Eleven years ago, the average Singaporean hardly knew anything about motorsports.

“Formula One didn’t have as much as a following as you would with football,” recounted Sasha Rafi, marketing director of F1 Singapore Grand Prix, at the recent Mumbrella Asia Travel Marketing Summit.

“I joined in 2007, and immediately we had to get started on educating ourselves and all of our attendees on what exactly Formula One was,” she said.

Fast forward ten years, and Singapore’s annual street night race in Marina Bay had an all-time high turnout of 260,000 in 2017. Attendance for three nights of Formula One action was up by 18.7% on 2016, compared to an overall 8% global increase for all F1 races.

In an onstage chat with Mumbrella Asia publisher Dean Carroll, Rafi revealed the secrets to the success of the Singapore Grand Prix.

1. Start with awareness, fine-tune with localisation

As the race evolves, so must the marketing behind it.