The Importance of Branding for a Driver – In Conversation with Paul Coltman of ASGUK Ltd.

A new addition to the Motorsport Prospects directory is All Sports Group UK Ltd, a sports marketing, media and PR firm based in Somerset, UK. As the topic of branding is so important, I asked director Paul Coltman a few questions on the topic.

Motorsport Prospects: Athletes are considered brands in this day and age. How does a race driver establish and build their brand and why would this be important for them? ​

Paul Coltman: 100%, athletes are brands, it’s a major part of the industry nowadays and the only way to establish a progression in this as a career. Social media is the easiest way to build their brand and establish it within a consumer and commercial audience.

MP: Social media is a double-edged sword. How do athletes and race drivers manage their social media message to stay “on brand”? ​

PC: Using social media is key but once something is out then it’s out. Making sure you present in a clean and professional manner is important and keeping the content on subject is vital. Although you might want to say something as it was, it is always best to take a breath and publish something professional and balanced, remembering what you are or have created is bigger than you, that race, that post etc.

MP: How would you make your brand the most appealing possible for potential sponsors? ​

PC: A clean and professional brand that offers a commercially viable option to a potential commercial partner is key. Just think about another business partnership for a moment; Retailer A sells Brand B because its well known, professional and presentable, therefore it will offer a strong potential of providing a return to Retailer A.

MP: With the proliferation of social media platforms, how does a driver manage their social media profile without spending hours away from what they consider to be the most important thing, training to go as fast as possible? ​

PC: Well doing what I do for a job and with what my company does, I would say to employ the services of a professional like me. But the point I’m trying to make is that it’s a matter of priorities and managing skill sets. The driver does the driving, the mechanic does the spannering and the profiler does the social media, and so on…

MP: What kind of services does ASGUK offer and why would a driver use them?​

PC: ASGUK is a profiling company, we specialize in all areas of Social Media, Marketing, PR, Branding and Sponsorship. Drivers and athletes, teams, clubs, leagues, championships, governing bodies etc from any sport use us to allow them to focus on their sport and to have a top company working on creating, building and maintaining their profiles, brand and commercial activities.

MP: How does a driver deal with negatives (bad crash, poor results, loss of sponsor, etc.)?

PC: Negatives are part of sport and they are what makes someone better. It’s as important to publicize the negatives as it is the positives as there is always an opportunity to be created from any news/updates. It all comes down to mentality and how the individual deals with it internally so it doesn’t affect them moving forward.

MP: Is it possible to build up your brand just starting out when you have very little concrete to “sell” to the public and potential sponsors? ​

PC: Of course it is, your brand and image is important regardless of your stage in your career and should be the first thing you do. A sponsor is investing in what you can offer, not necessarily who you are and what you’ve done.

Further information on ASGUK Ltd can be found on their Motorsport Prospects directory listing here.

Mark Boudreau
Author: Mark Boudreau

Mark Boudreau is the publisher of Motorsport Prospects