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Seamer ‘lifts the hood’ in first Supercars Fan Council meeting

Simon Chapman

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Monday 30th March, 2020 - 6:00am

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Supercars CEO Sean Seamer

Supercars CEO Sean Seamer says he has identified several areas the championship can work on following a ‘transparent’ and encouraging first Fan Council meeting last week.

The council comprises an assortment of new and old Supercars fans with different backgrounds from across Australia.

Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Seamer’s first meeting with the council members took place via a teleconference and lasted for a little over an hour.

Announced late last year, the Fan Council was created in a similar vein to the NASCAR Fan Council, which has over 25,000 registered members.

However, Supercars has taken a qualitative approach with just 12 members providing Seamer and his team their thoughts on the direction of the sport.

Speaking with Speedcafe.com, Seamer said part of the initial inspiration for the Fan Council came from former Supercars Commission chairman and CART team owner Steve Horne.

“I know other sports do it mainly from a quantitative point of view, questionnaires, et cetera,” Seamer told Speedcafe.com.

“But Steve Horne, who was our old commission chairman, always drummed into me that you have to have a conversation with fans. You’ve got to talk with them, not talk at them, and that’s what we’re doing.”

Seamer said the first meeting gave him a chance to give the members a lay of the land and an understanding of how Supercars is planning for the future.

“We went through everything really,” said Seamer.

“We were really transparent around the vision for the sport, the direction that we’re going in, our priorities, what we’re focusing on over the next few months while we can’t go racing, what we’re planning to do when we come back, how we’re thinking about the calendar, update on Gen 3.

“Literally we lifted the hood for them and we got feedback from them. And the biggest thing for me is that we need to do a better job of communicating the good work that we are doing.

“I think there are some quick wins there and there are also some things that we need to fix and improve on, of course, and our objective is to always be better than what you were yesterday, just like a race team. So that’ll feed into those planning processes, which is great.”

Seamer said now was a good time to have their first meeting despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the lengthy delay it has put on proceedings.

“We felt like it was a very worthwhile exercise to understand what was important to the fans to make us better when we do go racing again, but also what was important to them right now while we’re not racing,” he said.

“Is the series resonating with them? Are they excited about the docuseries? What other sorts of content do we need to be putting out in terms of TV shows, marathons, highlight packages? So what content do they want from us?

“The intent of this is for us to start talking with fans, not just talking at them. And for me it was, that’s exactly what I got out of the time with them and I think we’re going to be better at what we do because of it.

“I want (the members) to see that their important ideas are getting executed into the business as soon as possible. I want them to feel like they’re making a difference because they will and I’m, I want them to make a difference for everybody.”

Future meetings will take place at the Supercars office in Sydney once the effect of coronavirus has eased. A rotation policy will be enacted to ensure different opinions are heard.

Seamer said he was appreciative of the members who made time to phone in amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

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