Is Motorsport sponsorship worth the money?
Maybe you own a business and are looking at different forms of advertising?. Maybe you've looked at the normal advertising media routes such as newspaper, radio and TV? Maybe these marketing avenues are not for you?
Now maybe a Friend says why don't you sponsor my race team?
You could now be thinking what do I get for my money? Hopefully in this article I will explain some of the more creative methods of using a Motorsports team to enhance your marketing and offer potential clients or customers something different that will help you stand out from your competition.
I'm going to base this article on what a potential sponsor can gain from 2RacingUK but it may offer ideas which you the reader can use to your advantage with other teams.
In its very simplest form business is the process or art of parting someone from their money in return for goods or services. There are good positive companies and some less scrupulous companies in the world but to survive both must take money from one persons pocket and put it in their own.
Media and Marketing are the steps taken to achieve the money separation goal. As competition within an industry grows companies need to stand out from the rest of the corporations offering similar solutions, products or services. its down to the marketing department to work out the best method of obtaining this result. Traditional methods are the usual mainstream media like television, written articles and radio.
Sponsorship tied into this mainstream media is well suited to an elite sports team, Particularly a Motorsports team can cover all three elements in one go. Races are broadcast on television, event reports are published in the next mornings paper and live commentary on radio.
As such it pays to have your company name, logo or slogan printed on a sticker and slapped onto the side of a race car or bike. having your company name added to the title of the car would also ensure the commentator repeats your company name hundreds of times a race. Think of famous partnerships like Mclaren and Honda with Murray Walker at the microphone.
Here's Prost in the Mclaren Honda gaining on his team mate Senna in the other Mclaren Honda ..... etc.
Does this system of sponsorship work at all levels of Motorsport? No is the obvious answer Grass roots motorsport will get very little if any ,mainstream media coverage.
2RacingUK are fortunate that both the series we are entering in 2021 are to be broadcast on television and live streamed across social media to a global audience. Not at all nerve-racking for our debut in racing
Even with our races being shown live around the world and our Mazda 2 standing out well against a field of low MX5s, this individualism also gives the commentator an awful lot to talk about and compare as its a UK first, means the car will be seen and the team will be heard a lot. Even with all this is it worth sponsoring a Motorsport team? You may still be thinking no.
You may still be a sceptic thinking your logo may only be seen in brief glimpses as the cars or bikes streak past at speed. To which I would have to agree with you. If the car or bike with your logo and company name is not involved in some close competition or leading the race it may not feature much at all in the traditional media coverage, so what else can be offered... An awful lot more if i'm honest.
Before I venture into what can be gained from sponsorship away from a competition weekend, lets take a look at what else a Motorsport team can provide for you. The Elite teams of Formula one, world touring cars and world rally championship will travel with huge hospitality suites. These are enormous mobile conference centres offering fine dinning, bars and luxury areas in which sponsors are invited to show off their backing of the team to other companies, project an aura of success and capability for potential partners while talking business or they may simply want to get as close to the on track action as possible if they are an enthusiast.
At 2RacingUK we may not have the big extravagant hospitality suites but we can still offer prospective sponsors the chance to get involved with the preparation of the race car which is a great team building exercise for staff. you can get yourself or customers close to the racing being part of the team on the pit wall. We try to offer a fun friendly atmosphere in which you can get to know partners or customers.
This same objective doesn't have to be reserved for race weekends as smaller teams are in a better position to offer really special events where you the sponsor or your guests can get in the passenger seat with our drivers and go for laps around a circuit or even get behind the wheel of the cars with the regular driver in the passenger seat offering coaching.
This style of event depicted above can be utilised in a multitude of ways. you can use the event as an auction or raffle prize to increase publicity. as a team building exercise, as an ice breaker between two firms, the possibilities are limited by your imagination and 2Racing are adaptable enough to cater for all of them.
As a sponsor you could ask for the car or a whole Motorsport team be displayed outside an event your hosting as an interactive and engaging welcome. Every person entering the building the event is being hosted at will have seen the car and team, all of whom will have your logo and business name displayed on their person. Any target audience will be beginning the event thinking of your business. The same Motorsport team can also "potentially" offer after dinner or motivational speaking.
