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.
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.