On this episode of the Racing Insiders Podcast, Kate welcomed Josh Holt from MyRacePass - the ultimate tool for drivers, tracks, associations, and team owners. It's all about centralizing motor sports media and streamlining your racing experience.
Tell us really all the things that MyRacePass does. (1:33)
MyRacePass covers a wide surface of different things that we do and, and I'd like to get into a little bit of the background on it. But just on the front face, there's, you know, the best way to the kind of the fun way to explain it is when we bring on new help, or new employees or new teammates within MyRacePass. One of the first things that they say is, I had no idea you guys did this much. And so with that being said, I mean, we cover a very wide range of products, and we offer it MyRacePass, we obviously do have the MyRacePass app, which kind of put her put her put us in front of a lot of people here in the last few years. That's where people are known probably know us the most from. But behind the scenes there, we have a race management system. Now nearly 90% of the oval tracks in US lean on that system on a weekly basis. Basically, where you do online registration, generate the lineups, results points, standings, payouts, and then all that information funnels to their website, which is also another thing that we do. So we built literally over 1100 websites since we first started the company, which was back in 2008. From there, we have a really cool Perl program, which I'd like to talk a little bit more about later. We do some print stuff. So we used to do more hero cards. We don't do as many hero cards for the drivers anymore. We can with our clients if you need them or whatever. But yeah, and then we have an ad platform. So like we spun up another motor company led by Jim sweetener, who was it ration junk for about 15 years. Everyone knows we raised some junk because at but Jim has been with us for coming up on three years probably. And he leads your MRP digital ad platform where we have advertising on throughout the app and different websites that we do. And what's cool about that is racetracks consented to be a publisher and actually get paid back for on the ads that we sell. So MyRacePass a lot of stuff. And it's overwhelming at times, but I guess I've been at it since since the start, you know, and and it's fun to educate the people on everything that we do actually do.
That's actually really fascinating, because I knew that you guys have been in business for 15 years. But to start a business in 2008. When was it that you guys started MyRacePass?(3:39)
Well, so there's three of us myself, Ross VanEck and Zach Calmus. So the three of us got together was actually his Zach's idea. We're at a friend of ours birthday party at a bar in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. And Zach comes up and I was doing these racing resumes, portfolios. And Zach came up it was it would have been like October of 2007. And him and Ross were building websites - so from October so that was like a Tuesday night or whatever, October 20,007. We launched our first website January 8 of 2008. And then so we kind of argue that we started in January, but officially we actually started the company CAVAHO which was the first two letters of our last names. CAVAHO LLC based out of Sioux Falls in April. I think I was tax day- April 15 of 2008 That's our official start date. We launched our first website in January 2008.
I'm sure I'm sure like that October crash was a bit of an obstacle. And in being a business person myself going up on almost 10 years, what are some of the other obstacles that you've run into a lot in the way? (5:06)
Well, you know, change. Right, so we're a technology company. We're a software company in motorsports, and in 2000. I mean, there's been a lot of changes, you know, been a 15- 16 years here in a few months, and we've been at a lot of growing pains, you know, come throughout that, but I think, I think one of the I get asked this question a lot. What are the biggest changes that you've seen, or, or obstacles you had to overcome? And, and a lot of it, you know, one could argue, and I'm not trying to say anything bad. But, you know, motorsports in general was maybe a little behind the times in technology for many, many years. You know, I say this a lot, where motorsports has a lot like an iceberg, to where the tip of the iceberg you see above the water is your your IndyCar your Formula One, your NASCAR cup series, that's the tip of the iceberg. But below that are all these racetracks over 800 racetracks in the United States and raced on a weekly basis and all the travel and series and all that kind of stuff. That's the big bulk of motorsports, right? But what you see is on top of what's what you also see is all the technology, I mean, even Formula One is advanced that it is today, it was almost as advanced as it was now 15 years ago. But if you look at, you know, the the weekly tracks or or some of the places, you know, I mean, we're just now getting into online ticketing. And we're just now getting into having credit cards available at the racetracks. And, you know, so for us being a software company, being a technology company coming into motorsports, you know, the education process was was, was upfront, and it was like, Okay, we have issues here, we have problems here. And let's figure out a way to solve them using a website or using a computer or whatever, versus instead of having to write everything out all the time. You know, so that would probably be the single most challenging aspect of MyRacePass when we first started now, you know, since then, you know, we were just the three of us for many years, you know, that's one of the reasons we were able to get through the fall of 2008. Spring of 09 for that matters. It was just the three of us, we weren't paying ourselves a bunch of money, we were just barely getting doing what we needed to do to kind of keep the doors open. Because we had a, we had a bigger goal in mind. You know, my race pass was the goal. We didn't know what it was called then. We didn't know it was called MyRacePass. But that was the goal. And we had, you know, 2007-2008, Facebook