PSFK 2017 Speaker Interview: Why Building A New Sport Takes Both Innovation and Vision

PSFK 2017 Speaker Interview: Why Building A New Sport Takes Both Innovation and Vision
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We interviewed Nicholas Horbaczewski who's speaking at our PSFK 2017 conference, on the foreseeable future and innovation of drone racing

PSFK
  • 18 may 2017

Nick will be giving us a glimpse of how drone racing works and how its grown at our PSFK 2017 conference on May 19. Get your tickets today before they sell out!


It looks like sports will be forever engrained in our society, no matter how much time passes and technology continues to change our world. It is a huge market and an enjoyable form of entertainment. Nick Horbaczewski went forth and created the innovative sport of drone racing. As the CEO and Founder of the Drone Racing League (DRL), he managed to create a concept that gets drones to race in thrilling settings and acquire major fans along the way.
Nick was at our conference last year, captivating attendees with visuals and an explanation of this new sport. This year, he looks forward to sharing more about the growth of drone racing and how he managed to built up partnerships to see DRL succeed.

What will you be talking about at PSFK this year? What do you hope people get out of it?

I’m looking forward to sharing why and how DRL sped into the sports mainstream. From the world’s top insurance brand Allianz signing on as DRL’s global, multi-year title sponsor for our upcoming season—the Allianz World Championship—to ESPN, Sky, ProSeiben and OSN broadcasting DRL across the world, we’re incredibly proud of the league’s growth in the past year. We hope to inspire other entrepreneurs to discover their purpose and continue to innovate on it as well.

DRL has exploded in a very short period of time, acquiring major sponsorships and media partnerships. What advice would you have for other startups in terms of cultivating meaningful brand partnerships?

Brand partnerships can be a powerful force-multiplier for early stage companies so the temptation to pursue them is strong. My main piece of advice though, is that ‘landing’ a brand partnership is maybe 10% of the work of making it successful. Sometimes people focus too much on the announcement of the partnership, because that instant boost in credibility and awareness is a form of immediate gratification. The reality, though, is that working closely with a major partner and making sure that both sides are coordinating efforts is a lot of hard work. Success will hinge a lot more on the resources you dedicate to the partnership than on the effort you put into courting it.

How have you continued to evolve the fan experience so that drone racing is more exciting and engaging to watch and participate in?

We love bringing the world’s elite drone pilots to some of the most complex and visually stunning racecourses ever created outside of a video game. For our 2017 season, we’re excited to host international races for the first time – with the Allianz World Championship taking place in a Victorian palace in London. Plus, amping up the adrenaline-fueled competition with more speed and sleek design, DRL pilots will fly our new DRL Racer3, the world’s most advanced racing drone, that can go from 0 to 80 miles per hour in under a second.

Tell us more about the DRL Racer3. What does it represent for you? How does it continue to evolve the sport?

Our amazing team of engineers have spent the past year tirelessly building a fleet of 500 drones, the DRL Racer3, by hand to improve the drone’s speed, weight and durability. More powerful and agile than our past model, the DRL Racer3 will serve as the backbone of the sport of the future. It will be flown by the globe’s most elite racing pilots throughout the DRL 2017 Season, the Allianz World Championship, which airs for the first time on June 20 (8pm EST) on ESPN.

 

The theme of this year’s conference is ‘Innovation with Purpose.’ How do you find purpose in your work? How do you continue to innovate and push forward?

We’re lucky at DRL. We’re trying to build a truly novel, futuristic, technology-enabled sport, and we’re still a long way off of realizing the vision we had for drone racing when we started. That means that everyday we get to push the boundaries of technology and see the immediate results in the quality of our events and our race content. Maybe the best recent example of that is our new drone, the DRL Racer3. Working on that drone gave us the license to explore all kinds of challenging technological leaps forward, and within months, it’s been a game changer for the speed and excitement of the races.

Thanks for sharing your thought process, Nicholas! Come see Nicholas take the stage to talk about the future of drone racing at our PSFK 2017 conference on May 19. Get your tickets today before they sell out!

Nicholas Horbaczewski is the CEO & Founder of the Drone Racing League (DRL), the premier international drone racing platform. Before founding DRL in 2015, Nicholas served as the Chief Revenue Officer of Tough Mudder, the largest mass participation running event series in the world, which grew to over 60 global events and $100mm in revenue during his time there. Nicholas also co-founded Leeden Media, an entertainment company for feature-length independent films, and brings his love of production to his work at DRL. Nicholas was recently selected to Crain’s 40 Under 40 list and recognized by Fast Company for building one of the Most Innovative Companies in the world of 2017.

Drone Racing League

Nick will be giving us a glimpse of how drone racing works and how its grown at our PSFK 2017 conference on May 19. Get your tickets today before they sell out!


It looks like sports will be forever engrained in our society, no matter how much time passes and technology continues to change our world. It is a huge market and an enjoyable form of entertainment. Nick Horbaczewski went forth and created the innovative sport of drone racing. As the CEO and Founder of the Drone Racing League (DRL), he managed to create a concept that gets drones to race in thrilling settings and acquire major fans along the way.
Nick was at our conference last year, captivating attendees with visuals and an explanation of this new sport. This year, he looks forward to sharing more about the growth of drone racing and how he managed to built up partnerships to see DRL succeed.

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+Brand Development
+Brand Development
+Drone Racing
+fitness
+Interview
+psfk 2017
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+sport

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