In Sports Marketing

Lovers of motor sports will find nothing more exciting than a weekend at the racing track. The smell of tyres biting the asphalt, roaring engines and the passionate enthusiasm of the audience make any Grand Prix live an emotion-filled and enthralling experience.

However, whether you are a private client or a company, you are spending a weekend with your family or as a guest in a corporate hospitality, you are standing on the meadow or visiting the VIP Village, we would like to give you some tips that are worth following if you wish to live an unforgettable weekend at the racing circuit. Although trivial, these tips are the result of lessons learnt that help mitigate (or cancel) any possible inconveniences on track.

1 – Plan beforehand

Passion cannot wait: we are all aware of this. However, doing things at the correct time is key to sports events – motor sports in particular – in order to find tickets, hotels and services in excellent positions and at fair prices. Remember that the tickets for the new season are usually released towards the end of the ongoing championship. If you want to watch a Grand Prix race live, you should start looking for the tickets at the end of the current season. Generally, our recommendation is to book all you need with a 4-month advance. For instance, if the Mugello race is your target, you should start looking for the tickets around February, whereas May is the limit time if you are aiming at the Misano race.

2 – Have clear objectives

The options for both fans and corporate hospitalities are many and largely diversified: you can watch the race from the meadow or the stand, or you may welcome your guests on a terrace or at the VIP Village. Before you make any booking, ask yourself whether you wish to spend a fun weekend or you are willing to go to the race circuit for business, whether you are going with  friends or you are trying to conclude an important business deal, and so on and so forth. Do not hesitate to contact specialised agencies or expert professionals for advice on the best ticket type to buy.

3 – Take logistics into account

Many – less experienced guests, in particular – complain about the traffic on their way to or from the circuit. For some unknown reasons, they think that you can get to the racing track at 9 a.m. and leave at 3.30 p.m. finding no traffic on the roads.

Traffic problems can actually be largely bypassed with a few tricks: choose local suppliers who know alternative routes well, depart in advance on Sunday morning and do not leave the racing circuit in the two or three hours immediately after the end of the race (it is better to either go a few laps before the end or patiently wait until the early evening hours before leaving the circuit).

The same applies to parking places, which are often overcrowded and far from the entrance gates. Where possible, choose alternative means of transport or use shuttles, leaving others the challenge of finding a parking place.

4 – Take into account the weather conditions

The caprices of the weather are a factor you have to deal with when on the racing track, I am afraid. Days of torrid weather and summer heat alternate with unexpected storms or rigid temperatures you can do very little with (some vivid examples in our memory include Misano 2017, Assen 2017, Mugello 2016, Jerez 2015, and Silverstone 2018). Of course, you can consult the weather forecasts a few days before the race, but my suggestion is to always carry with you a lightweight rain jacket, a small umbrella, a pair of sunglasses, sun cream, and a light sweater, just in case it gets chilly. The above may sound needless to say, but it is something you will eventually think about with a little melancholy while you are sitting on a soaked meadow in the middle of a summer storm.

5 – Do not forget the Grand Prix track schedule

When you are at the racing track, the audience and on-track happenings unfold according to the timing established in the track schedule, which you should know almost by heart if you want to be sure you will not miss anything important or if you want some tricks to avoid queues and delays. Make sure you have an official schedule for the practice sessions, the qualifying sessions and the race: carefully study the best time to eat, to have a tour in the fan zone or to take some time to relax with your friends. For instance, the qualifying sessions of MotoGP start at 2:10 p.m. on Saturday, but the major class is on the track starting from 1:30 p.m. for FP4. Postpone your lunch and try and find the best locations at one o’clock, if you can, so that you do not miss a lap of your heroes.

6 – Catering and refreshments

The fan zones and the area around the public entrance gates are packed with kiosks, food trucks and small food stands. If you are looking for French fries, sandwiches, piadinas and street food, you will not be disappointed. However, people with intolerances or longing for higher quality food will very hardly find proper solutions. As is often the case in these situations, prices are not often cheap and you will have to be ready and fight your own way to your food. Be proactive and save your binges for dinner or breakfast: take some snacks for the day with you if you do not want to struggle with an excited and hungry audience.

Lucky enough guests of the paddock too will not have many food solutions: the teams and the sponsors eat in Hospitalities, while holders of paddock passes only have the option of consuming a sandwich and a coffee in the small bar behind the garages (if there is one). Destiny is, of course, far brighter for people in the VIP Village as they can enjoy grand breakfasts, lunches and the services offered by open bars and buffets.

7 – Hotels and accommodations

Like tickets and passes, hotels too need to be booked in advance and having very clear ideas in mind. It goes without saying that each Grand Prix is a scenario of its own and the accommodation services available change from place to place. The Riviera Romagnola, which is the host location of the Grand Prix of San Marino, has plenty of guesthouses, hotels, B&B and resorts, whereas circuits such as Aragon and Silverstone offer a far smaller number of accommodation facilities and they have to abundantly rely on the services offered by the nearby cities of Zaragoza and London respectively.

As the most passionate fans or sector professionals are sure that they will go back to the circuit twelve months later, they book rooms one year in advance to bypass accommodation problems. Although this strategy may not be your final choice, we recommend that you never wait until the last month to make your reservation: the room prices may skyrocket and the risk may be that you only find an accommodation in uncomfortable and high cost facilities.

8 – Be wary of unofficial sellers

This is a very hot issue. The web is packed with poorly reliable sellers and empty promises. People boasting that they have and sell paddock passes and proposing mysterious “all inclusive” hospitality solutions make the Internet a far west scenario in which it is quite common to be ripped off in the attempt of saving a few cents.

If you wish to buy tickets, VIP Passes and hospitalities, always do it on the official websites of the circuits and from authorised resellers promoted as “Official MotoGP VIP Village Agency”, as regards the VIP Village. Purchases made through these media are safe and you will also find tips, suggestions and qualified staff to help you. Do not hesitate to ask questions and request information to make the best out of your weekend.

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Emanuele Venturoli
Emanuele Venturoli
A graduate in Public, Social and Political Communication from the University of Bologna, he has always been passionate about marketing, design and sport.
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