffe is a multiple winner, Hunter-Reay is a champion and Marco Andretti has the name, Andretti Autosport still places them on a higher standard that no other organization does with their drivers.

If any IndyCar or NASCAR teams do not adapt this into their futures as an annual unveiling, they are considerably missing on an obvious wake up call.

  • Randell Weatherall Jr

    the article never has a “Typical american centric view” Its pointing out to other American racing teams that they should be trying to promote themselves more. If anything, its chastising the stupid americans that are hated world-wide.

  • Oh Kay

    Typical american centric view

    Everyone in the world does it except for in america. Someone in america did it? LAUD THEM AS PIONEERS HALLELLUJAH THEY MUST BE THE FIRST

    Do some goddamn research, this kind of attitude is why other countries hate us