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As Autosport International demonstrates, great brands use every opportunity to connect with their audience – print, digital, social and live

Autosport International – the annual gathering of all-things motorsport – returned to the NEC in Birmingham last week. Once again, it proved to be the essential start to the year for dedicated racing fans and car enthusiasts alike.

The show is a perfect blend of the dizzying glamour of top-level international motorsport, as well as its passionate grassroots. The Williams Formula 1 team had built their three-storey paddock motorhome alongside a fantastic display of their most famous F1 cars, for example, while the scale and variety of motorsport parts and expertise in the engineering portion of the show is truly astonishing.

What really struck me, though, was the excitement of visitors who were able to see, hear and interact with their heroes – be they drivers like Alan McNish and Damon Hill on the Autosport Stage, or cars such as Nigel Mansell’s iconic championship-winning Williams. It perfectly summed up the essence of the Autosport brand, and so the essence of Haymarket’s approach to fostering active communities.

When Autosport was launched 65 years ago, it was distributed by hand at the entrance to Silverstone, home of the very first Formula 1 race. Today, it touches its reader-base across every channel imaginable: a weekly magazine, a phenomenal website (autosport.com), an annual awards ceremony, the annual Autosport International exhibition, and thriving social accounts. 

It typifies Haymarket’s approach, where the brand is at the heart of the community, and all of its unique channels provide different ways for the community to engage. What’s most important, though, is that they have a consistent tone, look and feel. This requires phenomenally skilful editing and direction, ensuring that all channels work together – as well as individually – to keep the brand at the top of its game. 

We apply that same rigour in Haymarket Network when we work with brands to activate their communities – whether that’s the global procurement community serviced by the Supply Management brand we manage worldwide in print, online, live and in social for the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply, or the athletics community centred on the Spikes brand we created for the sport’s global governing body, the IAAF, now online, in social and in print.

If you read Marketing, or use the FourFourTwo Stats Zone app, or visit whatcar.com, you’re part of one of our communities. If your brand wants to be as loved as these brands, come and chat to us. And see you at next year’s Autosport International!