was really starting to take off. Right? So one of the first things we were like, I'm going to fast forward a little bit here about some of the background. You know, it was still a Facebook for motorsports. Well, you can't just build something like that. And all of a sudden you have a million people going to it, we knew that we knew that we needed a footprint in the industry. Well, Zack and Ross were very talented developers, and will still, you know, very talented developers and build websites. So we started building websites for racecar drivers. And we just started having pockets of of different parts of the country selling you know, websites, racecar drivers that evolved in the websites for racetracks. From there, you know, the technology side alone, most people, anybody who has a computer or had a phone, or anything, understand the premise that if I buy a computer today, a year from now, it's probably outdated, or I buy a new phone today, Apple comes out with a new one next year, and I gotta buy the latest and greatest. Well, software is very similar to that. So when we're when we're, you know, coding things today, or developing things today that we started or built the baseline on 15 years ago, you know, staying on top of that is a challenge. So always and then any business goes through any business goes through growing pains when you're when you're growing, scaling up or scaling down. We've we went through both sides, we've scaled up scaled back down and now we're scaling back up again. And so there's a lot of changes that come with that.
You expanded doing the websites and then then one thing leads to another which leads to another and that's how we've ended up with this whole integrated system today? (9:12)
Yeah, essentially. I mean, what's what's what's cool about it, though, is this whole integrated system you said you mentioned, I mean, what? So people today who have who know the MyRacePass name, they have the MyRacePass app on their phone, they when they're, when they're on the app, you can see all the different racetracks that are going that are racing 250 on a Saturday night or I forget the number go up to this year, on Saturday and you can scroll through you can pick a track you can follow your favorite drivers, you can follow your own stuff. Well. Obviously that's kinda information in one spot don't just come overnight, but our goal initially was so Oh, for the techie guys and gals, I'm listening on here. I mean, so all of our stuff is database driven, right. So when we first have our websites, everything that we do is there's a big powerful database behind it. And from the very first website we built, there were three main things we wanted to be able to do one, we wanted to make sure the client can update the website themself with ease. So it's where if he could update your Facebook page and update your website, so that has only gotten better over the years, we wanted to be able to make it to where the drivers had a unique, something unique about him like a unique ID. So that way that driver could we could we could bring in old data and tie it to that driver and populate previous year's schedules or something like that. The third thing we wanted to do was on the marketing side, which is my background, is we wanted, we wanted to build that track how many impressions the sponsor logos and how many impressions and clicks they get to generate a report. So that way, the driver could take that and show it to John's muffler service, and show him what they're getting being affiliated with their race team. So those three main main goals from was on the first website we did in January 2008. Well, since then, you start building this database of drivers this database and results. And then you start having a situation where tracks so we move into having tracks with our race management system, well, then the information gets funneled into their their, their website gets updated automatically. And then boom, all of a sudden, you have have it all in the palm of your hand on the MyRacePass app.
Now with your race management system. Did I read somewhere that you guys also track the whole points and all of that too? Is that right? (12:34)
Yeah. So we basically build the software that racetracks can use to calculate points. So like, basically, every racetrack depending if you're sanctioned by a certain sanctioning body or not, they have a certain points scheme, right? You show up because when points need raise so many points in the future, so on and so forth. Well, they can, they can build all that in there. And then the other night, when the results are there, they just click a button and boom, the points are tabulated. So that's, that's a really and then what's cool about that, as a driver can go back in and basically see there, how many points they received in every event that they raced at. And that's, that's a really handy tool, especially for the drivers that are out there, you know, chasing points they've gotten, they're chasing national points. So they go on different racetracks and see which driver is doing better at which track or which track they can get the easiest points at or, or whatever. There's been a lot of fun things come from that. And but no, the points thing is a big, big part of it. And same with payouts. So I mean, so our software, can they have their pre built pay schemes. And then you just do the night after you add the points, you add your pay, and you fill your printer full of checks, and you hit print, and boom, all your checks are done. And you can take that file and upload it to your QuickBooks and for for tax purposes, and everything's great for the racetrack because it's the goal. The ultimate goal for MyRacePass is a couple different things. One, we want to make it so I we can talk about this later. But 2012 and I was the lease holder and the general manager and promoter of Rapid Speedway in Rock Rapids, Iowa. So I bet on that side of the fence, I was a weekly, weekly dirt track that we did I think 16 or 18 shows that two years after that I was at Park Jeff with General Manager getting Park Everson International Speedway up and gone. So I was down there also raced most my life.
