DR1 Racing is the latest in drone racing leagues. Sponsored by Mountain Dew, their first race will be livestreamed this August.
In the first season of DR1 Racing, 12 pilots will race against each other in “locations around the world.” Their first event will take place at the Sepulveda Dam in Los Angeles, California with 11 invited pilots, plus one pilot who won the spot through a show on Twitch.
The entire league is sponsored by Mountain Dew. This is the first sponsorship deal of this size in drone racing. Also sponsored by Mountain Dew is pilot Ummagawd (Tommy Tibajia), the largest sponsorship deal for a pilot. Doritos and AMP Energy drink will be supporting sponsers.
“The DR1 Invitational presented by Mountain Dew is the inaugural event for DR1 Racing. Held at the iconic Sepulveda Dam in Los Angeles, California, the race will have some of the top pilots in the world competing against each other for two days.”
The first event, the DR1 Invitational, will be a livestreamed two-day race on Twitch. This is also a first for Twitch as they move more into streaming live-action events. The Drone Racing League (DRL) previously aired their pre-recorded the final episode of Level 1: Miami Lights to a hyped up Twitch audience.
The Invitational will also air on the Discovery Channel and the Science Channel.
DR1 Racing has heavy involvement by Rotor Riot. All pilots from Rotor Riot are included on the invite list to the DR1 Invitational. Also invited are World Drone Prix winner Banni UK, winner of the GoPro race at XDC2 A_Nub (Zachry Taylor), and Bapu (Bapu Badhu).
DR1 will also produce drone racing shows on Twitch and YouTube. On the list is Rotor Riot Live and Big Whoop Live to “discuss all things drone”, in addition to Drone Tech with Bapu to discuss drone repair. ZoeFPV will occasionally stream on DR1’s Twitch to provide a introduction on drone flying to beginners. DR1 intends to live stream two nights a week on Twitch.
This is a big splash in the world of drone racing. With one event DR1 is comparing against the DRL events, the IDRA Drone Nationals streaming on ESPN, and providing original content that many YouTube and livestream channels from community pilots currently cover.
A close community of pilots, built on DIY and grassroots flying, can be suspicious of a huge sponsor entering the drone racing world. But that may be what it takes to keep pilots flying professionally.
“We are looking forward to these sponsors coming in.” said Chris Thomas, founder of MultiGP and another partner of DR1.