Nashville Superspeedway opened in 2001. In its prime, the track hosted four major NASCAR series races, alongside other series events, each year. But when attendance slowed in 2011, the Nashville track was closed.
When new track president Erik Moses and his team came to us with a no-fail revitalization project, all leading up to the first NASCAR Cup Series race held in Nashville in over 35 years, we jumped on board immediately. Here’s how we sold out the event—and set the stage for a landmark to make its return.
A No-Fail Nashville NASCAR Race
With the first Nashville Superspeedway events slated for Father’s Day weekend 2021, our team was tasked with simultaneously launching the track to a new audience and re-launching it to previous audiences who were likely familiar with the track from its beginnings. We had to make it clear that the days of the old Nashville NASCAR track were gone, and the new one was an exciting investment in their time and money.
With millions of dollars invested into getting the facility ready for a new generation of fans, we knew selling out the first Nashville NASCAR race was our only option. But in a city with endless options for entertainment, how would we get the city to back this can’t-miss event?
Getting the Right Fans to Nashville’s NASCAR Track
Our clients needed a partner on the ground in the city to ensure their marketing efforts targeted the true audience for the race in a way that would resonate with them and convey the spirit of Nashville. That’s what made GS&F the perfect partner—our experience with the Nashville Predators, the Tennessee Titans, the NFL Draft, the Music City Grand Prix and much more gave us insight into what makes the city tick and how to catch the eyes of even the most seasoned Nashvillians.
We conducted extensive audience research before we began any creative work, identifying three targets: Nashville diehard fans, traveling NASCAR fans, and Nashville experience seekers. The diehards would have the race circled on their calendars as soon as news broke that NASCAR was coming back to Nashville.
Our real work came in winning the support of the traveling fans who follow the Cup series. Each year, for the most part, the same tracks are in play for fans to choose from. But this year Nashville Superspeedway was new to the schedule, and that made it even more important for our team to approach ticket sales in a way that set us apart from the competition.
We also wanted to reach the experience seekers who are always on the lookout for Nashville’s latest and greatest, positioning this event as the next must-attend event in the city. Establishing this audience would help us gain traction for the venue long-term.
Spreading the Word About the Nashville NASCAR Race
With creative that leaned into a distinctly Nashville aesthetic and looked markedly different from other tracks’ approaches, our team put a robust media plan in motion. From broadcast and paid social to OOH, digital campaigns and more, we targeted our three audiences to reach as many potential ticket buyers as we could.
We also leveraged Moses’ presence in the city for earned media coverage, highlighting his vision for the track as a rising businessman in Nashville.
When race weekend neared we built buzz with activations around the city, such as having the pace car pop up at local landmarks for photo ops. We partnered with Nashville Parent magazine to host a Father’s Day contest with winners awarded tickets to the race.
Our National Anthem contest was also a highlight leading up to the weekend. Nashville is Music City, after all, so we took advantage of its true identity to offer one lucky up-and-coming artist the chance to perform the anthem at Friday’s race. When the top three artists were selected and began to share the contest on their own social channels, over 5,000 fan votes came in and the winner was featured across many promotional assets. Overall, this activation helped us make the event unmistakably Nashville.
Let’s Go Racing!
Not only did we help to sell out the track’s 25,000-seat capacity for Sunday’s Cup series race, we sold out the 10,000 additional seats the venue added after sales proved to be successful early on. With an exciting first weekend back at the Nashville Superspeedway in the books, the venue is well on its way to becoming a Nashville staple—and a highlight for NASCAR races in Tennessee—once again.