The Business of Being a Race Driver for October 18, 2022

The Business of Being a Race Driver for October 18, 2022
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Every week, the Business of Being a Race Driver column covers all aspects of the business side of racing, such as sponsorship acquisition, the costs involved in racing (car, equipment, insurance, etc.) as well as the availability of potential racing opportunities.

While the focus is on you the race driver, it is essential that you understand how and why a business would want to sponsor you. So, the column also looks at the business of racing from the sponsors point of view for you to better understand what sponsors want.

This week I have separated the posts into two groups. In the first I look at the business of racing from the driver’s point of view and in the second I look at the issue from the sponsors point of view. Implementing the former is obviously important but understanding the latter could be the difference between landing that sponsor or not.

I also mention the importance of giving back to the community by getting involved in a charitable project close to your heart. While there are of course positive business implications in doing so, the overriding reason to get involved in a charitable activity is to give back to the community that you authentically care about.

Finally, there are some racing opportunities for you to investigate.

Let’s go!

The Business of Racing

From the Driver’s Point Of View

  • Megan Meyer explains why you need to avoid this sponsorship package structure. “You need to break up with the traditional sponsorship package structure of gold, silver, and bronze. In this post, we’ll be covering why you should be avoiding this old-school pitching structure, as well as what you should consider doing instead. You’re totally capable of landing dream sponsors, but doing what “has always been done” isn’t going to get you there.”
  • In one of his recent “Lesson For The Day” posts, motorsport marketing consultant Daryl Curtis asks the question, why should I buy what you’re selling?Why should I buy what you’re selling? Is that, at the end of the day, not the question that you are trying to answer as a motorsports marketer? Just because you offer a glitzy marketing deck, a host of promises and the potential sponsor gets to see their name on my car, isn’t that enough? Why won’t that potential sponsor immediately say “YES!
  • For Canadian NASCAR driver Amber Balcaen, racing is all business and she proves that every weekend that she is racing in NASCAR’s ARCA Menards Series. “Even with all these demands, Balcaen knows the importance of the business side – ensuring her sponsors are getting their money’s worth. In addition to physical and mental training, her days often include appearances, trade shows, commercials and content creation for current sponsors, as well as sponsorship negotiations to get new ones. That commitment is something she learned young. “Looks don’t put you in a race car,” she said in a recent interview. “The only thing that puts you in a race car is money and talent – but more money than anything else.”
The Business of Being a Race Driver for October 18, 2022
  • The Business of Being a Race Driver is not only about raising the money you need to in order to race, it is also about being able to make a positive contribution to causes you feel passionately about. The most exciting part? Doing it in a creative way that maximizes your cause’s exposure. This is what Arca Menards Series driver Logan Misuraca is doing with her 1 in a Million program and its campaign to raise awareness about the importance of mental health. “1inaMillion.Life is a movement to spread awareness of Mental Health. Our goal is to mold a community, normalize the journey, talk of its existence, and most importantly to share the opportunity to grow. Together with our racing team, our amazing sponsors, supporters, and YOU, the 1inaMillion.Life ARCA car will be run all around the country with your name, photo, logo, etc. for Logan Misuraca’s 2023 Arca Menards Racing Season.” You can find out more about the program here.
  • Finally, Digital Racing Cards LLC, in conjunction with Race Face Brand Development, has launched a new program for drivers and fans that features Digital MP4 Collectible Cards. “The initiative is open to all drivers across various disciplines of motorsports, creating a new and unique way to promote a driver’s brand, provide additional exposure for sponsorship partners, and to connect digitally with avid race fans and team supporters.” You can find out more information on the program here.

