In motorsports, the drop of the green flag means go...and go fast. All of that action on the track is compelling for entertainment purposes but what everyone does not see is the action that happens off-track among sponsors and strategic B2B relationships. While sponsorships can cost brands millions of dollars to access the platform, a lot of that "cost" is considered an investment for business development and growth.
Professional racing has evolved from the days of “impressions” and “branding” to one founded on business relationships and direct ROI. The brand exposure numbers generated on the track have gone from the priority to being icing on the cake of well-executed B2B and activation programs. Looking around the paddocks of the various professional series, you will find that most of the teams are customers of their own sponsors. This is not a coincidence and is a fundamental characteristic of what makes racing such a unique platform to tell your brand's story.
The shift has started with race teams becoming quite sophisticated in fostering business relationships among their portfolio of sponsors. This overlap between business and sport have created a unique network that is hard to find through other promotional platforms. The most successful teams typically have the lowest sponsor turnover and longest-tenured relationships...a win-win for all that produces ROI on and off the track. Brands and teams alike consult with agencies specific to an industry to maintain this consistency and generate opportunities.
Don't get us wrong, connecting to the hyper-loyal fan base is still critical and from the series side a real priority. It is this added layer of sophistication in motorsports marketing that makes accessing the platform much more enticing to traditional and non-traditional sponsors alike.
Where to Begin
Your brand likely reviews plenty of sponsorship requests regularly as teams and drivers submit requests for your support. When reviewing a proposal, look beyond the traditional assets and force your team to zoom out on what can be attained. A team’s sponsor roster may be more important than the team itself and the opportunities they offer to engage that roster are likely things you would never gain access to through any other form of marketing.
Often, the biggest wins in motorsports can take place off the track. Learn more about maximizing the platform with our Definitive Guide to Motorsports Marketing.
Updated for added value.