I would like to insert here the comparison between Motorsport and education from a pupil perspective. Both are process driven. A pupil will learn a skill or response via a process to cope with a situation or give a response / answer. This is exactly the same with Motorsport. A mechanic will learn a process to find a fault that needs fixing. The Team manager will learn a process to keep the logistics of people and equipment moving, motivated and organised. The comparison between Motorsport roles and education could continue but I think its best saved for another article.
The above education example is just one way in which motor sport can be used to stimulate any process or results driven environment and increase productivity by critical thinking and action analysis.
Motorsports teams can be used to target local populations as mobile bill boards. As the car has your company details you utilise the car to drive around a town on a set route designed to maximise exposure on the build up to an event. The public will be drawn to the sight and sound of a race car being driven politely round town.
Moving away from the physical Motorsport team entity. sponsors are able to capitalise on product placement. a great example of this would be Recaro. A seat manufacture placing its products in a football stadium like Manchester United's Old Trafford for the teams support staff, manager and substitute players to use. I guarantee at least once a game the camera will pan round to show someone looking extremely comfortable in one of the Recaro seats.
Product placement can work with smaller Motorsport teams also. You might be able to supply the team with a new product or tool to use in the pits. A new cleaning product to help present the cars or bikes in an aesthetic manner. This doesn't have to be a big obvious product. Even a rubber gromit that may help secure a clump of wires will benefit the race team and can be publicised.
2Racing have had great success with cleaning products first supplied by Power Maxed even though the have their own British touring car team which is leagues above where we compete they still chose to support us. Its the same story with Avon tyres. they believe in the concept of 2Racing and are willing to offer they product for use to use and publicise for them.
Motorsport teams can generate huge amounts of interest on social media. Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter have given teams the ability to reach thousands of like minded people around the world in seconds. This offers a great platform to push your brand name or product. A time scale and product plan for example can be provided to the team to convey specific information you need distributing.
Social media also gives your target audience the chance to discuss your product while the race team your considering sponsoring will be able to champion its virtues and answer questions on your behalf.
Another media outlet that is making a resurgence is the humble blog. As you can see reading this article, and if you've made it this far thank you for sticking with me, the blog is not dead. Its very much alive and offers Motorsports teams the chance to take their time and construct a well arranged and concise explanation as to what can benefit you as a potential sponsor. it can engage with and encourage discussion from persons globally but most importantly the style of writing can be adapted to best communicate with your target audience. Blog articles also have the benefit that they can be referred back to, time and time again. One market may well be maximised yet 6 months later a new market can start sharing the same article all over again. Twice the exposure for a single outlay.
At the start I asked the the question is sponsoring a Motorsport team worth the time effort and money. In my opinion if you draw up a well rounded contract with the team of your choice to utilise every positive element the Motorsport team can offer, then yes. Yes its worth every penny as you are likely to be working with persons who are both grateful for your support and highly enthusiastic about working with you to achieve your goals as the team will likely be hoping you will support them again in a seasons time as well. However if all you are being offered is a sticker on the car and team shirts then the exposure even at elite level probably isn't worth your money.
The above is solely my rambling opinion and I would be delighted to hear what you have to say on the matter or if you have experience of sponsoring a Motorsport team.
Should you wish to support 2RacingUK, we are trying to raise five thousand pounds to be present on the grid in the 2021 season. We are ambitious and aim to be running two cars in the 2022 season which will require a further seven thousand pounds of support. Any and all contribution is most welcome as Steve and I push to complete the new race car, maintain our team of sprint cars and support our fellow competitors.
We are able to offer all of the above mentioned benefits and are willing to work with our sponsors to ensure we market your business, brand and products in a manner that works with your company ethos.
Stay posted for a article from our newest driver to join the team. Lisa is an avid motor enthusiast and is taking the plunge going from school run to race mum in the second race car we are preparing. she will be documenting her journey both here and on YouTube to share with everyone.
Wishing you all the best with your chosen Motorsports team. If the agreement is right for both parties you wont regret the decision to back them.