MotorsportReg: Growing a Hobby Into a Hot Property

MotorsportReg, the popular motorsports event registration network, has been sold to Hagerty. But Brian Ghidinelli, the site’s founder, isn’t going anywhere thanks to a five-year minimum employment agreement.

The additional resources also mean we’ll be growing the team significantly, doubling in size over the next 18 months,” he tells us, “plus leveraging Hagerty’s existing resources, especially around marketing.”

MotorsportReg started in 2003 out of humble beginnings while Ghidinelli volunteered for the Golden Gate Chapter of the BMW CCA. Back then it was “just a nights and weekends hobby,” he says, but in 2009 he turned MotorsportReg into a full-time effort. “That’s when it became a job,” Ghidinelli says. “In 2009 I hired Ann Maycock to help me support our customers, and she’s still with us today.”

More growth followed, with the company facing a major fork in the road a few years later. “We got to about 2014 and asked ourselves: Okay, we know a lot about more complex event registration. Should we go mainstream and try to get 1 percent of a very large market or do we think we can stay in motorsport and scale this thing up?” Ghidinelli explains. “All of us on the team came from some kind of enthusiast background: registrars, drivers, working at a racetrack, instructors, board members, etc.

Going mainstream was going to be less interesting and, ultimately, we could never be number 1 or number 2 in the world at that game when up against funded Silicon Valley tech companies. Taking VC was never that interesting to me, so we doubled down on motorsport, started planning our live timing app RaceHero, and grew the team a bit.”

The company continued to expand, with the focus changing from simply registering people for events to helping people find events. “Our marketplace, which is viewed by 1 million people a year, brings together organizers and attendees in a way that helps people go to more events per year,” Ghidinelli explains. “In fact, over the past 5 years, we’ve seen an increase in the average number of events per year per person from 2.5 to just over 3 which is a 13 percent increase. This is one of the two ways to grow participation: get our existing audience to participate more frequently. The other, which is getting more new people, brings us to the Hagerty news.”

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Comments
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captdownshift
captdownshift PowerDork
8/30/19 7:12 p.m.

Brian is a great dude, I always enjoyed working with him. 

pinchvalve
pinchvalve MegaDork
9/3/19 7:52 a.m.

All I know it the site/app works great and everyone should use it! 

captainawesome
captainawesome Reader
9/3/19 4:51 p.m.

Love MotorsportReg. I don't know about any other clubs for yoos guys, but ALL of the autocross ones I run with give a $5-10 discount for preregistering by midnight the Friday before the event. I like saving a few bucks, but it also helps speed up the process of registration for them from what I understand.

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