As 2022 comes to an end, with respect to the business of being a race driver, you should already be preparing for 2023. This week’s Business of Being a Race Driver Roundup column contains plenty of ideas and information that will help.
This week I feature a number of tips of what you can do to prepare for 2023, some case studies to review, some predictions for what is to come both in motorsport sponsorship as well as the business of being an athlete in general, as well some information on topics as diverse as motorsport insurance and the costs of motorsport marketing.
All this in the final Business of Being a Race Driver Roundup for 2022.
The Business of Racing
From the Driver’s Point of View
The Racing Mentor looks at those motorsport sponsorship tasks that you need to complete in the off-season. “There’s plenty you can be getting on with. Winter testing is one thing but there are plenty of business and admin tasks that come with being a racing driver. If you race in a team then you might not have as much to do but for those of you flying solo, it’s time to start thinking like an entrepreneur.”
One of the things you should consider for 2023 if you do not already have one is a newsletter. Megan Meyer has some great tips in Hate Sending a Newsletter? 7 Ideas to Change Your Mind that should help you along in the process. “You know that connecting with your fans and sponsors is important—and that if you only do that on Instagram or Facebook, you’re building a house on rented land. If you want to build an audience that you can engage with on your own terms, you need to send your email list a newsletter. And you probably already have one started from years ago—but when was the last time you used it? What if you hate the idea sending out a newsletter? You just can’t stand sending race updates every week, or you’re totally stumped by what to send during the off-season.”
Megan Meyer also looks at the state of motorsports sponsorships in 2023 and brings back 5 takeaways on the topic after attending the recent PRI trade show. “I just came back from the 2022 Performance Racing Industry (PRI) Trade Show and it was epic. I love going to trade shows year after year and being totally immersed in the racing world for a few days. One of my key takeaways from the week was that the state of motorsports sponsorships is very healthy after Covid. The booths and halls were filled with people networking and getting new products and equipment for 2023. I talked to lots of people from across the industry and they all only had good, encouraging things to say.”
One things that Megan mentions in the post I linked to above is the upcoming 2023 Motorsports Sponsorship Summit set to take place online on January 7, 2023. You still have time to take advantage of their early bird registration discount which expires on December 21st.
Marketing guru Frankie M has posted a case study of the work he has done with race driver Hunter Yeany that is informative. “Despite being a formidable force in an up-and-coming class of formula racing athletes, Hunter Yeany recognized that the road to Formula 1 would depend on more than pure performance. Preparing to enter his first full FIAF3 season as a free agent, I partnered with Hunter and his team to build a personal brand that would elevate him as an athlete and inspire relevance beyond the sport’s traditional audiences.” Hunter has signed with Carlin for the 2023 FIA F3 season.
Racer.com has a great feature on race driver Josh Bilicki that tracks his unconventional route to NASCAR. “Road courses were always my background and my first love and I grew up racing karts from age four up to age 16. From there I started racing sports cars in the SCCA at age 14,” he relates. “I ran a couple IMSA races in a BMW and I also a few Trans Am races. However, and all along the way, I always wanted to take the next step. I was really struggling to put together the budget that I needed to go professional racing and to make a living. I did a lot of driver coaching and that’s how I made a living from age 18 to 22. But that’s not what I wanted to do. I wanted to drive. I wanted to be a race car driver and race competitively.”
F1 Feeder Series tells the story of how Tatiana Calderón got sponsored by the most viewed artist of 2022. “Once I knew I was not going to be finishing the season in IndyCar, my sister [Paula Calderón] started talking to everybody, [asking], ‘Do you want to sponsor or [get] an activation?’
Charlotte Woods, General Manager at The Brand Builders, makes her 2023 Athlete Brand Predictions. “I’ve been thinking about what next year will look like in the Athlete Brand world. What will remain the same? What will look a little different? So I thought I’d share my musings with you in my final 2022 newsletter.”
Motorsport Prospects has covered using NFTs and the Blockchain before on News Racers Can Use in the context of raising money for your racing budget. Matt Payne adds to the conversation on MotiV8 Training podcast episode 134, NFT’S and the latest trends to growing your brand. “Have you considered using NFT’s for sponsorship? Do you know how it works, (we didn’t!). Matt also tells us the latest trends he learned at a recent sponsorship conference he attend in Melbourne and what other sports are doing post covid.” You can listen here.
Andrew Petcash discusses Athletes and Social Media (Plus Where It’s Going). “We now have college athletes making 7 figures thanks to brand deals (and over 80% of these deals involve social media). But what does the full landscape of athletes and social media look like?“
From the Sponsors Point of View
Sport Dimensions looks at 3 Questions to Ask of Your Sponsorship Program. “Ends of quarters, ends of event seasons and other “ends of” are fitting times to review your suite of partnerships to make sure you are making the most out of new and ever-changing assets. It also can provide a window to consult with an objective third party that will be able to identify opportunities and hang-ups more efficiently. To get you started, let these three questions guide you toward a more productive and value-based sponsorship program.”
Grand Prix Studio looks at what makes motorsports marketing and design work more or less expensive? “Price is usually a large factor when any entity in motorsports is deciding to work with a studio or agency. But what does the price say about a studio’s work? And how can you use this pricing model to your own advantage?“
The Costs of Racing
Winding Road Magazine explains who insures race car drivers and their cars? “Most people are familiar with insurance for their daily drivers, but what about insurance for race car drivers and their cars? It turns out that there are quite a few options out there for those looking to insure their race cars.”
I also covered the topic in 8 Things about Motorsport Insurance That You Should Know.
This will be the last Business of Being a Race Driver of 2022. I am taking a break to recharge my batteries and relax with family and friends over the holidays. A new edition will be published on January 3, 2023. Happy holidays everyone!