When watching a race at a small regional track, or a large national speedway, one of the most recognizable pieces of the signage are the large trackside billboards. They are the most popular prime location for sponsorship placement at a racetrack and can also be used to promote upcoming events, all while being right where the fans are looking.
Racetrack billboards are made from durable materials, most typically mesh or vinyl banner, finished with a hem – or reinforced perimeter – and grommets. This gives them the strength to stand up to high winds from the track, as well as from nature.
Banners are designed on a case by case basis, as the size of the track and the material surrounding the track often has a great deal of influence on the number and scale of the trackside billboards. For instance, at smaller tracks, more sponsors can be featured on a single billboard to give more sponsorship opportunities. If a track has wood or solid walls surrounding the track, the material and finishing will be different than if chain link fence were around the track.
At small tracks or special events, where viewing distances might not be as far, more detailed messages can be included on the billboards. These situations also lend themselves to including multiple sponsors on each racetrack billboard so tracks can maximize their sponsorship revenue.
Smaller scale racetracks can also keep one sponsor on each billboard, but can make the billboards themselves smaller, giving the track a chance to stack trackside billboards and double their opportunity for sponsorship revenue.
For larger scale signage solutions at bigger tracks like Auto Club Speedway of California, only one sponsor is shown on the racetrack billboards, as the message is then easy for the viewers to see at the track as well as easy to read when watching broadcasted events on TV. These sponsorship opportunities give the track a smaller number of areas to fill, however, the spots have more exposure and can be seen by exponentially more people.
For larger tracks, many will direct spectators to other areas of the track, such as a sponsored Fan Zone, which can increase sponsor presence and give the advertiser a chance to activate promotions in a more intimate setting compared to the more general message provided by a trackside billboard.