Milestones and Perspective: RACER @ 25

Left to right: The May 1992 premiere issue of RACER, the September 2016 issue and our 24/7 news site: RACER.com.

Left to right: The May 1992 premiere issue of RACER, the September 2016 issue and our 24/7 news site: RACER.com.

By Paul Pfanner, Founder, CEO & Executive Publisher of Racer Media & Marketing, Inc.

Welcome to the first of my monthly blog posts covering what is happening in the world of RACER and racing in general. I hope you enjoy it and find the information useful. Twenty-five years ago this week, our team was preparing to launch RACER Magazine, which debuted in April 1992. None of us could have imagined how much the racing world and media landscape would change. George H. Bush was in the White House and the CART PPG IndyCar World Series was the leading form of racing in North America with Michael Andretti recently crowned as champion. Dale Earnhardt was NASCAR Winston Cup Series champ for the fifth time and Richard Petty was preparing for his final season as a driver. In Formula 1, Ayrton Senna and McLaren Honda reigned supreme, but rookie sensation Michael Schumacher was seen as the future of the sport. 

Modern society’s embrace of the internet was still a few years away. Conventional wisdom of the day was that racing publications needed to be weekly or biweekly and news-centric to succeed. But RACER debuted as a beautiful feature magazine that was different in every way. RACER wasn’t about what happened, but instead, why it happened and what might come next. Today, after 281 issues, RACER still sets the pace for the industry in North America. 

During the past quarter century, we’ve seen the fall of CART, the rise of NASCAR, five iterations of IMSA, the birth of social media and the disruption of traditional mass media. Experts say that one form of media being aided in this unprecedented turbulence is niche media aimed at categories driven by passion. Small is now the new big. RACER is surely benefiting from this phenomenon across all of our media and social media platforms.

As many of our readers and customers are aware, the founders re-acquired RACER in March, 2012 after an 11-year period of ownership by Haymarket Publishing. Here is a recap of what has happened to RACER’s audience reach since that time (Note: all RACER media and social media properties are brand-audited by the BPA): 

* Magazine Circulation reported from Jul-Dec 2015 BPA Brand Audit Report. 2016 BPA reports not yet available. All other info is from Google Analytics and social media channels that fall under the RACER brand BPA audit. 

* Magazine Circulation reported from Jul-Dec 2015 BPA Brand Audit Report. 2016 BPA reports not yet available. All other info is from Google Analytics and social media channels that fall under the RACER brand BPA audit. 

In addition to celebrating RACER’s 25th Anniversary in April 2017, we will also celebrate RACER.com’s 20th Anniversary in May. Here is an Alexa.com traffic ranking in the United States for sites in our competitive set. This includes media sites with a high volume of consistent racing content as well as leading series and sanctioning body sites: 

Alexa.com United States Traffic Rankings Top 30 sites with extensive racing content  as-of 10/23/16

1) NASCAR.com: Rank 1685

2) RACER.com: Rank 5823

3) Jayski.com: Rank 6376

4) Autoweek.com: Rank 6394

5) Formula1.com: Rank 7695

6) Motorsport.com: Rank 12,750

7) MotoGP.com: Rank 13,365

8) Autosport.com: Rank 16,788

9) NHRA.com: Rank 16,862

10) Crash.net: Rank 18,130

11) PlanetF1.com: Rank 30,002

12) Race-Dezert.com: Rank: 36,049

13) IndyCar.com: Rank 47,530

14) SCCA.com: Rank 49,869

15) MRN.com: Rank 52,774

16) IMSA.com: Rank 60,120

17) Dragracingonline.com: Rank 67,990

18) SportsCar365.com: Rank 94,932

19) WRC.com: Rank 97,709

20) RedBullGlobalRallyCross.com: Rank 105,555

21) GrandPrix.com: Rank 113,525

22) MotorsportMagazine.com: Rank 118,341

23) FIAFormulaE.com: Rank 119:729

24) GPToday.com: Rank 136,219

25) World-Challenge.com: Rank 138,053

26) NationalSpeedSport.com: Rank 143,203

27) FIAWEC.com: Rank 167,879

28) ESPNF1.com: Rank 225,912

29) DailySportsCar.com: Rank 280,603

30) RacingSportsCars.com: Rank 376,720

To be fair, some racing series sites have ended their seasons so their traffic has dropped as a result. However, RACER.com has been consistently ranked in the top four of this competitive set all year long. The racing season doesn’t end when the last checkered flag falls. Racing fans, participants and industry insiders continue to engage in the sport all year round. 

If you would like to know more about us, here is a link to RACER’s advertiser resource site with information about the audiences for RACER magazine, RACER.com and SportsCar magazine: advertise.racer.com.