The worlds of eSports and FIA Formula E were bridged during the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on January 7th, 2017 with the VISA eRace. And, I was there to experience it first hand.
SIM racers and Formula E drivers went head to head in the finale of a season long promotion of eSport racing at select Formula E events over the past 10 months. It all started with the first round of qualification in Long Beach back in April 2016 and it all concluded over January 5,6, and 7, 2017 in Las Vegas at CES2017.
I was privileged enough to attend the eRace in person and got to feel the excitement first hand. It was not a proper motorsport event at a track, but it definitely had lots of energy around it like a “in real life” racing event.
Here are some of the pictures from the race…
After I posted the pictures above on Facebook, my friend and motorsports journalist, Edmund Jenks contacted me about getting my take on the Formula E VISAeRace. I was happy to oblige.
I thought this interview was only fitting because Ed and I actually first met at the DHL “Behind-the-Scenes” pit and paddock tour at the inaugural FIA Formula E event in Long Beach, CA. That was a great time hearing about the great new all electric racing series and seeing the logistics behind getting everything involved with Formula E from race to race.
Here is the SoundCloud recording of the interview.
And check out the full text article “Formula E At CES … Virtual Racing, Sensation Without Skin-In-The-Game Consequence” over on Motorsports Journal.
I am a big fan of Formula E and really like promoting it to others. Feel free to get in touch and we can talk more about FE or motorsports in general.
It’s All About Electric Racing
Electric racing is Formula E and it came back to Long Beach, California again in 2016. On April 2, it made the 2nd appearance in Southern California and brought with it lots of innovation and motorsports. Formula E 2016 has done an excellent job bridging the divide that other motorsports have between fans and the series celebrities, i.e. drivers, teams, and series personalities. If you are a Formula 1 fan then you know what I am referring to.
Through my own personal experience, I have seen how drivers and key personnel in the Formula E circus make it easy for fans to interact with them. It is much appreciated and does wonders to promote the Formula E series and ensure it grows well into the future.
The local, on-the-ground marketing personnel from Formula E welcomed me and made me feel like part of a family. The OTG FE team members were excellent ambassadors for their sport through a range of wide reaching efforts. From their fantastic online work with Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to their in-real-life events at historic Olvera Street in downtown Los Angeles and at Cal State Long Beach, people were engaged.
I had the personal experience to meet Formula E driver Salvador Duran at the Olvera Street event. He and I chatted about Formula E being electric racing and how it’s driving the future of mobility. And, we discussed the new Gulf livery color scheme of his Amlin Aguri team race car. The color scheme looks great and it is nice to see a traditional petroleum company supporting an alternative fuel motorsport series.
Great pic with me and Salvador Duran from Amlin Auguri Formula E team
Last year my social media activity on Twitter got me noticed by DHL Americas. This year, like last, they invited me on a “Behind the Scenes” tour and pit walk. Here is where I was able to meet several Formula E and DHL personnel along with some drivers and team members. Everyone involved was extremely helpful and truly wanted others to be aware of what is happening with Formula E. There is certainly a theme surrounding the series and that is bettering mobility through innovation. This motorsports series is driving the development to better solutions with every race. It is fantastic to see a motorsport series want to entertain fans but also give back by helping people with mobility developments and ultimately solutions.
Formula E shots
Look through these and see for yourself how up close and personal Formula E can be.
If you can attend a Formula E event then I highly encourage you to do it. The money, time, and effort will be well rewarded. For information about upcoming races look on the FIA Formula E website.
I mentioned that motorsports are more fun with social media in the previous post. Now I want to show some more ways that motosport brands engaged with me at the Grand Prix in Long Beach.
The main place of interaction was in the LifeStyle Expo, but brands like SPAM and the Port of Long Beach managed to wrangle my attention while walking around and taking in the racing experience.
First, several brands like Continental Tire, Mazda, and Honda, vowed for motorsport fan attention with several picture opportunities with smiling faces. That’s always a good way to get people to pose and post.
Then we ventured outside and got to engage with SPAM and the Port of Long Beach.