Our goals with MyRacePass is one of the ultimate goals is to make things more efficient for the promoters. I mean, when I was at Rock Rapids, and it was a park, Jeff, I mean, the one thing about a racetrack promoter, many racers don't understand, because I was a racer that I became a promoter. So then all of a sudden, all this new stuff was new to me. They literally wear about 500 hats. And most of your weekly racetracks are operate on a very thin line of profitability. So we're not. So we what we need to be able to do is make things as efficient as absolutely possible. And then also the promotional aspect of it. So how do we get as many eyeballs on this, engage that race fan, you know, we want that race fan engaged into the product in front of them that that product in front of them the race, and they want to, that's why it's so important for drivers to have their profiles updated. Because you want that connection. You want you want the fan in the stand to be like, Oh, you're from Webster, South Dakota, I got a cousin that lives there. For example. Now I'm gonna go by that by that guy's t shirt. That's pretty cool. And but fan engagement is a big piece of MyRacePass is doing and then obviously the platform for the driver has given them a single spot. Like I wish I had this , I've been racing since I was six, you know that we have we've been around long enough to where we've we've had some six year old start out years ago, when we first started as a company now that there was the math there 2122 They can go back and look and they got 15 years of their results updated on their website. Through done by my race passer in the early years, obviously, they were probably inputting the data themselves. But then you mentioned the racetrack started using my race management software. And that updated the website for them. So it's, it's a, you know, that aspect of my response was pretty cool.
Yeah, it's interesting, because it kind of went from the, like, I love to, to hear the phrase that only takes 10 years to become an overnight success, you know, but it really was, like, we were down here on the south, you know, the race monitor was kind of everywhere, and I just, you know, had a little bit of my race pass. And next thing, you know, I mean, my race pass is everywhere. And I and I thought it was really cool how you guys kind of just took over the world, and you really wasn't just trying to be one thing. You were, and not You're not trying to be everything to everybody, but you are an integrated platform, all of these pieces connect and everything works together. And it only just makes sense that it's all in one place. (17:27)
That was the idea is just that efficiency part of it. Right. And I think you know, Race Monitor is a great product. It's a great app, I still use to this day, I'm not afraid to say that there's there's certain places that don't use my rage paths that I want to follow along. And but the thing that makes us different about about Race Monitor is just simply everything else that it has is it you know, once you get used to, you know, we, we keep on listening to our client, listening to our users and saying, what's the next best thing we need to make? We get ideas all the time. And most of all, every one of them is important to us. And one of the biggest things that we've launched here recently is the Near Me feature to where when you're at a racetrack and you open up the app, as long as you have location turned on in the app, the track that you're standing at will show up at the top of the list. And that was one of the biggest advantages as dumb as that sounds or as easy to that was actually to do. That was like one of the biggest advancements we did the homepage of the app and since we launched the app, but you can I mean, you can you can favorite the tracks you can you can favorite the series. I know like where are things coming. Like right now, if your favorite a track or favorite driver, when they add a news article, it sends you a push notification for a track. The first green flag will send you a push notification if they get rained out or cancelled. For whatever reason the app can send you a push notification. There are things in the works for when your favorite driver hits the racetrack that it might let you know. So there's that part of it there is the communication aspect from the racetrack to the race fan, that we want to help streamline that for the promoter. So they don't have to go buy some super spend these text messaging service or some super spendy or even build their own app, for example, because I know how much it cost to build up and maintain an app. But then just make things a lot easier for everybody you know, and then the difference between that and Race Monitor is We just have, you know, we got the lineups are on the app, then there are official lineups, I mean, they come directly from the scoring tower, that's where that information is coming. I mean, when the when the scores hit Calculate lineups, it goes to the cloud and then goes back down to the palm of your hand on your phone. So that comes and then when they print out the lineups, you'll see a lot of you know, the post lineups across the pit board or whatever those are coming from the MyRacePass race management software, when they hit save on lineups, it's saving on your phone, you just got to remember the users there, just remember to swipe down to refresh it to make sure no changes have been made or whatever, before you go out. Same with results, they are official results, as long as it means when they post the results from a scoring tower. Those are the results you want to have the changes, obviously, if they have it, I see a lot of this entire sample stuff. See that come up every once awhile, and it's our entire sample comes back and they failed it or whatever. And they go, the track goes back and makes the adjustments and it's able then the results are updated on the on the MyRacePass app. So that's the biggest difference. And I think, well, you know, I talked early on about change. You know, as far as the national caliper series, I mean, the American Sprint Car Series used us for for many, many years. They're they're actually the first traveling national series to come on with MyRacePass when we did their website in 2011. That came with the Chili Bowl and the Tulsa shootout. And they were using it. And then in the late model world, the first one there was actually Lucas Oil late model dirt series. And they seen the product that MyRacePass had and and you know, that's why they made the switch and they went exclusive to MyRacePass versus gone to the other other platform. And, you know, a lot of people were upset about that. And that's why we were down there for speed weeks. And we were there to educate the drivers first. And then from there, we were there to try to educate the fans on how to use the app. And and I forget how long it's been now it's probably been four or five years ago. I can't remember.
