CrowdStrike is known in the motorsport world as a successful race team involved in various forms of racing. To the cybersecurity world, it’s one of the global leaders in protecting and preventing cyber breaches. In 2023, CrowdStrike becomes the title sponsor of the 24 Hours of Spa, the greatest GT race in the world.
President and CEO George Kurtz brings his company CrowdStrike to the forefront of GT racing history as the former race winner returns for another run in the endurance classic in the No. 04 CrowdStrike Racing by Riley Mercedes-AMG GT3. While it may be easy to assume the sponsorship comes as a passion project for Kurtz, in actuality, CrowdStrike uses the race to combine education and community on a global stage to propel ideas to make the digital world safer.
While at the track the CrowdStrike team will showcase the commonalities between sport and cybersecurity.
“When you think about CrowdStrike and you think about motorsports, there is one common element and that is speed,” Kurtz said. “Obviously speed in the car and lap time but in cybersecurity it really is all about speed in terms of detecting and stopping security breaches. The second piece is then the little details that matter most. The details when you race and in our technology in how we protect customers.
“There are similarities in the idea of team. You're not going to prevent breaches unless you have the right team. You’re not going to win races without the right team. Then when you think about the platform motorsports provides there are a lot of technology people and buyers in it. There is brand awareness of what we’re doing with Spa and other places.”
On-site the CrowdStrike will host a CXO Summit for some of the best and brightest in business. The opportunity here is not only to share ideas and educate those in the technology world but also bring them into the world of racing.
“We are hosting a summit at Spa this year,” Kurtz said. “We have many guests coming from all over the world, in particular, Europe. We will have a big round table of experts talking about security and how those working in security can learn from others. It's really about sharing best practices and ideas. We talk about how we’ve solved some of the major problems out there. When you get customers and prospects together, they talk and build bonds. It’s a small tight-knit community just like racing.
“After the summit, I’ll be racing but the guests will be immersed in the race experience. To see the car, sit in the car, be in the pitlane and have someone to root for is very unique. In Europe, I think people often get the opportunity to attend football games and other sports but rarely racing. So, it's very much a unique experience for the guests in attendance.”
Kurtz notes that the sponsorship of the 24 Hours of Spa is the largest international motorsport undertaking CrowdStrike has optioned. CrowdStrike now ties into to nearly a hundred years of history with the first year of the race dating back to 1924 and has been held annually with the exception of a few years during World War II.
“When we think about Spa and the history of that race. It certainly is one of the top races to win and certainly the top GT race in the world. So, when the opportunity came up to be the title sponsor, we jumped at it because it's so widely viewed and publicized. For GT racers, which is a big part of what we do here at CrowdStrike Racing, it is the premier race. We wanted to draw in that association with SRO and in Europe which is a large market for us.”
The CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa takes place July 1st and 2nd on the 4.33-mile, 19-turn circuit in Belgium. Fans can watch the action live on SRO’s YouTube channel GT World. Or join in the conversation on the SRO Motorsports Twitch channel hosted by Ash Vandelay. For more, visit www.crowdstrike24hoursofspa.com.