Amid the excitement of a historic event—the first-ever US launch of a Formula One car—Oracle Red Bull Racing unveiled another first: a contest that lets fans design the livery of its cars that will race in the three American Grand Prix of 2023.
During the launch of RB19 at New York’s Classic Car Club, Team Principal and CEO Christian Horner called the Make Your Mark contest “a huge opportunity” for fans, and a special way for the team to build closer ties to the growing US fan base. “We know it’s what people want to see, to be able to get involved,” Horner says.
Oracle Red Bull Racing is coming off a record-breaking F1 season, winning the Constructor’s Championship while driver Max Verstappen defended his Driver’s Championship and set the mark for most wins in a season. Being the top team just as F1's popularity is soaring in the United States makes it an ideal time for Oracle Red Bull Racing to win over new fans.
“We’re becoming the favorite team of this country, which is great,” says Oracle Red Bull Racing Driver Sergio (Checo) Pérez, who appeared at the launch along with teammate Verstappen.
For the Make Your Mark contest, fans can submit their livery designs online, and the winning design will be chosen by a panel of experts and appear on the car during a US race. In a video introduction of the contest, artist Mr. Doodle covered an Oracle Red Bull Racing car with his trademark black-and-white doodles, challenging fans to submit their most mind-blowing creations for the Miami F1 race, May 5 to 7. It’s the first of three chances for fans to design cars, followed by competitions for races in Austin, October 20 to 22, and Las Vegas, November 16 to 18.
Before each US race, fans will submit their designs through The Paddock, the team’s fan-engagement platform powered by Oracle Advertising and Customer Experience (CX). Fans can see their designs rendered in 3D, plus share the inspiration behind their masterpieces.
“This gives us an opportunity to bring fans into the heart of the team and be a part of our history,” says Kelly Brittain, brand and communications director for Oracle Red Bull Racing. “We’re rewarding them for their brilliant support throughout the past few seasons and igniting that support as we go into 2023.”
The Paddock is the engine of the team’s fan engagement. Built on Oracle CrowdTwist, a loyalty and rewards software application that’s part of the Oracle CX suite, The Paddock is where fans sign up for texts and personalized emails linking them to racing highlights, behind-the-scenes interviews, exclusive content, contests like Make Your Mark, and more. As fans consume content, they earn points they can redeem for rewards such as autographed items, team merchandise, and digital downloads. All the while, Oracle Red Bull Racing learns more about each fan, so it can understand them better, deliver the experiences they want, and ensure that team loyalty is a two-way street.
“We consider ourselves fan-fueled,” Brittain says. “Make Your Mark is all about giving back to our fans and rewarding them for their passion.” Brittain expects some of the designs in Make Your Mark will reflect the US host cities. “It will be great to see their iconography come through,” she says. “I am genuinely excited to see what our fans’ creativity brings.”
The team is using the contest to pursue a strategic imperative of winning a bigger share of the US fanbase. Miami was a new destination on the race calendar last season, and Vegas is new for this year. “The US is playing such a big role in Formula One these days—three Grands Prix, including Las Vegas coming onto the calendar,” Horner says. “It seemed only fitting to reveal the RB19 and our plans for the season ahead here in NYC.”
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