So from John, he says, "would be awesome to have it set up so I can favorite a driver, maybe a track or event. And it sends me a notification that they tripped a transponder line". (23:22)
So John, that's a great question if you're still listening, and that's a common question that we get from a lot of people. So I'm glad you brought that up. So currently, you can favorite a track, a series, or a driver, or a sanctioning body inside the app. If you go to the event or the track profile, or the driver profile. There's a little star right below the name you can tap that was really handy there as you can go to the menu and click on your favorites. That way you can favorite your favorite drivers. Your three or four or five favorite tracks, and your two or three or four favorite traveling series. And instead of weaving through the big long list on Saturday night in July, you can click on your favorites and you click on you click on favorites, and then Josh Holt. And boom, there's there's Josh's profile. Now getting a notification, we tripped the transponder on, we'll just say that that day is not far away. But there'll be some more fun stuff that comes with that.
Your headquarters is now in Lincoln, Nebraska. Is that correct? And that's Silicon Prairie from what I understand. And because it has so many tech companies, and how has that tell us about that location and, and you know about your offices and what it's like to have a Silicon Prairie? (25:13)
Well, so COVID changed a little bit, but it's still considered to Silicon Prairie. So when we moved to when we started the company in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. And it was the three of us, myself, Ross, and Zach. Zach is from a small town just west of here, Ross is from a small town just north of northeast of here in southwest Minnesota. So we're all kinds of from and I'm from Northeastern South Dakota, but we're all from this general area. When we were looking to really make the move, it was time to it was time to make make a change, right, we need to go big or go home type, so to speak, from the so we were looking at different places. And there was a couple other things that brought us to Lincoln had some friends down there that had kind of explained all the different Tech Tech, the tech industry down there. I think at the time, there was like 96 or 97 tech companies, downtown Lincoln, Nebraska. So after looking into that, further, they actually considered it with Lincoln, Omaha area, the Silicon Prairie. Now, I'm sure you've all heard of heard of Silicon Valley out in California. We looked out there and it's just way too expensive. And plus, it's, I don't know, I'd rather be here in the Midwest. But Lincoln just made a lot of sense, because we could go down there. Get an office started out we were really looking to ramp up needed to bring on some new talent, new developers, you know, the Silicon Prairie that came because a lot of that and all the tech companies because you could, there's all these tech companies, but you can -a developer can come to the Midwest, and you can get a decent paying development position. But yet, you could buy a couple 1000 square foot home for a couple 100 grand versus $1.5 million out on the west coast. So I mean, that that was what we're kind of grew up. And then for us it was it just made sense. It was it was a it was a kind of a marketing thing as well. We're making this big move we just made we just bought a company called Speed Net that same that same time. So we moved, we moved down to the Lincoln, Nebraska and like September 2015, we, we bought speed net and we all moved, we moved one of our employees down. We bought speed net, and we hired like, eight people in that first like eight months, like so that first year or two was just I mean, I don't even remember any any bit of that first year or two such. But But Lincoln is awesome. But we had we actually, you know, I love Lincoln, Nebraska. There was i We're not a big college football. I'm not a big college football fan. But I kind of became a Huskers fan just because of the energy that the Huskers fans have. It's just insane. And we went to a couple games and 90some 100,000 people. And I mean, like the best stadiums, the third, third largest population of all Nebraska. And on game day. So that was fun. We had a really, really cool office downtown for for quite a few years. coping and then COVID hit, right. The city, the city kicked us out of our office, basically, he was gonna go home. That's how it is gonna be but when we're like, well, crap, now what do we do? You know, so we, we basically got everybody set up to work efficiently at home, we were a little bit worried about it at first. But being a software company and in from like a sales and support