BROOKLYN, Mich. —Michigan International Speedway’s reputation for guest services has worldwide reach.
Track president Roger Curtis served as keynote speaker at the 2015 Sports Fan Summit in Sydney this week, sharing the racetrack’s commitment to creating lasting memories for every person, every time with participants from around the world of sports.
This Australian summit in its eighth year is regarded as the premier sports marketing event in the Southern Hemisphere, offering analysis from elite international speakers from some of the most highly regarded organizations in the world. Curtis was among speakers from the NFL, NBA, MLB, MLS and USA Rugby.
Curtis, representing the promoter side of NASCAR, detailed the racetrack’s strategies for creating lasting memories for its guests. The speedway annually hosts NASCAR’s premier Sprint Cup Series twice a year.
“If you take care of the guests, you’ll take care of the bottom line,” Curtis said. “This is really an easy and fundamental choice all businesses must make and can make today, and certainly businesses like sports and entertainment.”
A 26-year veteran of motorsports administration, Curtis’ keynote presentation focused on fan experience and at-event fan engagement. Curtis shared the speedway’s strategies on how to create lasting memories for fans including its extensive guest service training program for all employees, vendors and service groups, taking a page from Disney’s exceptional guest services training.
“We don’t sell a product here; we don’t make widgets. We sell memories and that first touchpoint with guests is how they are treated,” he added.
During Curtis’ time at Michigan International Speedway, the track has expanded beyond NASCAR events to become a year-round entertainment venue. Curtis has overseen the addition of non-motorsport events at the track, such as the Tough Mudder, the Michigan Wine and Beer Fest and Faster Horses, a three-day country music festival, attracting more than 385,000 guests to the track every year.
Also, the speedway recently launched several new initiatives to attract millennials to its NASCAR events, adding Keloorah, a two-day mini-music festival during the larger NASCAR festival.
The guest service at MIS during all its events, not just NASCAR, is what MIS is known for.
“We have the benefit of insight from excellent speakers from all over USA and the UK, as well as Australia. The focus of the Sports Fan Summit is about Best Practice; about bringing the world’s best sport marketers such as Roger Curtis and the best ideas down to Australia. Roger’s inclusion was invaluable for club, league and governing body executives and senior managers looking to further their knowledge and obtain new contemporary ways of thinking on fan engagement. We wanted delegates to leave with ideas they can apply in three days’ time; not in three years,” Simon Arkwright, Sport Fan Summit organizer, explained.