Driving Innovation: How the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach Revved Up Race Weekend with Tixr

August 29, 2023

Embracing an exciting wave of change, the legendary street race unveiled a complete digital and mobile transformation in 2023 with unprecedented success.

In the realm of motorsports, very few events can claim the level of historical significance and passionate fan engagement as the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach (AGPLB). Since its inaugural event in 1975, this iconic IndyCar experience has solidified its status as North America’s longest-standing major street race, capturing the imaginations of enthusiasts far and wide. With an impressive attendance of 200,000 race aficionados and local residents each April, downtown Long Beach undergoes a thrilling transformation, earning its moniker as “Southern California’s 200 MPH Beach Party.”

Looking to revitalize its offerings and strengthen its fanbase, the AGPLB selected Tixr as its official ticketing partner for the 48th annual race weekend this past April. Our collaboration was driven by a dual purpose: to preserve the race’s storied legacy status as the ultimate annual gathering in Long Beach while propelling it into a new era of growth and innovation.

Elevating the Fan Experience: A Complete Face-Lift

The transformation began with a complete overhaul of the AGPLB’s digital presence, starting with a comprehensive redesign of its website and app. Working with our web development team, the AGPLB’s owned touchpoints not only got a fresh look, but also a direct Tixr integration to auto-publish its event and ticket information.

To complement its refreshed web presence, the ability to custom-brand events on Tixr extended the AGPLB’s distinctive look and feel throughout the entire fan journey. Returning attendees benefitted from our automated Reservations and Renewals functionality before the public onsale, enabling seamless online purchasing of the same seats reserved the previous year. Every buyer got a chance to experience our modern, dynamic, highly-visual purchase experience in action, whether they wanted multi-day general admission access or preferred to choose their own seats in the grandstands from an immersive seat map.

Streamlined Ticketing: Record-Breaking Results

Empowered by the AGPLB’s revamp, fans engaged like never before. A staggering 95% of sales transpired ahead of the event—a remarkable 52% surge from the prior year. The allure extended to mobile, with 59% of transactions made on a smartphone or tablet. Most notably, the checkout process yielded an exceptional 23% conversion rate, dwarfing the industry’s benchmark of 1-2%. Clearly, the switch to Tixr turned a once-conventional buying process into an engaging journey.

Jim Michaelian, President and CEO of the AGPLB, commended our contribution to the event’s modernization and innovation. “We knew it was time to upgrade our ticketing, but rather than settle with another legacy platform, we searched for a forward-thinking partner with a modern offering and a fresh approach,“ said Michaelian. “We found that innovative spirit in Tixr. With an event as complex as ours, Tixr’s done an impressive job of tackling complex ticketing challenges and delivering a solid product that’s seamless, intuitive, elegant, and just works.”

Expanding Reach: Reaching Fans, Old and New

Recognizing how important returning fans are to its bottom line, the AGPLB didn’t rest on its laurels; it actively engaged and rewarded customer loyalty by offering past purchasers access to their same seats through our Reservations & Renewals system, which accounted for 14% of revenue.

Collaborating with our strategic Client Success team, the AGPLB also utilized trackable promo codes as part of its integrated marketing strategy, and introduced new on-site hospitality and premier seating options, attracting a global audience across various age groups. This approach generated impressive results, with 44% of all issued tickets directly attributed to promo codes.

Behind the scenes, the AGPLB gained access to a treasure trove of comprehensive analytics, extensive reporting, and data-driven insights. This newfound knowledge illuminated attendee behavior and preferences, equipping organizers with a deeper understanding of both new and returning patrons. For example, in-platform charts revealed that spectators had flocked from over 15+ countries and five continents to witness the 48th annual race weekend. The event’s digital transformation also contributed to attracting 64% of attendees under the age of 45, showcasing its growing appeal to a younger demographic.

Future Fuel: Accelerating into 2024

In its inaugural year powered by Tixr, the AGPLB witnessed a substantial increase in sales and heightened conversions over the three-day race weekend. These milestones highlight the transformative impacts of our partnership, blending tradition with digital evolution. Our year-one success also emphasizes the strength of collaboration and serves as a launchpad for year two, reflecting our shared commitment to reshaping the contemporary IndyCar racing experience, beginning with ticketing.

The wealth of fresh customer insights garnered over this year will undoubtedly shape the AGPLB’s future customer experiences. Armed with a year of fresh customer data and learnings, the AGPLB is primed to tap into more of the Tixr toolset, continuing the modernization process for another record-breaking year in 2024.

As engines roar and history is made, our symbiotic partnership shines as a beacon of progress in the world of racing. We’ll continue to find ways to craft an experience that exhilarates die-hard fans and entices new enthusiasts, accelerating into a future that’s not just about speed, but about embracing the limitless horizons of possibility. Together we’re poised for even greater triumphs ahead.

Curious how Tixr can transform your web presence and modernize your ticketing operations? Schedule a demo with our team of experts.