staff, we travel around quite a bit going to a lot of different races across the country. So we get together fairly often. And and so it was it was March 19th of 2020, I think because when I was kicked out of the office, and then we never really found a good reason to go back. So we we actually it took us quite a while but it was September of last year, so just over a year ago. So it's 2023. So September of 22. So that two years later, almost two and a half years later, we finally let the office go. So we actually don't even have an office anymore. We're we're 100% remote and which that afforded me the ability to come back home. I live here in Sioux Falls now. So I'm closer to my parents. And so that's that's kind of handy. And I'm real close to the airport, which I fly everywhere. And I'm really close to the interstate. So if I need to go somewhere, it's easy for me to get there and, and but yeah, we're still we're still headquartered out of Lincoln. And I go back down there as often as I can and meet with the rest of the team that's there. But it's also you know, COVID taught us a lot the fact that you know, our team is amazing, like we have the greatest team that I can ever ask for and we you know when we keep adding great team Members and, and because of COVID It opened our eyes that we can hire remote. You know, hire those people from outside. You know when we brought on MSR mafia, Ben Shelton and right and Jeremy Peters. I mean Ben lives in Tennessee and Jeremy lives in Illinois and had to be not if COVID not have happened with with the MSR Ben Sheldon and MyRacePass and all that stuff would that have happened? I don't know. But I mean, I think it probably would have at some some capacity, but COVID definitely was like it was no question. Right? This is going to be easy. And, and bringing on Ben and Jeremy, who has been. So it's been a great, great thing to do.
Do you guys cover any of the iRacing stuff? I don't know what the answer to that is. That's all its own kind of ecosystem there. (31:14)
We don't. We were asked by many, many people, if we could start doing some iRacing stuff. And it just didn't fit in our little circle that we have our plan. It's a long convoluted story. But we wanted to. And we tried to we actually tried a couple of them. But it just didn't work out as we were thinking.
Yeah. But you know, then we found out the racing could continue. And it's the one sport that was able to continue, even through COVID, which means we were in the racing industry, we didn't get the same break. I mean, they meant to kick you out of your offices, but it didn't mean that there didn't need to be work to be done. There was lots of work to be done. So what a what a challenge as you get more and more demands for things. And yet now you got to figure out how we're going to get this done. (31:36)
COVID for everybody. It was a wild and crazy time, right? It doesn't matter what industry you're in doesn't matter what you're doing, what part of the world he lived in COVID was definitely a weird thing. And it opened up a lot of eyes, a lot of people for a lot of different things that you can do and how you how you can do things, how you need to do it, or how you could have been doing it but you weren't. You know, but But you know, I've said this for years, racers will always find a way. And whether it's whether it's tires, whether it's COVID, whatever, whether it's race, parks are still gonna find a way to make it happen. And that's one thing I love about this industry and promoters or promoters or racers, promoters are going to find a way they want to find a way to keep the doors open. You know, for us, it was locally Park Jefferson International Speedway, you know, Adam Adams up there and Terry McCarl came together and put that race together end of April. So like a month and a half after we kicked everybody out of the office. That was a big deal. That was actually on -what was interesting here is that so we do the website for park park, Jeff Park, Jefferson International Speedway, that was the place I was at and helped out on we've gone back in 2014 when they announced this race, what's the name of that website? T. like the gossip Hollywood Gossip, TW TMZ TMZ is so TMZ picked up the news article. And basically making fun of all of us rednecks out here racing with COVID. And, but my point of that is you will not believe the amount of people that went to Park jeff.com. And, and learn about race and and whenever that was the end of April, it was insane. The numbers that TMZ picked that thing up. And and it was funny, it was funny to see the responses of the people who maybe don't agree with didn't agree with what we were trying to do. As far as racers go, and yeah, it was just it was just really interesting.
