The Complicated World of Driver Ratings

The complicated world of driver ratings is a topic that many new to the business motorsport do not understand. This week’s post will give you some insight.

In addition to driver ratings, I bring you advice on how to bring value to your sponsors through media, researching potential sponsors and the difference between sponsorship rights and sponsorship activation.

All this and more in this week’s edition of The Business of Being a Race Driver on Motorsport Prospects.

The Business of Racing

From the Driver’s Point of View

The Complicated World of Driver Ratings

Autoweek looks into why driver ratings remain murky business for sports car racing. This is important as it goes to the economics of being a race driver and earning a living from motorsport.

“Why do series like IMSA rely on driver ratings? When there’s no manufacturer footing the bill, sports car racing is often funded by gentlemen drivers who buy the cars, pay for the teams and their co-drivers. Given the hefty sums involved, the gentlemen drivers want to race for victories on an equal footing with other teams.”

The FIA publishes driving ratings at for nearly 4,000 drivers. “The initial categorization,” reads the web page, “is based on the driver’s age and career record, which may be adjusted in subsequent seasons according to the recorded race pace and results of the series that are using the categorization system.”

At the 2023 Drag Racing Sponsorship Summit, Alex Striler, Megan Meyer and Don O’Neal discuss ways to create value for sponsors using the media. The 2023 Drag Racing Sponsorship Summit was hosted live on March 28, 2023 from the John Force Racing Museum. You can watch the video above.

The Racing Mentor discusses what to look for when researching potential sponsors.

“In principle, sponsorship research should be pretty easy. Discovering a bit more about a business helps you decide if a potential partnership would benefit both parties. The process however can feel overwhelming, especially if you’re unsure where to start or what exactly you need to look for.”

From the Sponsors Point of View

Sport Dimensions looks at the difference between Sponsorship Rights vs. Sponsorship Activation.

“What sounds like a simple difference in wording turns out to be the most important distinction in sports business. As digital media continues to command more of our attention and marketing dollars, there have been some important changes to traditional approaches to sports and entertainment. To maximize value for your brand, the key is finding the balance of investment between sponsorship rights and activation programs.”

General Sports Marketing Advice & Resources

SRO Esports Sim Racing

Adam Eley looks at esports marketing and playing the long game.

“There are always two approaches to sponsorship and partnership deals in any form of sport or event… The “I need sales and an instant ROI” approach, and then there’s the “We are playing the long game of brand building” approach. Neither approach is right or wrong and both have their place, but a brand really needs to know which one is right for them when approaching a potential marketing opportunity.”

Social media strategist Eddie Garrison explains why email marketing isn’t dead.

“With the advent of social media and other digital marketing tools, some may believe that email marketing has become a thing of the past. However, this is far from the truth. Email marketing is still one of the most effective and direct forms of communication with your audience. In fact, according to Hubspot, email marketing has an ROI of 4400%. This means that for every dollar spent on email marketing, businesses can expect a return of $44. That’s an incredible return on investment.”

Sportico states that the endorsement era is over. Today’s elite athletes are enterprises.

“Simply put, the endorsement model is antiquated and inhibits athletes from realizing their potential as bona fide enterprises. Social media has connected us more than ever, giving athletes the potential to be more than just athletes—if they can escape the constraints of the endorsement model. That’s exactly what Stephen Curry did; he ruined the endorsement game.”

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.