Tasseldega Nights by the numbers: MCGA racing promotion makes an impact

Corn cob facepainting and MCGA ethanol flags were a hit at Deer Creek.

Corn cob facepainting and MCGA ethanol flags were a hit.

Minnesota’s corn farmers brought free racing to Elko Speedway and Deer Creek Speedway this summer through “Tasseldega Nights,” a unique and fun promotion created to connect with racing fans and consumers about clean, renewable and homegrown ethanol.

The Deer Creek “Tasseldega Nights” race was Saturday, July 19, and was just as successful as the first “Tasseldega Nights” race at Elko back on June 7. The Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) went all out to deliver a positive and factual message about ethanol and farming to audiences at both tracks.

Deer Creek

Jonathan Olmscheid uses a high-ethanol blend in his racecar. Here he is at Deer Creek Speedway demonstrating the difference between regular gasoline and cleaner burning ethanol to a local television station.

MCGA chose Elko and Deer Creek for “Tasseldega Nights” because of each track’s proximity to the Twin Cities metro region (Elko) and Rochester (Deer Creek), two major population centers with large concentrations of drivers who would benefit from learning more about a less expensive and cleaner burning fuel like ethanol.

Now that “Tasseldega Nights” is in the rearview mirror, let’s take a look at the impact made by this fun-filled promotion:

  • About 15,000 race fans packed the stands for the two races. The audience included everyone from dedicated gearheads to families out for a night of entertainment. “Tasseldega Nights” succeeded in reaching a broad cross-section of people at the track.
  • 700 “Tasseldega Nights” t-shirts sold. Yes, the shirts had Ted Tassel on the back along with a snazzy design, but most importantly, the shirts had a positive message about ethanol — one that will be seen by thousands of others as the shirts are worn around town and to other races.
  • Deer Creek

    The MCGA booth was buzzing with activity before, during and after the race.

    More than 500 new “likes” on Facebook. That’s 500 more people active on social media viewing, sharing and liking MCGA-related content on ethanol, food and conservation long after “Tasseldega Nights” is finished.

  • A statewide audience of thousands reached through television commercials such as this one and radio spots like this one targeted at both a farming and non-farming audience. It’s impossible to pin down exactly how many people saw “Tasseldega Nights” television commercials or heard a Minnesota corn farmer on the radio airwaves talking about the race and homegrown ethanol, but it’s safe to say the number approached six figures.
  • 30 racecar drivers at Elko and Deer Creek running on higher blends of ethanol during racing season. MCGA created the “Ethanol Cup” this summer, which is leading to more drivers using
    Deer Creek 4

    As drivers raced around the track, fans learned more about homegrown ethanol.

    homegrown ethanol at the track. When racers are using more ethanol, it helps convince more consumers to also give the homegrown a fuel a try.

  • 7 more racing events this summer. In addition to the MCGA-sponsored “Tasseldega Nights” at Elko and Deer Creek, county corn growers organizations are putting on seven more “Jam the Stands” races at other tracks throughout Minnesota. That’s thousands of additional race fans and consumers who will receive free admission to their local track and a positive message about ethanol and corn farming. To see if a “Jam the Stands” race is coming to a track near you, check out MCGA’s events calendar.

Thank you to everyone who came out for “Tasseldega Nights” this summer!

Did you like this article?

Share this post with your friends!