Drone Racing League Flourishes as Air Force Recruiting Outlet

As it prepares for the 2023-24 season, the Drone Racing League has renewed its partnership with the U.S. Air Force, its longest-running sponsor.

This year, racers will compete from the “U.S. Air Force DRL Flight Deck,” and one pilot will be sponsored by USAF.

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“The league engages a coveted audience of young, high-energy Tech-Setters who have a passion for flight, innovation and technology,” U.S. Air Force Brigadier General Christopher Amrhein said in a statement. “They are future U.S. Air Force recruits and airmen, and a core reason why we continue to renew our partnership with DRL year after year.”

The service has sponsored the DRL since 2017 (the league’s second season), with annual expansions. The tie-up started with gaming elements and digital content and moved to race course integration last year.

“As we continue to create new strategic opportunities for the U.S. Air Force to develop their talent-pipeline and engage prospective drone pilots and engineers, we’ve seen amazing growth and fan affinity for the Air Force,” DRL president Rachel Jacobson said via email. “Over 80% of our fans agree that our partnership is a great fit, and they are 30x more likely to engage with the U.S. Air Force on social than the general population.”

The Drone Racing League’s other partners include Google Cloud, Allianz and T-Mobile. Its season sponsor is blockchain company Algorand as part of a $100 million, five-year agreement. Over the course of the last season, the league claimed to reach 320 million households around the world, including 12 million followers on social channels.

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