What do NASCAR, Grand Prix Formula 1 Racing, and NHRA drag racing all have in common? Speed! From a sports spectacle perspective, fans love to watch drivers accelerate to awe-inspiring speeds while navigating an array of challenges. But in today’s world of advanced recreational technology, a newcomer has arrived. Racing Drones has captivated millions of fans and combines first-person gaming with formula 1 racing – a perfect combination for millennials. And no one does it better than Drone Racing League (DRL). Driven by the Bold Leader Nicholas Horbaczewski and his passion and genius, Drone Racing League is growing by leaps and bounds. And, he is creating societal change with drones while building a new generation of pilots
But racing drones is not all this bold company has in mind and this article is a follow-up to our article from last year.
A Snapshot of Professional Racing Drones
Drone Racing League was founded in 2015, with the first world championships held the following year. Tapping into a crazed field of enthusiasts, the league quickly captured a viewership of over 100 million viewers its first two years. Today, Drone Racing League continues to expand its reach and is seen in over 90 countries. In fact, the 2018 DRL Allianz World Championship held in Saudi Arabia boasted over 55 million views.
And what’s not to like? With drones capable of going from zero to 100 mph in two seconds, they have the speed we crave. In addition, courses demanded harrowing maneuvers, complete with 130-foot nosedives and the kinds of twists and turn impossible in manned aircraft.
It’s little surprise Millennials and techies alike are flocking to the sport, both as would-be competitors and spectators. Drone Racing League combines sports, entertainment, and technology in an intriguing way no sport has ever done before. In 2019, the sport will break new ground with the addition of AI enabled self-driving drones.
Pushing the Boundaries of Sports Leagues
Certainly, racing drones is exciting. Those bold enough to compete spend hundreds of hours sharpening their skills. But that’s not necessarily any different from other sports. What is notably different, however, is the way Horbaczewski has expanded the company.
Drone Racing League is among the first to offer in-house digital advertising campaigns for its sponsors. For some companies, this is a game-changer. This is not something other premiere sports leagues have pursued.
As a result, Drone Racing League recently gained Cox Communications as one of its advertising clients. Rather than simply pursuing brand alignment and ad promotions, Drone Racing League offers full advertising campaign development. The new Cox ad campaign combines an array of content that is much more comprehensive. In addition to sponsoring one of DRL’s premier drone racers, Cox provides Wi-Fi services for DRL championships. Likewise, the campaign includes Cox’s 4-D Thrill Rides for fans on-site, allowing them to experience racing drones themselves.
Maintaining a Bold and Broad Perspective
In addition to Cox Communications, Swatch has also signed up with Drone Racing League. Drone Racing League also enjoys widespread international coverage of its series from ESPN, FoxSports Asia, Sky, and many others. But these pursuits are just the beginning with Horbaczewski, as he envisions other opportunities for the future.
One of these visions includes advancing the use of artificial intelligence to develop autonomous racing drones.
Drone Racing League will be sponsoring the Lockheed Martin AlphaPilot Innovation Challenge in the near future. In this racing drone event, teams of university students will compete for a $2 million prize. The requirements? Teams must use an AI platform to create drones that drive themselves. If Cox Communications saw an opportunity with Drone Racing League now, imagine what other companies may see with these developments.
A New Champion is Crowned
With the 2018 Drone Racing League championship recently completed, a new face has appeared in the sport. Paul “Nurk” Nurkkala, a 27-year old from Indianapolis, IN, took the prize from veteran Jordan “Jet” Temkin. Putting in more than 10 hours a day, Nurk developed the level of skill needed to be named the best in the world.
It’s no surprise that Horbaczewski appreciates that level of dedication. Given Drone Racing League’s bold moves in the sports entertainment industry, great things likely await this company as well.