Motorsports Marketing and Sponsorship Activation Blog

Team SD Visits London for Global Conference

9/10/19 9:38 AM

We like to get to a few different conferences each year to push our thinking. This also ensures that we don't settle for anything less than remarkable work for our clients. Being in new environments with new series and new thinking allows us to take insights back home and immediately apply them to our work.

For the second year, we finished up our August in London for the annual Black Book Motorsports Forum hosted by SportsPro Media. The event featured 300 attendees from leading motorsports properties, sponsors, venues, teams and more. It comes at a good time of the year to get inspired with innovative, global ideas we can put into action for the remainder of the year.

The main event of the conference is enriching on its own, but London is also a hub for global motorsports activities in general. Being in town for a couple of days allowed for some time to re-connect with friends and colleagues. These different levels of connections were refreshing. The team at SportsPro Media put a quick video together, highlighting the experience.

It was a big day, but here were our favorite insights:


A lot of speakers compared esports in motorsports to the equivalent of younger people playing the sport in their backyard. Of course, you can't really "play" NASCAR in your backyard like you can "play" NFL or MLB. Esports is the closest thing that motorsports have to this easier-access experience of what it is like to race. The speakers noted this is a positive aspect for the sport as a whole because it opens motorsports up to a broader audience.

F1 Insights

F1's marketing chief gave us a look at what her life has been like the last two years during F1's aggressive rebranding. She considered herself and her team a 67-year-old startup and offered up some of the takeaways she has leaned on over the last period:

  • Don't cut corners at the start. It's easy to ignore the quality of inputs to get outputs, but all you will end up with are weak outputs
  • Ignore previous successes and formulas. Don't let these get in your way of innovations.
  • Don't ask, but test and test with pace. We especially like this one because one of the principles at SD is "Test & Learn."
  • Polarizing can be beneficial to spark conversations. The chances of making everyone happy during times of change is pretty low. Use the polarization to create the best possible outcomes for the whole.

Making the pie bigger, not just one piece

Every single speaker from motorsports series big, small, domestic and international all had the same thing to say. Growth of motorsports as a whole is the ultimate goal. We have always believed in this concept for sponsors and believe wholeheartedly in the motorsports platform to grow together.

From product marketing to brand marketing

We heard from New Balance on how they are using motorsports sponsorship as part of their shift from product marketing to brand marketing. They identified non-endemic partnerships and figured out unique ways to market the lifestyle of their brand over basic product features. They prove that motorsports partnerships are not only for brands with products used in the sport. The partnerships can also be used to appeal to the various audiences that different forms of motorsports have built.


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Austin Schneider

Written by Austin Schneider

Austin has built his experience around the world in digital marketing, business development and client service. He loves the fast pace of working in sports business and is always excited to collaborate on new projects. An avid motorsports fan of all types, the global and exact nature of F1 is still his favorite.