RENO, Nev. (Dec. 15, 2021) —The Reno Air Racing Association brought home a platinum Pinnacle Award in the Large Civilian Air Show category for its 2021 social media and influencer program. The award was given at the International Council of Air Shows (ICAS) Convention last week in Las Vegas. The platinum level is the highest given in this category at the annual convention.

The 2021 STIHL National Championships returned this year after being sidelined by the pandemic in 2020. New this year the Reno Air Racing Association introduced an influencer marketing program inviting key influencers to experience the Air Races firsthand.

“We’ve long tried to catch the attention of a younger demographic and this new program has really expanded our audience, exposing this unique event to new eyes,” said Fred Telling, Chairman and CEO of the Reno Air Racing Association. “It’s an honor to be recognized for our efforts by our peers at ICAS.”

Eighteen social media influencers with a net following of more than five million were invited to the races to help promote to their followers on various platforms. The concept was to bring in a wide variety of personalities and provide them with exciting experiences they could share with their audiences. By coordinating their efforts, the collective output was even more effective because influencers not only shared their own encounters but how they were enjoyed together. This unique use of their talents made the influencer marketing program at the STIHL National Championship Air Races a spectacular success that impressed the ICAS judges.

The organization’s Instagram account received nearly double the followers and impressions increased by nearly 700,000. The influencers posted 261 Instagram stories, 39 posts, five reels, five YouTube videos and 21 TikTok’s to their audiences.

“I can’t thank our team enough for their efforts in introducing this new program,” said Telling. “This year was a great success and we look forward to doing even more in 2022.”

The 58th STIHL National Championship Air Races will return to Northern Nevada Sept. 14-18, 2022. More information about volunteering, donating, attending, scholarship information and more can be found at


About the STIHL National Championship Air Races
The STIHL National Championship Air Races are held every September just north of Reno by the Reno Air Racing Association, a 501(c)(3). The event has become an institution for Northern Nevada and aviation enthusiasts from around the world with seven racing classes, a large display of static aircraft and several military and civilian flight demonstrations. Independent economic impact studies show that the event generates as much as $100 million annually for the local economy. For more information on the National Championship Air Races, visit