Me SPAM attacked
Port of Long Beach
I am a diehard motorsports fan that really enjoys incorporating his craft (online media) with his passion (motorsports) to have a rich experience. The next time you are at an event, look around and see how big brands and names are looking to interact with you. Try embracing them and have some fun!
I am a huge motorsports fan and I really enjoy using social media to keep up with racing and other car enthusiasts. The past few weeks have been complete heaven for me because I live in Long Beach. Just after Valentine’s Day, the City of Long Beach begins setting up the street course that takes over the Pike area in downtown. Seeing the streets get blocked off, the race barriers & fencing go up, and all the grandstands being constructed gets me psyched up for the racing events in April.
The month long finale is the Big Grand Prix on the streets of Long Beach. ‘Roar in the Shore’ starts things off on Wednesday night in Belmont Shore. Several blocks are blocked off on 2nd Street and some of the cars that will be racing the upcoming weekend are showcased. The next night Thunder Thursday happens on Pine Street. Motorcycle demonstrations, simulated pit stops by a couple of teams, and an opportunity to get driver autographs all happen right there in downtown Long Beach.
Then on Friday, the 3-day racing weekend begins… Lifestyle Expo is at the Convention Center, food vendors line the perimeter of the race circuit, and paddock areas are available for walk thrus. I really enjoyed the way that sponsors, teams, and the race venue interacted with me and other grand prix fans.
Here are some of the great ways that several brands engaged with me and enabled me to continue all the fun of the race weekend days later through my social media.
EXAMPLES of Motorsport and Social Media
EXAMPLE from TWITTER & LBCC
I liked the way that the Long Beach Convention Center responded to my Tweet about the warm welcome that they gave to race fans. They “favorited” the tweet and responded with a nice comment.
EXAMPLE of DynaWing IG post
This is a great example of how the DynaWing racing team responded to my Instagram post. I was amazed at the technology that they have produced to just get the unique car up off the ground without wheels.
To wrap up I took artsy pictures that I personally really like. They are not action shots of race cars or a candid shot of a driver, but the two pictures definitely are powerful.
Facebook: TGPLB banner on bridge by Hyatt.
Twitter: Pack up and safe travels tweet
Now go out to the next motorsports event and see how all the players there are vying for your attention through innovative methods of incorporating social media and facing fandom.
The month of April is motorsport month in Long Beach! It all started with Formula E (it was fantastic, check out my #LBePrix recap), and now it is Formula Drift on the streets of Long Beach.
Formula D is spectacular and different from most other motorsports. The basic gist of things is two cars going in tandem through a series of corners (4-5ish) with tires squealing, smoke everywhere, and the limits of car control being pushed by two drivers simultaneously. Can I just say that it is an awesome display of car control that rivals what rally drivers do. It is amazing to see 1000+HP cars that barely sit a few inches off the ground do 100 mph into a turn side-by-side for many hours. If you haven’t experienced it, then I highly recommend seeing the spectacle!
Check out some of the highlights from my Formula D weekend in Long Beach.
BMW power from HGK Racing at Formula D in Long Beach
Warm up for Forrest Wang and Get Nuts Lab
Fantastic BMW art car from Air Lift Company
Team Karnage loses an Achilles Tire at Formula D
Just Before All the Smoke Happened in Long Beach for Formula Drift
Instagram and Twitter are great for following your favorite motorsport. Get excited with other like minded fans before the event, ramp up all the excitement during the event, and keep the excitement alive days after the event with social media. I personally find it great to scroll through feeds and look through lists after the event because it lets me keep my enthusiasm going and keeps the smile on my face. Motorsport drivers, teams, and sponsors have done a great job with social media. Keep up with the action through the accounts of Formula D drivers and teams. Some of the ones that I thought are great:
HGK Racing – Instagram @hgkracing
GetNutsRacing – Twitter @getnutslabs Instagram @getnutslabs
Forrest Wang – Twitter @forrestwang808 Instagram @forrestwang808
Air Lift Company – Twitter @airliftcompany Instagram @air_lift_company
FormulaD – Twitter @FormulaDrift Instagram @FormulaD
Hashtags: #fdlb #formulad #formuladrift #drifting
Feel free to look through my Twitter and IG for all the motorsport action from the events I experience.