As the global automotive economy curtails spending to adjust to current market conditions, many motorsports programs and sanctioning bodies have been caught in the wake. Factory-backed teams from the highest rungs of motorsport are being scaled back or eliminated entirely. Those in grassroots and enthusiast-based circles, however, are stepping up for a return to exciting competition in 2009. One such sport is drifting.
Drifting's heritage series, the D1 Grand Prix (D1GP), is returning to the United States. After a year-long absence, the sanctioning body has reformulated their objective and racing format to include a focus on entertainment. Driven Media, the U.S.-based management team for D1GP, is targeting facilities and locations that will make the events more appealing and accessible for a larger audience. This approach mirrors the overall pulse of the performance and racing market, and a perspective needed in times of economic uncertainty: refocusing on the consumer.
Formula Drift, and amateur organizations such as Just Drift (www.justdrift.com), have fueled the movement to encourage the growth and participation of young drivers through their growing schedules. With additional series, events and venues next year, the room for expansion is reasonable.
SEMA has tapped into the lifestyle data of individuals active in the drifting community. During the third quarter of 2008, more than 250 individuals surveyed indicated that they regularly attend or participate in drifting events.
For more original market research, visit www.sema.org/research.