Cox finds new way to brand its connectivity offering: drone racing

Image: Drone Racing League

While Comcast has plunged $20 million into a multiplayer video game league and put CEO Brian Roberts’ son, Tucker, in charge of it, Cox Communications is now involved in some fringe-sport action of its own.

The privately held Atlanta cable operator has announced its involvement in the Drone Racing League, building the Wi-Fi network that will underpin league events while sponsoring one of the DRL’s top guns, Nick “WildWilly” Willard. 

Willard, who is also from Atlanta, is one of 18 remote control jockeys who will race custom-built drones during a seven-event DRL season. The events will be broadcast to more than 75 countries on networks including ESPN, Sky Sports, ProSiebenSat.1, OSN, FOX Sports Asia, and Disney XD.

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Cox said its sponsorship will include a custom commercial spot produced by DRL’s media team, digital content creation and live freestyle events, where Willard will perform drone tricks and maneuvers while wearing a branded uniform.

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The cable operator is billing the seemingly wacky sponsorship deal is a way to show off its market position in a vitally important but somewhat nebulously understood consumer connectivity marketplace.

“The Drone Racing League is an undeniable reminder of the speed and performance excellence required by today’s connected devices. We’re proud to sponsor DRL and support millions of other high-speed applications with our nationwide network,” said Mark Greatrex, executive VP and chief marketing and sales officer at Cox, in a statement.

For his part, Willard is described as a “two-time third-place DRL winner”—perhaps a good fit for America’s No. 3 cable operator.

“Cox is a top tech brand in the community so flying under their name feels like I’ve got a piece of home with me,” said the drone racer.