IRL gains speed in cyber space

April 17, 2008
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The Indy Racing League appears to be hitting on all cylinders. Through the first two races this year, the IRL, which recently unified with Champ Car, is seeing gains in attendance and television ratings. Now, IRL officials are reporting significant gains in traffic on the series' Web site, Indycar.com.

Indycar.com has seen a 90 percent increase in unique visitors since January, according to series officials. One of the site's most popular sections, IndyCar Nation Talkback has had a 243 percent increase in traffic from February to March alone.

The site's Web traffic shows a solid portion of the increased activity is comprised of first-time users, said IRL spokesman John Griffin, a sign that the unified open-wheel series is gaining new fans. More than one-fourth of Indycar.com's total visitors for each of the first three months of 2008 have been new visitors, Griffin said.

While most of the gains are being attributed to the unification of the IRL and Champ Car, Griffin said improvements to the Web site which were unveiled in March also are a factor. Interactived features sponsored by DirecTV, Firestone and Peak have been popular traffic drivers for the site, Griffin said, adding that the Web site has given sponsors added exposure with open-wheel racing fans. The Web site in turn has become an important drawing card series officials have been able to use to gain traction with current and prospective sponsors, Griffin said.
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  • The site is really great. It provides a means for fans to revisit and relive certain events and to learn more about teams and drivers that was never available in the heydays of Indy Car.
  • Just another sign that unification was long overdue. Too bad that cart/owrs/chanp car/ccws did not realize that 8 years ago when it was obvious they were going under.
  • The IRL marketing arm seems to have finally gotten a clue. This is indeed a solid site, and a good marketing move all the way around. Some other sports franchises around here should reach out to fans in such a relevant way.

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