Speed costs: how far do you want to go?

There’s so much more to mo­tor rac­ing than just be­ing the world’s fastest bill­board writes David Hard­man, Team Di­rec­tor – Liam Talbot Rac­ing.

Business First - - CONTENTS -

There is also no doubt that speed costs, but there is true value to be found in the se­duc­tion of mo­tor­sport. It brings to­gether mo­ti­vated and pas­sion­ate in­di­vid­u­als work­ing to­wards a com­mon goal and with that in mind, it brings to­gether the un­der­ly­ing suc­cess in a strong team. It is these part­ner­ships forged to­gether at the track that cre­ate such a strong com­mer­cial ad­van­tage, link­ing mo­tor­sport and in­dus­try in such a unique man­ner. It is this value that sees so many ma­jor in­ter­na­tional com­pa­nies tied to mo­tor­sport to en­hance their brand. It’s a multi-bil­lion dol­lar global in­dus­try that unites man and ma­chine. It’s a place where deals are struck and part­ner­ships are de­vel­oped. It’s also one of the last true glad­i­a­to­rial sports, built on a busi­ness model with a very clear per­for­mance out­come, an out­come that gets tested ev­ery time you hit the track.

Let me clear some­thing up right from the start; I per­son­ally hate the word ‘spon­sor­ship’ es­pe­cially when it’s as­so­ci­ated with the busi­ness of mo­tor­sport. We never deal in spon­sor­ship’s; spon­sor­ship by def­i­ni­tion is a ‘gift in kind’. Our busi­ness is not a char­ity; it’s a pow­er­ful and highly cre­ative mar­ket­ing and brand­ing tool. Here at Team LTR we al­ways work hand in hand with all our team part­ners, it’s a fun­da­men­tal phi­los­o­phy! We co-cre­ate brand­ing strate­gies as a cred­itable way to win more busi­ness and mar­ket share for them. We work in­cred­i­bly hard at cre­at­ing ex­cel­lence through­out all facets of our busi­ness and de­vel­op­ing pow­er­ful part­ner­ships both at and away from the track.

There’s any num­ber of rea­sons why com­pa­nies ini­tially de­cide to get in­volved in mo­tor­sport. It could be to cre­ate a prod­uct or mar­ket dis­tinc­tion or to en­hance brand de­vel­op­ment or recog­ni­tion (there’s a good rea­son we’re rac­ing with Fer­rari for ex­am­ple – one of the most iconic brands in his­tory!). There are few bet­ter ways to lever­age re­la­tion­ships and in­tro­duc­tions. When­ever you step in­side a pro­fes­sional race teams garage you en­ter another world. There’s an en­ergy about it; a buzz; the sights, the sounds, the smells, the pas­sion, the tech­nol­ogy, it’s pure the­atre on wheels and once you’re on the in­side you’re taken to a place that few peo­ple out­side the sport can truly un­der­stand. It’s both ad­dic­tive and thrilling at the same time and it be­comes a part of your DNA!

Mo­tor­sport is about cre­at­ing op­ti­mal per­for­mance at the limit and it’s also about build­ing a com­pet­i­tive ad­van­tage over the com­pe­ti­tion. But per­for­mance costs money and de­pend­ing on the level of com­pe­ti­tion that cost could run any­thing from tens of thou­sands of dol­lars right up into the hun­dreds of mil­lions at the

pin­na­cle of the sport in For­mula One.

