I’m so naive about believing facts and statistics. Like many people I’m happy to use them when they suit my purpose and to hide them when they don’t while not really knowing deep down if to believe them or not. However, I do believe the facts produced by Dorna regarding last year’s MotoGP World Championship because I was there first hand to check. I’m not pretending that I spent every race weekend counting the number of spectators in the grandstands on my fingers but I’m not surprised that the average attendance for each race weekend was just under 150,000 and was in fact 148,100.
It’s a staggering figure which was rarely eclipsed by any other 18 round World Championship in any sport and certainly in any other form of Motorsport. Two million six hundred and sixty five thousand eight hundred and six fans witnessed the action last year despite rain at some stage of the three day race weekend at 11 of the 18 events.
The final showdown of the season in Valencia attracted a sell-out crowd of 110,220 fans on race day and a weekend attendance of 209,707 to witness Marc Marquez capture a memorable championship. The Red Bull Ring in Austria was jam packed with 201,589 MotoGP fans which was around three times bigger than the attendance for their Formula One event. Sepang in Malaysia staged its last Formula One race for the time being while the MotoGP race brought in nearly 100,000 race day fans despite the rain.
Despite all the uncertainty about its future The British Grand Prix at Silverstone still attracted a weekend crowd of over 128,00 which should increase this year with Silverstone endorsing it’s faith in the event. Another venue looking for an increase is the legendary Sachsenring in Germany. Despite a date change which affected the ticket sales nearly 165,000 fans watched their local hero Jonas Folger finish second.
Naïve I may be about attendance statistics but I do understand they are a true indication just what a great show MotoGP produces for the masses. The equally impressive social media figures are more of a grey area for a grey head like me but on good authority, by people considerably younger than myself, I’m told they are equally impressive – I have to believe them.
The official MotoGP web site attracted 70 million visits, 24 million unique users with 208 million pages being visited which sounds like a lot to me. Facebook attracted 12.7 million fans, Instagram 4.9 million followers, Twitter 2.3 million followers and YouTube 1.2 million subscribers. The new MotoGP eSport Championship was a massive success with 25 million video views, 2.8 million engagements and a reach of 75.5 million.
The worldwide success of MotoGP is a clear indication that by producing a spectacle that excites and stimulates the fans whether at the venue, on the television or social media is the key to success. Build the infrastructure round the principle that the product has to be right before you can gain the benefits – Other sports should take notice and follow their example.