So now then, you know, you guys moved your company to go where your potential employees would be. And now you find that you could hire literally anybody in the whole world, as long as they had an internet connection. That's, that's really all you really need. I mean, obviously, they need to be qualified. But you know, as far as like in order to connect to them, then you have everything you need right there and really opens up the idea of, if you need a specialty developer, you you can find them. And whether it's even a part time deal or a longer term, you, you know, what a great advantage that must be in your business. (35:45)
Yeah, it's, you know, you're only as good as your team is, I mean, there's no, there's no, I mean, a quarterback has to have great receivers, running back has to have good blockers. And a team in order to do great things, they got to have great people. And that's one of the things I'll stress on every chance I get as a team that we've had and, and prior to COVID, we had a fantastic team, and then it was ready to go, it was time to grow needed needed to grow, we needed more bodies, needed more developers needed more sales and support staff needed more fill in the blank. And we've been able to now with with with us opening the doors to not just be in a little bitty Lincoln, Nebraska as far as our hiring pool. Now, it's nationwide for the most part, and well globally for the most part. But you know, being able to put together a team that we have. It's been fun being able to go like we're an active active hiring now from the development side, looking for developers, we're really going to start ramping up our development staff here in the next 12-18 months or less, actually, I should say six to 12 months. But, you know, finding local people is one thing and you can still find great, great help there. And Lincoln because they have great schools because of the whole Silicon Prairie thing. They have the Rick's college there, which is a very specialized computer science thing that they have there. And it's produced some really cool stuff, a really cool personnel, but you know, the global aspect of it. You know, like, like you mentioned about them. I mean, give Ben a shout, you know, great asset to the team, him and his image, Jeremy. I mean, having those two on board has been has been awesome. I think we're coming up on it's been over two years. And I can't remember for sure now how long it's been but, you know, he's, he's fitting in really well. He loves it. You know, he travels a lot. He's on the microphone for the late model fans obviously all know who Ben Shelton is and, and his right hand, Jeremy Peters been with him for many, many years. You know, he's, he's, he's a rock star. And it's, I mean, our entire team is we're all for the most part all industry people, other than on the development side. But what's cool about that, as our developers have turned into some pretty big race fans and, and it's been fun to kind of see them now. So one of the things we do for remote is we do on the development side, Zach and Rosslyn lead that lead that team and so they do daily stand ups every day at nine o'clock, they'll chat, you know, for it's planned for 15 minutes usually ends up being the first 10 are talking about whatever the last five is actually about work. And then for us the sales support side, we have Tuesday and Thursday morning meetings where the entire sales support staff get together, it's all done like this, like you and I are doing. We use a product called Google meet. So we can do the virtual meetings. And every Wednesday we do a team meeting where everybody entire team gets together and it usually lasts about an hour whereas, you know, maybe 20 minutes of it is work relevant. The rest is all kind of whatever. And then Morgan who's been a huge addition to MyRacePass, she came out a year ago. She's our office operations manager and she actually raised his late models. She's lives in eastern South Dakota. You know, so she puts together you put together these monthly kind of fun things to get together on so just last Friday or Thursday, we did a Halloween get together. We can wear a costume if we wanted to. You can have your favorite drink if you wanted to. And we'd sit around and just chat for just a little over an hour and talk about whatever we wanted to talk about and those and those kinds of things. those kind of interactions are important also, not having the office you know, we say that expense, right. So one of the things that we did when I moved back here to Sioux Falls is we use it Speedway was the place I grew up at us a Speedway and Brandon, South Dakota, that's that is outside of Sioux Falls. literally been going there since I was six months old. And they had the Lucas Oil, we have a great relationship with Lucas Oil, a mile dirt series, and they had their silver dollar nationals. And then Joe Kaczynski was with who started the silver dollar nationals. And at Speedway, you know, he was a good friend of ours, because he was in our backyard, just outside of Lincoln, Nebraska, well, close the track, I moved to Sioux Falls, moved back to Sioux Falls. So I'm like this a perfect opportunity to do this. So we actually sponsor that event solely for the reason to have the entire team come there, we rented out the suite, we flew everybody in, and we were all there for four days, or whatever it was, we did a big grill out at my place, we hung out and that was that was really cool. I mean, that was we got to be able to do that we were all going to go even the devote even the development staff are all going to go to PRI this year. So we're all going to be there at PRI. And having those times when we can all get together, I think is important, you know, so we're definitely gonna do that, at least at least once, if not twice a year, every year.
And that's super cool. Because then you really value that time that you guys have together. I mean, I think sometimes when we see each other every day, we kind of take it for granted a little bit. And this way, you can really make it special and make it a memory that really sticks. And you can really feel that take teamwork when you're in person and enjoyed a little bit more. (41:18)
Yeah, and it's all about I mean, when you, our team gets along with everybody really well, any one of our teammates can go hang out with any any one of the other teammates and go hang off or go do whatever, you know, when everybody be happy and, and have a good time. And we're all we're all like one big giant family, so to speak, you know? And that's, that's a cool aspect of it. And, you know, those events, you got to have that Face Time, you know, physical time. Yes, yes. The and I think that's important. And, and we'll never forget that. So I mean, we'll we'll do those events as much as we can and try to get the whole team together. Because that's when, you know, you can accomplish a lot virtually like what we're doing now. We do we do come up with try to come up with new ideas. We listen to our users, you know, what are the what are the common denominators of things that people wanting? But then we all get when you all get together, there's just that that extra level of, especially when you don't do it every day is an extra level of just camaraderie, whatever word you're looking for there to bring the team together.
