The Business of Being a Race Driver is primarily concerned with tips and advice related to how a driver can acquire sponsorship, the costs involved in racing (both direct and ancillary) as well as showcasing drives that are available. It also looks at sponsorship from the sponsors’ perspective which is important for a driver to understand. It is not just about what you can get from a sponsor but more importantly, what they can get from sponsoring you. The more you know, the more effective you will be in getting those sponsors you need to pursue your motorsport plans.
This week, The Business of Being a Race Driver is jam packed with great tips and advice from leading experts. There is advice on what kind of sales skills you require to get sponsorship, all the hard work involved, some courses and webinars you can take, and what superpower you possess as an athlete. As always, do not forget to take notes!
The Business of Racing
- Racing Mentor looks at the sales skills you will need to get a racing sponsor. “Your skills as a racing driver will get you noticed by team bosses, commentators, supporters, and fans. But when it comes to closing a sponsorship deal to take your racing career to the next level, it’s not always easy to bring the same level of confidence.”
- Speaking of Racing Mentor, they have just released a self-paced version of their Sponsorship Success Academy. “For drivers who want to level up their sponsorship game on their own schedule, we created the self-paced version of the Sponsorship Academy. It has access to all the same recordings, workbooks, and templates as the Live version of the course.” They have also released a case study on how NASCAR Xfinity driver Dawson Cram and Cram Racing Enterprises operations manager Kimberley Cram joined cohort one of the Sponsorship Success Academy in September 2021 and used that knowledge. “My confidence is now huge”.
- In Don’t Let Money be Your Excuse, sponsorship consultant Alex Striler has excellent advice applicable to all race drivers. “While money is certainly an important component of racing, don’t let it be your excuse for not winning races. Beat your competition with intelligence, innovation, and persistence—and the money will follow.”
- Megan Meyer answers the question: Is ROI better than exposure? “Finding sponsors for the upcoming race season can feel like an all-consuming process. You may have done all the correct research leading up to when you meet with a potential sponsor, and the brand could be a perfect fit for your race team, but if you don’t know how you can provide a return on their investment (ROI) then you might be turned down.”
- MotiV8 Training has announced their new Grow Your Fans Masterclass that will be taking place August 31st. “We have a masterclass with Ed Smith from the Social Sandwich coming to share the latest trends and how to use analytics to help with your social media content creation and sponsorship proposals. Join us for free, live on Zoom 7pm. Register your interest here. If you can’t attend at that time, still register to get the recording and workbook. We will be holding a social media content creation challenge in October, stay tuned for that!“
- MotiV8 Training have also released a replay of the recording of their 10 Things You Can Do Now To Gain Sponsorship Webinar.
- Megan Meyer is putting on a free webinar called 5 Reasons Why your sponsorship deck is backwards and how to fix it that looks to be very helpful. The are two dates that you can pick from and they are September 5th and 6th. “Racers, do you want to learn to make a high converting sponsorship deck, present your deck with confidence and clarity, and secure maximum funding for next year’s race season?” You can sign up here.
- In his latest Lesson For The Day, motorsport marketing consultant Daryl Curtis explains how Sponsorships Don’t Happen Without A Lot Of Work. “Discipline, commitment, motivation, willingness to learn and always staying up on the latest news is a requirement to your success.”
- I have talked about how important B2B (business to business) sponsorships are to a race driver on numerous occasions (such as here). For a great illustration of B2B done right, have a look at the latest issue of Partnerships magazine by sports management and marketing agency MB Partners. While you may not be at quite that level, it is always important to study those doing things effectively in order to learn from their best practices. Flipping through the virtual pages of Partnership will give you an idea of how to treat your partners. A happy partner is one that is willing to keep sponsoring you.
- The Brand Builders looks at The Superpower 99% of Athletes Hold in Modern Marketing. “Now, here’s where the 99% of athletes get to enjoy a win-win. And by 99% we mean athletes that don’t have huge media profiles (just yet, at least) but still have incredible stories, networks and value to offer.”
- Power Sponsorship looks at The Most Precious Resource in Sponsorship is Time. “The moment a sponsor receives a proposal, the clock starts ticking. Every day a great proposal sits unread in an inbox is a day of leverage planning and implementation you’ll never get back. Every day you put off that leverage planning or you let bureaucracy slow you down, your list of leverage options gets shorter.”
- Power Sponsorship also looks at How Long Should You Follow Up on a Sponsorship Proposal? “First off, I am all for following up. Sponsors are busy and get lots of approaches, and it is both the prudent and professional thing to do. What I’m not in favour of is overdoing it. Following up too much, or for too long, doesn’t make you look committed and pro-active. It makes you look unprofessional and desperate, and neither is how you want a sponsor to see you.”
- Drive Sports Marketing looks at how a company should use sponsorship assets. They look at logos, paddock passes and more. “When we talk about sponsorship in motorsport, meaning all the categories that make it up, it is correct to go beyond the surface of sponsorship and understand what benefits it offers to those who sponsor a team.”
- I have talked about NIL (Name, Image, Likeness) rights on numerous occasions in this column and I maintain that it is extremely important for drivers to understand what these rights cover and how other athletes in other sports are monetizing their NIL rights, if only to just get you thinking of the possibilities. Forbes looks at How Tina Graudina Leveraged Her NIL Deals To Fuel Her AVP Fort Lauderdale Win. “The last year at college, they changed the NIL [rules] and it was a breath of relief,” she said. “We started thinking of all the endless opportunities. It felt like we had freedom. There were people who wanted to support my journey as an athlete, and beach volleyball isn’t one of the most lucrative sports. It was amazing to finally get support from companies that would like to help me, and it would now be legal.”
- Marketing and branding company Blauw looks at something they call the Sponsorship Involvement Model which looks at how to improve sponsorship impact. Our research proved that the main driver of sponsorship impact is sports fans’ enthusiasm about a sponsorship. The more enthusiasm about the sponsorship, the higher the impact on brand perception will be. Sponsorship enthusiasm is in turn determined by three success factors:
- The perceived sponsorship fit
- The credibility of the sponsorship
- The sponsorship’s added value
- There has been a lot of chatter about having F2 and F3 support F1 racing in Australia in 2023, with many questioning the expense, sustainability and rationale for such a move. One thing that cannot be denied is the advantage it gives to Australian drivers. In F1 feeder series at Albert Park more than just support categories, Speed Cafe looks at how these drivers can leverage these races with their local sponsors. “Traditionally, Australian youngsters have had to leave home and spend their formative years racing abroad, with little coverage or name recognition until they reach the point where they’re associated with Formula 1.”
The Costs of Racing
- Last week I presented two possible scenarios if a driver salary cap was instituted in F1 in Would an F1 Salary Cap Hold Back Investment in Young Drivers? “Regardless of the reasons, I present to you two differing views on the impact that such a cap could theoretically have on young drivers. Since such a cap may or may not happen, it is interesting to understand the issue and to see if such a cap would be a detriment or not to young driver development. Here is a brief summary of the two competing views of what would be the impact of such a salary cap on the development of young race drivers.”