Auto racing is as American as football and baseball are, and nowhere is this reflected more strongly than at the Indianapolis 500. Fans at any sporting event are varied and unique but many show specific preferences that would be helpful for sports organizations to know about. Using Gravy FanVue, we analyzed consumer foot traffic during the 2021 Indianapolis 500 to determine the preferences and interests of fans who attended the race.
Visitors to the Indy 500 Speedway also visited hotels and places that offer general accommodations (12.2%) and food stores such as convenience stores or supermarkets (7.3%) during the day of the big race. Many of the fans who watched the race were not local to the area, which is why they visited local accommodations. Tailgating is a big part of auto racing fan culture, and that might explain why Indy 500 attendees were visiting food stores to stock up on game day snacks and drinks. Lastly, some fans stopped by casinos to gamble and play games of chance (6.72%).
Event organizers could use this data to create valuable promotions with some of the grocery and convenience store brands that fans visited the most, for example.
Indy 500 Fan Preferences & Interests
Indy 500 attendees are more likely to be college football fans, visit hardware stores, be coffee shop lovers, and stay in mid-range hotels. Attendees are less likely to be healthy eaters, yoga enthusiasts, gamers, or wine lovers.
Fans who attended the Indy 500 over-indexed for visits to brands like McAlister’s Deli, Jimmy John’s, and Steak n’ Shake, Bob Evans, and Cracker Barrel. They also over-indexed for visits to hotel chains such as the Hyatt Regency and Baymont Inn and Suites.
For the Indy 500, this means that they would be better suited to partnering with Steak ‘n Shake and Jimmy John’s than EA Sports and Total Wine. This data could also help event organizers determine what food experiences fans would respond best to. For example, instead of offering wine-tasting flights, they could offer mini-burgers and gourmet subs.
How Far Did Indianapolis 500 Attendees Travel?
48% of attendees at the Indy 500 2021 were local to the Indianapolis area; most fans traveled between 0-50 miles to attend the race. While there were plenty of local fans cheering on their favorite drivers, 42% of attendees traveled over 100 miles to the Indianapolis Speedway.
Because many fans travel over 100 miles to attend, it would be good for race organizers to provide these fans with deals on parking or even hotel stays (perhaps with Hyatt Regency or Baymont Inn and Suites) when they book tickets to the Indy 500 or another auto race.
Top Venues on Race Day
Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum was the most visited venue for Indy 500 fans, closely followed by the Indianapolis Airport. Fans might have visited the museum because they wanted to get as much auto nostalgia in as they could while they were in the area. Other popular venues that were visited include JW Marriott Indianapolis, Big Woods Speedway Restaurant, and White River State Park. The Indy 500 could partner with these top venues to offer discounts or alternatively offer them an opportunity to sponsor the race.
Get Fan Intelligence with Gravy FanVue
Gravy FanVue is a customizable analytics dashboard that is driven by fan intelligence. Staying connected with fans and truly understanding their interests and preferences can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right data solution, sports organizations get real-world insights into fan behavior, helping them make better data-driven business decisions.
For more information on how Gravy FanVue can help your organization reconnect with your fans, contact us to speak with one of our experts today.