Attractive concessionary ticketing must be dovetailed with a “relevant fan experience” for youngsters in order to attract the next generation of fans, according to Formula E ticketing manager Jon Davies.
Formula E, which is only in its third season, features electric cars racing around tracks across the globe, with many of the circuits weaving through city-centre streets.
Davies, who has more than 10 years of experience in the sports industry and specialises in the planning and execution of cross-border marketing, CRM and ticketing projects, joined Formula E in May of this year.
“I was astounded that concession pricing was not the norm in motor-racing”
It has been well documented that other motor-racing series have not prioritised attracting young fans, but for Formula E, that is simply not an option, Davies insisted.
“When I first joined Formula E, I was astounded that concession pricing was not the norm in motor-racing, particularly outside of Europe,” he said.
“The most important thing is to understand expectations of the younger audience in each territory and make sure we exceed them. Ticketing is central to this and it is not just about half-price tickets for kids or family packages, but making sure we promote and deliver a relevant experience.
“While the grandstands on the grid usually offer reserved seating and a more ‘premium’ feel, we try to create an inclusive and entertaining atmosphere throughout the rest of the circuit, with unreserved seating so fans can sit with their friends and have easy access to facilities.”
Formula E is keen to work with local promoters, operators and venues to gain “local insight” in order to establish “an appropriate pricing policy”, Davies added.
Unlike other motor-racing series, Formula E tends to hold an event’s practice, qualifying and race on the same day, providing attendees with an action-packed schedule.
“We are keen to gain local insight in order to establish an appropriate pricing policy”
However, when back-to-back races are held, local expertise is vital in order to target the right groups of customers and ensure well-attended events.
“Where we do have back-to-back races over a weekend, we use strategies such as offering weekend tickets or targeted promotions to maximise sales,” Davies said. “Local insight is key and it’s important to engage with target groups well ahead of each race, so that channels are in place and ready to go, should we need to discount.”
Crucially, Davies said that the fact that the series is still so young means it is free to “adopt or develop technologies to keep us at the cutting edge of ticketing”.