How big is your team now? (42:38)
When you add in the handful of contracted help, I think we're right at 20 or just under something like that. Which is kind of great. What are we at probably 18, or 19. We had we were actually as far as personnel goes a little bit more than that back in 2017. When we when we first bought speed net, which is a company based out of Florida, they were a race management software company has been around for 20 years. And we really had to ramp up our staff both on the sales support and development side. And then, you know, then we had to back it down a little bit. And then we were we were we sat at like, like before Ben and Jeremy came on. Right about the time Ben and Jeremy came out, I think we were at 12 or something like that. And we were involved for quite a while and then here recently been adding some more personnel and and we're pretty picky. I'm pretty picky, I guess, you know, and yet we want someone that's going to fit with their team and, and, and like like what Chris Krug for example, He was announcer at Knoxville on for 10 years and, and I mean, he eats breathes and I mean, the entire team that I shouldn't just single him out. But he eats breathes and sleeps MyRacePass and it's fun to see him grow with the company. He's been with us coming up on six years now and and it's just been fun to see him grow with the company, have the same visions as the rest of the team. And, and those are the kinds of people we're looking for. You know, I mean, awesome, Dakota, I mean, everybody, they all this is the this is their industry, they love it. They love being in the middle of it, and they love what we're doing and they love. They love putting smiles on the faces of the people that were, you know, doing business with.
Trent says "MyRacePass was a lifesaver during COVID for the track I did finances for we could pre sell our government have allotted attendance tickets online and it actually made it a high demand event as it was sell outs almost every Friday night. We were fortunate enough to have a large enough capacity to be able to still make a profit during a very difficult environment, plus the money was in the bank within a day or so from my race pass with a click of a button two thumbs up." (44:42)
Wow. Well, thank you, Trent, for that. That testimonial. I appreciate that. Every county, every state was different than everything within every state, some of the counties were different. And you could have 10% that you could you could fill 10% capacity or 20% capacity 50% capacity servers. There was I forget where it was at one summer on California, they could do a 5% capacity. So the guy Yeah, Trent's Boone County, there was one checkout less than 5% capacity. So he went and bought a whole crapload of grandstands increases, increase his footprint, you know, so 5% You can still get however many people you needed to have the show in there, you know, so it was it was? Yeah, COVID Yeah. Well, Trent, thanks for that. And Boone County raceway there. And I'll be in that I say that in Nebraska. They are they've been with us for a long time. And we certainly appreciate what they get what they do up there. And, and certainly appreciate your testimonial there.
Unfortunately, in crates, and especially crate late models, we've seen the rules get farther and farther from one series to the next. But I do love that with my race pass, it doesn't really matter if I go to a track in Iowa, or California or South Carolina or, or anywhere that I can pull up this app. And it's one thing, I don't have 15 different apps that are all trying to compete for that for my eyeballs and for space on my phone. (47:03)
Yeah, bringing them all together is I think important. Because the one thing we have to remember, as an industry is, is the motorsports world is quite large, you know, several million people. But it's not like, like when I was talking about earlier with Park Jeff and the COVID race law stuff on TMZ on the whatever that website is, you know, it's we're talking millions upon millions, we're talking about 200 million people that can go into that thing. And motorsports is big, but it ain't nothing like that. And we're very niche market, right. And the other thing I always say to is, you know, we're all like one big giant family, when if you've ever heard the premise or read the book, or watch the movie Six Degrees of Separation, that what that means is is I know you you know that person, that person was that person six ways we know the entire world. On motorsports that number is less than two. Yeah. And that's what's that's what's cool about it, you know, and for us to, for us to help bring it all together. I mean, for I mean, a race fan is going to be a race fan, no matter which track it is, you know, if it's if it's if they're a diehard race fan, they're gonna watch a race here or there, or somewhere in between. And as far as drivers, you know, drivers travel around to different racetracks as well. So having that central place where fans can fall along with the drivers or drivers can fall on with racetracks or doing if one place has rained out the other place does not. It's definitely a handy tool. And that's, that's one of the reasons why we built it. We want it to be efficient, we want it to be helpful. We want it to solve problems.
