Button: F1 should appeal to younger fans like Pokemon Go

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Jenson Button believes that Formula 1 should capture the interest of young fans in a similar fashion to Pokemon Go.

The Pokemon Go mobile app went viral over the summer, using augmented reality technology to make virtual Pokemon appear on the screen of a user’s smartphone, as found on a real-life map.

Since the last grand prix in Italy, F1 has been taken over by Liberty Media Corporation, leading to questions about the future of the sport and the approach its new owners may take to promotion.

Button believes that targeting a younger audience is key, using the popularity of Pokemon Go as an example of what is possible.

“For what I’ve seen they’re interested in getting a much younger audience involved in the sport, which is something we need,” Button told reporters in Singapore.

“The average age is much too high for where it should be considering we have an 18-year-old on the grid.

“I think the average age is high 30s, maybe early 40s. That needs to change. We need to target youngsters and the younger generation.

“This is a very technologically advanced sport, so you would think there would be a lot of interest from youngsters – but there isn’t.

“As soon as youngsters sink their teeth into the sport they’re going to love it.”

Button showed reporters in Singapore a video on his phone of people playing Pokemon Go, as also uploaded to his Instagram account.

“This was last night in the shopping mall. All these people walking one way,” Button explained.

“You know why? Pokemon.

“There must have been 2,000 people all walking to one spot, through the shopping mall, across the road because there’s a Pokemon there to grab.

“Is Formula 1 not more interesting than that? It should be. I think it is.

“If they can get that many people interested at trying to flick something at a yellow dot which isn’t really there, I think we can make Formula 1 better than it is.”

SuperMotocross set to introduce Leader Lights beginning with the World Championship finals


In a continuing effort to help fans keep track of the on track action, SuperMotocross is in the process of developing and implementing leader lights for the unified series.

Currently Supercross (SMX) utilizes stanchions in the infield that are triggered manually by a race official. At least two stanchions are used in each race as a way to draw the eye to the leader, which is especially useful in the tight confines of the stadium series when lapping often begins before the halfway mark in the 22-bike field. This system has been in place for the past two decades.

Later this year, a fully automated system will move to the bike itself to replace the old system. At that point, fans will be able to identify the leader regardless of where he is on track.

The leader lights were tested in the second Anaheim round this year. An example can be seen at the 1:45 mark in the video above on the No. 69 bike.

“What we don’t want to do is move too fast, where it’s confusing to people,” said Mike Muye, senior director of operations for Supercross and SMX in a press release. “We’ve really just focused on the leader at this point with the thought that maybe down the road we’ll introduce others.”

Scheduled to debut with the first SuperMotocross World Championship race at zMax Dragway, located just outside the Charlotte Motor Speedway, a 3D carbon fiber-printed LED light will be affixed to each motorcycle. Ten timing loops positioned around the track will trigger the lights of the leader, which will turn green.

SMX’s partner LiveTime Scoring helped develop and implement the system that has been tested in some form or fashion since 2019.

When the leader lights are successfully deployed, SuperMotocross will explore expanding the system to identify the second- and third-place riders. Depending on need and fan acceptance, more positions could be added.

SuperMotocross is exploring future enhancements, including allowing for live fan interaction with the lights and ways to use the lighting system during the race’s opening ceremony.