Fond of numerology? Good with predictions? Have a psychic knack? Try this out:
Predict Ryan Briscoe's pole qualifying speed on Saturday and you might find your psychic self in a seat at the Indianapolis 500, courtesy of Mr. Briscoe himself.
It's all part of an unusual promotion cooked up by Briscoe and his wife, ESPN's Nicole Manske Briscoe, to generate buzz around the launch of Briscoe's new website, www.ryanbriscoe.com, and his Twitter feed, @ryanbriscoe6. If you're the closest to Briscoe's four-lap qualifying average during Saturday's Pole Day for the Indianapolis 500, you and your closest psychic friend or relative will be flown to Indianapolis, receive four nights at the downtown Marriott, two tickets to the race and two tickets to Carb Day, pit passes and some Ryan Briscoe Racing gear.
And (naturally) you'll get to meet the guy whose speed you knew before it happened.
The promotion probably wouldn't be unusual if it came from a team or sponsor or sanctioning body. But Briscoe is paying the expenses out-of-pocket, simply trying to produce interest in his website and his foray into Twitter.
“Nicole and I are really new on the social networking thing,” Briscoe explains. “We were trying to figure out how we can make that work best and make it something that's good for the fans. We started following some people on the NASCAR side, and we saw that Kyle Busch was doing lots of competitions on his website. I thought, ‘That's a really good idea.' It keeps the fans interested in what you're doing.”
Here's how it works: Submit your best educated guess to Briscoe's Twitter account, @ryanbriscoe6. Be sure to include the hash tag #briscoeindy500 and your best guess at his starting position, which will be used as a tiebreaker. Submit by 11:59 p.m. on Friday, then wait to see what you already knew would happen.
The coolest part of this promotion? It's not just personal. Briscoe is certain, as are many of his colleagues, that the IndyCar Series is on the rise. Driver-generated contests and giveaways don't just benefit the driver who foots the bill, but benefit the series as a whole.
“At the moment, the league has some really good buzz around it, and I think something like this helps with that momentum,” Briscoe says. “If we can help give people a good vibe about our form of racing, then I'm happy to do it. It's something that's exciting to talk about. If people see what we're doing, they'll take an interest in it.”
Briscoe has been keeping an eye on the early guesstimates, but has no insider knowledge. He also has no idea what to expect from his contest, except that he knows two people will be having a blast in Indy on race weekend.
“I really don't have any expectations,” Briscoe says. “Someone is going to win, and that's the important thing. We'll find out more as the week goes on and more people get into it. If I had to guess what my qualifying speed would be right now, I'd have no idea.”
If you're the potential winner, you already know.