So what else do we not know about MyRacePass that I just have neglected to ask you? (49:16)
Well, we do I realize we're running out of time. I can't believe it's been as long as it has already. So I appreciate everybody sticking with us. But no, to answer your question. One of the other things that we do, this is more targeted for the racetracks and for the businesses out there. So we also have an ad network. So you've been on you've been on the MyRacePass app, you may have been on MyRacePass.com You may have been a different track websites out there. You've seen there's ads advertising on the spot on the placements. We do that for Well, a couple different reasons, but the main reason is to give the industry folk a way to promote themselves. We have fairly granular, granular data to if someone manufacturer wants to get into a certain place to be able to promote, like, you don't want to promote a sprint car wheel to a bunch of late model drivers didn't want to make any sense. But what I really liked about this is on the promoter side of it, you can actually make money from so like racetracks can we do their websites for can sign up to become a publisher, that as a publisher, then it's fairly simple, we, we send out half of the net revenue from what we generate in advertising sales back to the publishers. Now it's based off of impressions. So if you're a website that gets no traffic, you're not gonna get paid as much as the traffic because the website, it gets a bunch of traffic. We've had some tracks earn as much as I think this year, we have one that's going to be topping out of just over four grand. Okay, of course, we have another we have other racetracks that make a couple 100 bucks, obviously, in between there. But that was a big piece of the puzzle that we put together, because we want to find is MyRacePass, we can't sponsor every racetrack out there, we can sponsor every driver out there, we'd be out of business. But if we can find as many ways as we can to make and earn revenue. That's what we're trying to do. And so that's, that's one big piece for the drivers out there. I wish I had this when I was racing, because I'm no different than most of the drivers than 99% of the drivers out there. And you know, very limited budget. And I could never afford to buy my own T shirts. And I had had my brother who actually would do some for me, you know, so I was able to have some but we have a we have a dropship apparel program that's really cool. Where you can come to us, you can get a t shirt design for 100 bucks, we we put it on your store on the MyRacePass marketplace, a race fan, you can go there or yourself. And buy there's like five or six or seven different kinds of apparel like hoodies, T shirts, woman's V neck, or whatever. And then all the different colors and all the different sizes. If a race fan purchases that, like for example, a race fan buys that shirt, we take we print that shirt, ship it to the race fan, they get it within seven to 14 business days, and then once a month, my race pass will send you the ticket funds your profits that you can set you can set your margins will send your profits to you your directly to your bank account once a month. And so that's a really cool program we have as a driver you can log in and biomaterial wholesale rate. But as a race fan, you can promote it promote on your Facebook page for one your website fans will buy it. And it's another way to make money we've had, we've had some some cool stories, one of them which being there was a sport compact driver. New to racing. This was quite a few years ago. And he was I forget where he was from somewhere in Nebraska. And he was wanting to have a T shirt or whatever. And he says, well, let's make one we'll have your sponsor name on the front of it. And in the back one of the two and then your name and race and logo on the back or front, whatever, and then see if they'll pay for the design will be 100 bucks, or whatever it is. He's like alright, well, I don't think I'm gonna sell any. While the sponsor has a big enough name. And I have quite a few employees. It was like 24 hours after we launched the marketplace. He sold 200 shirts, as sponsored by 200 T shirts from him. And he made five bucks a pop on. So you can do the math on that. Yeah. Yeah, he made more money on his T shirts. Than he did all year racing on the sport compact, you know, I might be joking about that. But I mean, he, it was just a really cool, that's a really cool story on how that can work. And then for one than for me, like even my race pass, like if I needed a couple T shirts, or I'm gonna send somebody some T shirts or whatever, I'll just go on our store, it's the same system that a driver would use and just by a couple changes shipping address shipping to them. And then I don't have to get off my chair, so to speak, you know, so it's a, it's a really cool program for drivers. We probably have nearly 600 stores out there of different drivers and racetracks and race series and businesses that that use it. So that's a pretty cool program that's in plus it shows up on your driver profile page. When for fans, so it'd be like a link to your, your MRP marketplace store in the app. And then fans can click that and buy a t shirt.
And for those of you that haven't been in the CARS Show, be sure to attend the CARS Show they're in Hickory, North Carolina. It's a great event plus, I love the North Carolina area. If it was 100% to me, I'd be I'd probably live in that area I love. I love the Charlotte area.