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Netflix and karting

How has the Netflix Series “Drive to Survive” impacted kart racing?

A few years back, Liberty Media, a USA Company, took over the rights to Formula 1. Now, what was a one race a year in the USA has now gone to three races in 2023. Formula 1 has the Miami Grand Prix, the Circuit of Americas, and now for the first time ever, the Las Vegas Formula 1 Grand Prix on the strip in Las Vegas under lights.

With the Netflix “Drive to Survive” series into its 5th season, it has exposed Formula 1 and motor racing in general to a whole new audience. Now, I don't know the statistics behind how many people have a Netflix subscription in their homes, but it's a lot of people! Now we are seeing a lot more females, parents, kids watching these motor racing stars on TV, but behind the scenes. We're getting a much deeper look into their lifestyles, how they go about race weekends, the banter between teammates and F1 rivals.

There were millions of people out there that had no idea who Lando Norris or Max Verstappen or Daniel Ricciardo was. But now, thanks to Netflix, the audience can go behind the scenes and see how they go about day-to-day lives, how they train and the drivers’ personalities.

What this has done is, it's bringing more awareness to how these Formula 1 drivers started their careers. The majority of the F1 grid currently started in kart racing. With that, a bigger audience sees motor racing. A bigger audience starts to investigate, "Well, if I want my kids to get into this sport one day, where's the starting point? Where's the logical starting point for our kids to start?" The answer? Kart racing!

I've had so many more inquiries about how to get into karting or where should I start, where to buy a go-kart, where's my local track? These are inquiries and messages through social media, & phone calls, from people that never were interested in motor racing. It's exposing a whole new demographic to kart racing, which is exciting!

Liberty Media has really hit the nail on the head with that Netflix Drive to Survive series, and now we're seeing other sports taking that same approach. The NFL goes behind the scenes. Even golf has gone behind the scenes with their new series as well.

I think that with the upcoming race in Las Vegas, that's going to be an entertaining show. That's what the USA has done well since Liberty Media has come on board. The Miami Grand Prix created a fake marina, it's literally painted water with yachts sitting on there. But it's about bringing more celebrities, bringing the Hollywood style entertainment that you see at basketball and NFL events to Formula 1.

When you've got more eyes watching your shows, more eyes watching the races, then sponsors come on board too. It's a larger demographic to reach for a lot of these businesses. With that, more money circulating in the sport. That then flows on to open wheel race cars because that's the logical step for people to get into after kart racing. And it also flows into our kart racing.

Kart shops should be receiving more inquiries, more phone calls, more test drives, and then hopefully if people like it and can afford it, it's going to translate into sales as well. A lot of the online Kart Class programs that we sell worldwide have been those first-time buyers wanting more information for their kids to get a start in motor racing.

They've just got into karting. They've got no idea what they're doing. They've seen it on TV. They've seen motor racing, Formula 1, IndyCar, NASCAR, whatever it is. They want to learn quickly!

We give them the resources to then view online and to view at home at their own disposal. They can go to the racetrack, and they can start to hone their skills because kart racing is so accessible.

I think that if we can start to develop some of these kart races, not necessarily around the F1, but having some setups at the F1 races on how to get involved in motor racing and having a kart racing display there is important. I know that's something that Karting Australia has done at the Melbourne Grand Prix at Albert Park. They've had a display there. That's your target audience.

That's the market. People going to Formula 1 enjoy motor racing, they enjoy the engineering side, the mechanical side, the driving aspect, and what better way to showcase how to get involved in the sport than by putting a display at a Formula 1 race?

I'm excited to see what transpires from the Las Vegas Grand Prix because, whether you are a Formula 1 addict or you've never really watched Formula 1 before, I'm sure that you'll hear about the Las Vegas race.

They're going to put on a big show and dance. It's under lights, on the strip. It's going to be hitting TV networks, news stations. It's going to be hitting the local newspapers, social media, Twitter, Facebook. I'm sure that a lot more people are going to be seeing motor racing around the F1 Las Vegas race and after that as well. I think it's going to just create more eyeballs for motor racing and kart racing in general, and that can only be a great thing for the sport.

The power of media has taken sports to new audiences worldwide. Now it’s time for more people to see karting on TV.

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