From the Sponsors Point of View

Motorsport Marketing Campaign
Photo: via James Naumann
  • Motorsport Promotions consultant James Naumann answers the question, what makes a Motorsports Marketing Program?Impressions are the backbone of any marketing program. The race vehicle, transporter and crew are billboards drawing attention to your brand. The websites, Facebook pages and other social media sites reaching throughout the world wide web, and subscription TV reaching people from the camper to the living room all generating impressions. The key is managing these impressions to create a call to action when using the media.”
  • Power Sponsorship explains sponsorship pricing basics. “I get more questions about sponsorship pricing than any other aspect of sponsorship. I wish there were an easy answer – a magic wand I could wave that would make the right number appear out of thin air – but I’m afraid it’s just not that simple. That said, it’s not rocket science, either, and there are some definite rights and wrongs.”
  • Sports marketing agency Sport Dimensions presents the 4 Pillars of Sponsorship Value. “We have seen the marketplace adapt to many shifts across our work in different series, sports, brands and partners. Now more than ever, these essential pillars of value are shining through the more mainstream vanities such as views, attendee counts, and impressions. You will find new and fresh value when your organization limits the inbound noise to focus on these core principles. These principles have been distilled down to their most essential form so you can get right to it.”
  • Sports Marketing Agency Drive Sports Marketing discusses global sponsorship vs regional sponsorship. “When defining the sponsorship strategy, companies sometimes struggle to decide whether to sign a global sports sponsorship or a regional one. Although there are sports that are truly global phenomena, a company might want to focus only on some of the countries touched by that specific sport. They also do that with the idea of investing less money in the sponsorship but this cost-saving operation is not always worthwhile.”
  • Finally, Clandestine Events answers the question that most potential sponsors will ask, why invest in a sports marketing sponsorship?The sponsorship alone is really only the tip of the investment iceberg; there are numerous other costs associated that need to be factored in. Once you’ve signed a contract, you need to have a plan on how to activate the sponsorship. Will you have an opportunity to host guests? If so, you’ll need a comprehensive hospitality plan, including designing the space, signage, staffing, food & beverage, potentially transportation as well as gifting items. If your sponsorship covers a franchise or a team be prepared for these costs to multiply due hosting opportunities expanding. It’s important to start your assessment with as many facts & figures as possible.”

General Motorsport Marketing News

  • An interesting fact that can be found in last week’s Axios Sports newsletter is that brand deals for female athletes and teams grew 20% year-over-year in 2022, and USWNT star Alex Morgan was the most-endorsed athlete, per exclusive data from deal tracking platform SponsorUnited. You can find more details in this post at Front Office Sports but here are some highlights:
    • The finance sector, already the most active among women’s sports sponsors, increased their activity in the space by 30% to lead all verticals, followed by apparel/accessories and media.
    • “Brands are being pressured to be more data-driven, and what we’re finding with female athletes and teams is that it’s a great place to test and launch campaigns, similar to what we saw in the music festival space years ago.”
    • “They have incredibly passionate fan bases, and audiences both on television and in-person are up across the board, which makes it easier for brands to participate in this space.”
  • SportsPro has just released their list of the 50 most marketable athletes and five F1 drivers made the list. Curious as to what makes these athletes so marketable? In Behind the helmet: What makes the likes of Hamilton, Verstappen and Leclerc F1’s most marketable drivers?, they explain why. “However, it’s impossible to talk about the success of Drive to Survive without also looking at the drivers who have been placed in the limelight as a result of it. No longer hidden behind race helmets, more and more of the racers are becoming household names, which is evidenced by the fact that five drivers make this year’s 50MM list.”

Racing Opportunities

The Business of Being a Race Driver for October 18, 2022

P1 Groupe is now exploring 2023 Racing options with drives available in the following series/events:

  • Rolex 24 at Daytona
  • IMSA WeatherTech Season
  • IMSA VP Racing Challenge Series (LMP3/GT4)
  • Porsche Carrera Cup
  • Porsche Sprint Challenge
  • Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America and Europe
  • Creventic 24H Series
  • SRO GT4 America and Sprint X

and many more!

Contact P1 Groupe directly for more information.

Mark Boudreau
Author: Mark Boudreau

Mark is the publisher of Motorsport Prospects. As a former lawyer, he applies his legal background and research skills to assist race drivers by showcasing the resources they need to make their motorsport careers happen.