When a sponsor enters into an agreement to invest money with a race team, most of the time they have a specific goal in mind. This goal is typically an attempt to drive a specific business outcome. At LFR, we firmly believe that you must begin with the end in mind. Some refer to this as reverse-engineering, but whatever you call it, you must always begin the sponsorship conversation with a clear vision of what you want to achieve. Let’s talk about possible goals and outcomes that can be achieved with a race team sponsorship.
Before entering into any sponsorship relationship, there are a number of questions to answer or address. We cover these in a previous blog post, Top 5 Questions To Ask Yourself When Considering A NASCAR Sponsorship. One of the most important issues to address – if not THE most important – is determining what success looks like. This will definitely look different for different companies, but clarity here is critical. After all, how will you know if the sponsorship is working, if you don’t know what you’re trying to achieve. In our work with companies of varying sizes, these are some of the more coming desired outcomes from sponsorships: brand awareness, customer entertainment and B2B opportunities.
Throughout the year companies launch new products or services and look for avenues to increase exposure or amplify their message as they make their announcements. NASCAR provides an excellent avenue for doing so with such a high number of eyeballs and potential impressions. Consider these figures:
- On average, there are 3.3 million viewers are tuned in to NASCAR race broadcasts per minute
- 1.6 million visitors hit NASCAR’s digital platforms (NASCAR.com) on race day
- NASCAR achieves an average of 19 million race day impressions through social channels.
If I were launching a product or service and the NASCAR audience fit my demographic, I would have to strongly consider these channels to maximize my awareness.
When attending sporting events or concerts in this era, there are always upgrade options to your ticket. Most of us have sat in the cheap seats and watched the lucky fans down on the court or field before the game or backstage at the concert. NASCAR has its own locker room experience; it’s called the garage area and the “golden ticket” is called a Hot Pass. The Hot Pass allows guests to access the garage area as long as it’s open. This is where the crews work to prepare the race cars for the races and the drivers and team owners walk around as they carry out their race day activities. When you sponsor a race team, Hot Passes are sometimes one of the assets that teams offer as part of the deal. This allows for an unbelievable behind the scenes experience that your guests will not forget.
Of course, you don’t have to have Hot Passes to entertain customers (as inventory is limited). There are many other ways to provide an incredible experience for your guests at the track. From unique hospitalities in high end motor coaches to suites, to club seats, there is something for almost every budget. Here at LFR, we work closely with our sponsor partners to make sure they entertain their guests in the best way possible according to their criteria. We work alongside the track personnel and outside agency partners to provide a seamless and enjoyable experience from the planning staff to the customers.
B2B Relationships Through Sponsorship
Another possible outcome of a race team sponsorship could be cultivating business to business relationships. This has become an extremely important factor over the last few years as sponsorship spending has been more closely scrutinized. In some cases, businesses have a very clear reason for engaging with a specific team. In the case of Procore – a primary sponsor of LFR – they engaged with the team because the ownership group has connections within the industry they serve (construction).
If a direct connection like this isn’t evident at the outset of a sponsorship, there are still ample opportunities for B2B connections via networking at NASCAR races and ancillary events. Companies will place a value on these encounters and formulate what they can equate to in terms of potential new business. This is often a great way to offer a business case to a potential new sponsor. When all the parties in the garage are on board that we can offer an incredible B2B environment – similar to a Country Club in golf, our sport now becomes a powerful business tool.
Additional Sponsorship Outcomes
While the above are some of the more common results associated with a race team sponsorship, there are additional outcomes that come alongside. For example, increased web site traffic or social media following. Often when a viewer or fan sees an unfamiliar company on tv or at the track, they research this company to know who they are and what they stand for. In doing so, if they have a positive feeling towards this business, they will check them out on social media and follow along.
NASCAR has long been known for strong brand loyalty among its fans. When you associate your brand with this sport, you are climbing into one of the most loyal demographics in advertising. In fact, 63% of Millennial Fans report they always buy products or services from NASCAR sponsors and 55% switch brands specifically due to a NASCAR sponsorship. This is powerful!
The ultimate goal for a race team sponsorship is to sell more product. While the race team can’t physically make the purchaser choose a particular product, research shows they have great influence over the consumers. This is great news for brands that choose to sponsor race teams in NASCAR.
Here at LFR, we are working diligently to bring on new sponsors to partner with us. If you are interested in learning more about how we can help you achieve these outcomes, please reach out directly to me.