I had the amazing opportunity to talk with Emma Elsbecker this week and learn all about her work in motorsports, specifically her work with Race Service. Race Service is a media agency that helps connect drivers, influencers, and artists around their shared passion for both car culture and pop culture.
Her Campus (HC): Let’s start simple! Tell me a little bit about yourself.
Emma Elsbecker (EE): Hi! My name is Emma Elsbecker, I’m a student at Dartmouth College and an intern at Race Service. At Dartmouth, I study Quantitative Social Science with a focus on motorsports marketing. At Race Service, I wear a lot of hats – social media organization, project management, assistant producing, etc. with a lot of different accounts but basically, all are automotive, or motorsports related. Outside of work and school, I run an F1 TikTok account/blog: @TheFormulaOneNation. I definitely gravitate most toward F1-related projects but I’m becoming a bigger fan of other racing series every day!
HC: What got you interested in working in motorsports?
EE: I remember watching NASCAR races with my dad growing up, although I wasn’t super interested at the time, it is a core memory from my childhood. I maintained an interest in F1 and racing throughout my life and then became more interested in sports analytics during COVID. During COVID downtime my interest in racing was revitalized and my dad and I started watching most races together. I was feeling unfulfilled and burnt out in the industry I was initially pursuing and about six months after that I took a risk and changed my major to start pursuing jobs in motorsports marketing! A few months after starting my search I connected with Race Service, and I’ve been with the team ever since.
HC: You run a blog, you’re a TikTok creator and keep your Instagram filled with new content. Out of all these different platforms, what is your favorite content to make?
EE: Making any content has become somewhat challenging because I have a lot less free time now, but probably TikTok! Because it is mostly short-form, I’m able to make fun short videos whenever I have extra time before or after work. This past week I was able to show what the behind-the-scenes of working at an F1 race looks like and although the videos didn’t have high production value, they were still a cool authentic way to connect with a bigger motorsports community.
HC: Tell me more about getting to work at Race Service. As someone interested in a career in sports, I want to know everything!
EE: I tend to find that many F1 (and motorsports in general) fans have ingested Race Service content for years without knowing it – do you love Daniel Ricciardo helmets and merch? Are you a fan of Ryan Tuerck and Formula Drift? Did you see the cool NBA F1 crossover at the ’21 Austin GP? All of those are projects that Race Service either created or captured the content for! Like many others, I liked Race Service content for a few years without realizing that it was Race Service. I discovered Race Service about 18 months ago and realized that it was exactly where I wanted to be.
Race Service lets you wear multiple hats and work across industries and projects. Because of how many different things we do, no day looks the same. In general, I do a fair amount of social media organization, planning, and analysis which means that I scan through lots of data, decide what is working and what isn’t, and then integrate that information into our upcoming social planning. I’m increasingly working in other Race Service events and activations – this normally means brainstorming event layouts, finding vendors, planning content capture, etc. If you are interested in Race Service definitely follow our Instagram and TikTok which I help manage. If you’re in LA, you should also come to our Rise and Shine events on the first Wednesday of every month!
HC: What was it like getting to work at the USGP?
EE: I found out about 2 weeks before the race that I was going so it was a whirlwind getting everything planned! We were in ATX Monday to Monday and worked all day basically every day. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday were intensive set-up in the paddock— these days were probably my favorite because we saw the paddock be pieced together hour by hour. Thursday is the majority of media capture for activations (for example, the ESPN Golf activation we helped with) so we spent most of the day getting drivers in and out of the golf simulator and capturing as much content as we could. After that, we were maintaining our activation and captured the content of awesome VIPs that came through.
Getting to work at the USGP is probably the coolest thing that I’ve ever done, but I was definitely so busy the whole time that I was more focused on getting everything done than the craziness surrounding me. We watched the race from the Big Red Turn 1 grandstand and that was a nice and very appreciated moment to take a breath and appreciate what a cool race we were at! Essentially, working at the race was so incredibly fun, but it was definitely hard work!
HC: Do you have any advice for someone wanting to do something similar in the future?
EE: Getting a job in motorsports is challenging, but (to borrow a racing term) I think the best strategy is sometimes just having your elbows out. Cold emailing creative agencies to show just how passionate you are, consistently filling out interest forms for teams, and finding ways to curate a portfolio of interest are great ways to make an impact when you speak with a potential job. To me, creating blogs or social media accounts is a good way to show companies that you have valuable skills like content creation, copywriting, editing skills, etc.
You don’t have to do anything crazy, but showing interest in the field and proof-of-concept that you can do work in this industry is a good way to make your application stand out. It is also worth checking if you have any school alumni who work for teams or agencies— if you have your school in your LinkedIn profile it will show you if any alumni work for companies you are curious about when you search them on LinkedIn. Finally, going to any open events is a good way to meet and become integrated with teams. At Race Service, we host monthly Rise and Shine events to bring the motorsports community in LA together. Events like these are good chances to make agency staff familiar with you ahead of applying for jobs.
HC: I feel like we need to end with a fun question, so who is the coolest person you have gotten to meet?
EE: Hmm this is a tough one. Working with Daniel Ricciardo (DR) and his team is probably at the top of my list. Race Service hosted an event with DR to launch his soon-to-be-released third wine where I was able to work with DR and his team. DR is one of the kindest and most down-to-earth drivers I’ve met and is genuinely interested in the people he works with. His team is also incredibly nice. I interacted with Blake and Michael only a few times but they still made a point to say hi and chat with me when I bumped into them in the paddock!
HC: Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk with me! I can’t wait to see all the great content that I know you will continue to make!
If you’ve been waiting for your sign to dive head-first into something, this is it! If you are feeling burnout doing what you’ve been doing, start something new. Pursue a passion that you have always wanted and you never know; maybe you could find yourself working at an event with a company you love and doing what you love.