The Business of Being a Race Driver for October 4, 2022

This week’s Business of Being a Race Driver once again brings you a mix of motorsport sponsorship advice, resources, case studies and more to assist you in finding the sponsors that enable you to race.

Most importantly, if you are a female driver looking to race for a championship winning race team, make sure to check out the Racing Opportunities section of the column.

Finally in The Costs of Racing, I include a road racer helmet buyers guide for those looking to replace theirs.

The Business of Racing

The Business of Being a Race Driver for October 4, 2022
(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
  • In Young Nascar Driver Scores Another Big-Time Sponsorship, Forbes looks at the sponsorship activities of driver Ryan Vargas and how he is funding his racing. “During that time Vargas has kept the car on track by selling sponsorships, most all by himself. It’s a skill has acquired since he began racing at the age of 12. He gained the attention of the NASCAR world in 2020 when he signed social media giant TikTok, first to a three-race deal, then to six additional races.”
  • Power Sponsorship explains what you need before you seek sponsorship. “What these – and so many approaches I get and sponsors get – have in common is an alarming degree of nonchalance, unprofessionalism, and a total lack of understanding of how difficult and competitive seeking sponsorship is. I’m busy. Brand managers are busy. Everyone in this industry is busy. Nobody is going to give you time, advice, or especially money, if that’s the best you’re prepared to do.”
  • Kim Skildum-Reid of Power Sponsorship has also published a white paper on Disruptive Sponsorship which is like Disruptive Marketing, Only Better. “My latest white paper is all about how sponsorship broke the ground that Disruptive Marketing is now claiming, and how we’re going to stay at the forefront by bringing more meaning to the equation than any other marketing media possibly can. It’s full of big trends, bigger ideas, and keys to finding your own inspiration. As a bonus, you’ll have plenty of comeback, next time some wannabe marketer snarks on at you about how sponsorship is just about exposure or “the halo effect”.
  • Megan Meyer discusses Instagram metrics that are important to sponsors (plus content ideas). “Do you look at your follower count or likes to determine whether your content is performing well or not? Most of us do (or did!). That is until we learned that we could have all the likes but if those don’t translate to funding, it makes no sense to keep monitoring those Instagram metrics. Content that doesn’t convert isn’t worth your time or effort, even if the vanity metrics (like, likes) make you feel good.”
  • In motorsport marketing expert Daryl Curtis’ latest Lesson For The Day, he explains the importance of being authentic. “I can’t imagine being the driver that is being asked for an interview, especially when you are not used to such things. Or maybe you are being asked to write about your opinion on something or are asked to write about yourself in an application to a driver development program. What do you do? How do you represent yourself? What picture of “me” do I want to present to the world? You probably will struggle with these questions. If you are an introvert, like myself, you will struggle even more. Here’s my advice and something that I’ve been an advocate of forever – just be yourself! I know, easier said than done.”
  • I have mentioned in the past the importance of having a website as a race driver as it is a tool where you control the messaging, content and outreach to fans and sponsors. Ikoniqa Motorsports Studio looks at one aspect of a website where they explain how to leverage the UI (User Interface) and UX (User Experience) to your advantage. “UI (User Interface) and UX (User Experience) design can be the difference between someone engaging with your service or product, or seeking out a competitor. In the world of motorsports, this could be everything from attracting new riders/drivers to your team, to selling a performance product online. A well-designed UI and subsequent UX can bring about a measurable competitive advantage in your industry. But before giving some examples, let’s define exactly what UI and UX are.”
  • In Episode 128 of the Motorsport Coaching Podcast, Belinda speaks to Zoe Richmond from Zoe Richmond Coaching about membership sites. They cover what is a membership site, why you should consider one and how to get started. You can listen hear to the episode.
  • The Racing Mentor is getting ready to release The Racing Driver’s Sponsorship Toolkit early next year. You can get more information here. The Sponsorship Toolkit includes four stand-alone courses:
    • Branding Workshop – This detailed and interactive course will take you through how to build your brand.
    • Pitch Masterclass – How to build an offering, showcase your value, and close the sale.
    • Social Media for Sponsorship – We all know how powerful social media can be. This will show you how to maximise the time you spend on social media to ensure sponsors take notice.
    • The Driver’s Guide to PR – Everything you need to know about getting press coverage.
    • The Toolkit will also include templates, driver case studies, expert interviews, and more.
  • If you are a business sponsoring motorsport, 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.”

Racing Opportunities

The Heart of Racing
  • Championship winning race team The Heart of Racing is looking for a female driver to place in their 2023 GT4 race car. “By submitting an application, you are entering the search. Each candidate will be reviewed and considered by Heart of Racing. Select applicants will be invited to our two-day shootout in November where they will go head-to-head on the track where one lucky lady will earn her spot as a driver for our GT4 teams.” Full details and to apply can be found here.

Case Studies

The Business of Being a Race Driver for October 4, 2022
The Business of Being a Race Driver for October 4, 2022
The Business of Being a Race Driver for October 4, 2022

The Costs of Racing

Road Racing Helmet
  • Winding Road Magazine kooks at the 10 best auto racing helmets with their updated 2022 buyers guide. “Whether you are road racing, doing a track day, running autocross, driving circle track or participating in High-Performance Driver Education, you need a helmet. But it can be confusing when it comes to actually buying one. There are a lot of choices and sometimes the differences aren’t obvious. To give you some help, we recently reviewed over 50 helmets from Bell, Stilo, Arai, B2, and Zamp. That isn’t every helmet on the market, but it is close.”
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.