With just 200 days to go until the 2011 Isle of Man TT Races fuelled by Monster Energy, worldwide interest is growing fast thanks to the rapid expansion of the event’s presence on the internet.
No longer simply about two weeks in June, the TT Races now make headlines all year as details of teams, riders and special events are announced. Fans around the world are receiving the latest headlines as they happen from the official TT website, iomtt.com, the official Twitter feed (www.twitter.com/iom_tt) and the official Facebook fan page.
Despite being launched just a few months ago, the official Facebook TT page now has more than 30,000 fans. The page delivers regular updates on the latest news, as well as giving fans a forum to talk about the event, exchange opinions and swap tips about visiting the TT.
The Twitter feed, also launched earlier this year, offers another way for TT ‘followers’ to discuss the event, plus, of course, the discussion forum on the official website iomtt.com is always buzzing with rumour and debate about the TT.
The expansion of the TT into social networking followed the relaunch of iomtt.com ahead of the 2010 TT. The new-look site offers TT videos, downloads, exclusive photos, advice on visiting the TT and much more.
Currently, teams and riders are engaged in negotiations for next year’s road racing season. Honda has announced it will run the same riders for its official roads effort in 2011, with 15-time TT-winner John McGuinness joined by Scotsman Keith Amor, who will be looking for his first win.
Relentless by TAS Suzuki surprised many by revealing the first rider for its 2011 line-up would be perennial fans’ favourite Guy Martin. The forum on iomtt.com was buzzing with speculation about who would be Guy’s teammate, until this week’s announcement the team was retaining Cameron Donald, whether Martin can break his TT duck, and where the other contenders will end up.
Fans worldwide have been keeping up to date with these and other developments through the official TT Facebook page and Twitter feed.
The internet presence of the TT is managed by Isle of Man-based Duke Marketing, and Managing Director Peter Duke said:
“The addition of Facebook and Twitter to the TT’s online presence has seen global online traffic grow rapidly, with interest in the TT being maintained all year and not solely while the event is on.”
“The TT is more than 100-years-old and has long enjoyed a worldwide fan base, essentially a global TT ’club’. In the past, the only real opportunity for the members of this ‘club’ to get together to discuss the latest news, rumours and developments was at the TT itself. Now, the arrival of the TT on social networking sites allows fans to read the latest news as it happens, discuss what’s going on, share speculation and swap tips about travelling to the TT every minute of every day with Facebook, Twitter and iomtt.com.”
Mr Duke added:
“The enhanced internet presence has also meant enjoying the racing isn’t just restricted to people who visit the Isle of the TT itself. The free TT Live! service, which combines live timing and Manx Radio commentary, lets fans with web access anywhere in the world follow every session as it happens, and this year they were doing that in their thousands. At its peak, TT Live! was being used by more than 32,000 people from 179 countries and territories.”
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