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Drone racing on its own is already a pretty thrilling sport to watch. The vehicles can go from 0 to 80 miles per hour in less than a second, zipping around corners in creatively built—and incredibly complex—obstacle courses. However, that also means any types of brand sponsorships are going to have to be more than a little creative if they’re going to catch the attention of the ever-elusive audience of e-sports fans and others.
Drone Racing League—a 3-year-old company based in New York City that organizes and hosts drone races in various cities—has been rapidly growing both its audience base and its advertiser base by integrating marketing directly into the races themselves.
Speaking at Adweek’s Challenger Brands event last month, DRL CEO Nicholas Horbaczewski said the league’s fans are “super sensitive” to traditional advertising.
“If I put a billboard up at one of our races, they will throw up all over it,” he...