What Is A Speedway Location Card? [Ultimate Guide!]

A Speedway location card (also known as a loyalty card, store card, or promo card) is a type of prize giveaway used by many businesses and brands in conjunction with their marketing strategies. While the concept behind a speedway location card is simple, its execution can be rather complex. In order to understand what a speedway location card is and how it can be used to promote a business or brand, let’s explore the history and evolution of this marketing technique.

Origins Of The Speedy Card

It is important to note that the term “speedy card” was not originally used to describe a speedway location card. In fact, the first reference to “speedy cards” was in the form of coupon books or giveaway flyers, which were distributed at the Indianapolis 500 race in the United States. However, since the inception of the speedway location card, its functionality and purpose have continued to evolve.

In the 1960s, the rise of the counterculture and the hippie movement led to a significant rise in the use of smokeless tobacco. In response, in 1968 R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company (now known as Reynolds American) invented the first ever “smokeless tobacco” carton. This new packaging allowed for the creation of the “starter pack,” a single-serving box of tobacco that was ideal for on-the-go situations. These smaller pack sizes were the beginning of the end for the traditional big packs of cigarettes, as more and more people chose to forego tobacco products altogether. This in turn, led to the demise of the cigarette industry as we know it.

In 1971 the Tobacco Advertising and Promotion Act was passed in the United States. This act required all cigarette brands to adopt a standardized graphic on their package that would be used for marketing purposes. This graphic consisted of a row of three crowns, which was modeled after the golden ratio discovered by architect, mathematician, and artist, Karl Praeger. The number of the king, as well as the other two numerals in the ratio, are also associated with the Latin word for “speed,” which is “celeritas.” The first tobacco products to implement this new standardized packaging were Roth American cigarettes, which included a row of three cherry blossoms on their box. In the years since, many different kinds of tobacco products, as well as other types of businesses and brands, have adopted this marketing technique and continue to use it today.

Why Are Brand-Specific Cards Popular?

According to the American Psychological Association, when provided with a choice, people generally select the most familiar alternative. For instance, if you ask people to choose between a chocolate bar and a piece of cake, they will almost certainly choose the latter. This phenomenon is known as the “familiarity heuristic.”

In the case of a speedway location card, the familiarity heuristic explains its popularity. As the name would suggest, a speedway location card is most commonly used by brands that already have a connection to motorsport, especially NASCAR. The connection to motorsport provides familiarity for car fans, and the inclusion of NASCAR tracks on the card makes it more memorable. Since the introduction of these standardized packs, many different kinds of cars, motorsport, and racing-related paraphernalia have become commonplace at retail stores and online retailers, making it easy for fans to find the item they’re looking for.

How Can A Brand-Specific Speedway Location Card Be Utilized To Market A Business Or Product?

So, you’ve decided that you want to run a marathon and raise money for charity. You’ve signed up for a 10k race, and you’re looking for ways to advertise and promote the event. How can you use a brand-specific speedway location card to maximize your reach to potential runners?

To begin with, you could hand out personalized cards to the participants. The design can be simple, with just the name of the business and the logo, or it can be more elaborate, featuring images of cars, drivers, and even motorcycles from the world of motorsport. Regardless, the point is that the card should carry with it some type of brand recognition. So, while you’re at it, you could also put a small sticker on the card that reads “Chipotle: All Things Grill.” (The brand will recognize the connection without being forced to connect the dots.)

Next, you could use social media to engage with potential marathon participants. On Twitter, for instance, you could ask questions like “Do you know what brand of shoe you should wear for the race?” or “What is your favorite part about the Boston Marathon?” You could even engage with people who aren’t actually following you by using the #BostonMarathon and #MarathonChipotle hashtags.

The Evolution Of The Speedy Card

Since its introduction 71 years ago, the versatility of a speedway location card has continued to grow. Today, with the exception of some brands that have stuck with only one type of product, the majority of businesses and brands that use a speedway card have diversified, expanding their product lines to include everything from apparel to skincare products.

Today, as products and companies are constantly evolving to meet the needs of consumers, so too have the ideas behind the Speedway Location Card. In fact, much like other types of rewards programs, the speedway card has morphed into a much longer-lasting and more significant promotional tool.

In 2019 alone, we’ve seen dozens of new products and companies that were either inspired by or completely aligned with motorsport culture and the concept of a speedway location card. This includes everything from Bikes+bins to Rusty Hinge Saddle Company and many more.

In the next installment, we will explore some of the coolest products and ideas that arose in 2019 and how you can use them to promote your business.

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