There’s a num­ber of dif­fer­ent rev­enue streams that the teams use these days to cre­ate their over­all rac­ing bud­gets for the sea­son. As an ex­am­ple here at Team LTR we’ll be rac­ing the Kes­sel Fer­rari in the 2016 Blanc­pain En­durance Se­ries in Europe in ad­di­tion to select blue chip en­durance races in Aus­tralia and New Zealand. To max­i­mize our in­vest­ment we’ve cre­ated a 360 de­gree holis­tic ap­proach to the busi­ness at hand; from in­tro­duc­ing new part­ners to the sport to work­ing with strate­gic me­dia out­lets world­wide to en­sure reg­u­lar team cov­er­age right through to tai­lor­ing unique be­hind the scenes ‘money can’t buy’ ex­pe­ri­ences as a part of our in­vest­ment pack­age which will en­sure our off track buy-in is just as im­por­tant to us as our on track per­for­mance. Af­ter all what team part­ner wouldn’t like the op­por­tu­nity to drive a Fer­rari race­car on one of our drive days or en­joy a plate of our fa­mous pasta cooked by our Ital­ian chefs and served in our ded­i­cated Kes­sel Fer­rari hos­pi­tal­ity suite over a race week­end given the chance? How of­ten do you get to ex­pe­ri­ence a field of the world’s most ex­otic su­per­cars from As­ton’s to Bent­ley’s, Lam­borgh­ini’s to Fer­rari’s all bat­tling it out head to head for ul­ti­mate on-track supremacy first­hand!

As men­tioned, in­vestors get in­volved in mo­tor­sport for a va­ri­ety of rea­sons how­ever some of the more com­mon ones I’ve no­ticed over the years -

• to en­hance brand de­vel­op­ment and recog­ni­tion

• to lever­age re­la­tion­ships

• to lever­age in­tro­duc­tions.

Let’s look at these in a lit­tle more de­tail.

To en­hance brand de­vel­op­ment and recog­ni­tion

It’s hu­man na­ture to want to be recog­nised as the very best in your field at what you do whether as an in­di­vid­ual or as a brand. A cor­rectly ex­e­cuted mo­tor­sport part­ner­ship of­fers you an ex­cit­ing high-end av­enue al­low­ing you to step out from the crowd and to cre­ate a unique point of dis­tinc­tion. To lever­age re­la­tion­ships

Sport­ing events are known to be fan­tas­tic neu­tralis­ers when it comes to re­la­tion­ship build­ing. Mo­tor­sport is a per­fect en­vi­ron­ment in which to cul­ti­vate part­ner­ships and bro­ker deals whilst en­joy­ing be­ing a part of a high-oc­tane adventure.

To lever­age in­tro­duc­tions

Mo­tor­sport oozes power not just on the track but off it as well. In the last 12 months alone I’ve per­son­ally met Hol­ly­wood A- list ac­tors, su­per­mod­els, mu­si­cians, politi­cians, world cham­pi­ons, sports­men and any num­ber of busi­ness lu­mi­nar­ies from a wide cross sec­tion of in­dus­try. If it’s in­tro­duc­tions you’re af­ter it’s hard to go past an in­dus­try that thrives on the power of net­work­ing.

Mo­tor­sport is an in­cred­i­bly pow­er­ful and cre­ative tool, if used cor­rectly it can help you win more busi­ness and im­prove your mar­ket share. A race team is the plat­form that can be used to cre­ate a com­pelling brand story. Fo­cus, team­work, lead­er­ship, ded­i­ca­tion, in­no­va­tion, at­ten­tion to de­tail, trust, ex­cel­lence!

What’s your brand story?

Be­low: Liam Talbot David has spent the bet­ter part of 20 years in the mo­tor­sport world. Un­der his guid­ance as a Team Di­rec­tor his teams have raced and won with man­u­fac­tur­ers in­clud­ing As­ton Martin, Audi, Fer­rari, Lam­borgh­ini and Porsche in­clud­ing win­ning nu­mer­ous in­ter­na­tional GT cham­pi­onship ti­tles; they’ve also scored over 100 out­right race wins in ad­di­tion to count­less podium fin­ishes along the way. How­ever it’s away from the track on the part­ner­ship side of the busi­ness where David truly shines. One of his core skills is help­ing new brands to lever­age their in­vest­ment in the world of pro­fes­sional mo­tor­sport.

David set up Liam Talbot Rac­ing (LTR) in part­ner­ship with Liam Talbot in early 2013. He’s al­ways look­ing for ways to chal­lenge and push the bound­aries with his team both on and off the track.

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