To fin­ish line

Big Rigs - - BIG RIGS | FEATURE -

2015.

“Teams have a need for re­li­able, qual­ity trans­porta­tion. In­volve­ment in the Su­per­cars gives us a chance to show­case the ve­hi­cles’ per­for­mance, style and op­er­at­ing abil­i­ties in an elite sport,” In­ter­na­tional Trucks Aus­tralia mar­ket­ing man­ager Dar­ren Swen­son said.

Swen­son says the trans­porters not only show­case the best of the Iveco prod­uct range but are as im­por­tant to race fans as they are to the team, the trucks con­stantly to­gether as they criss-cross the coun­try trav­el­ling to and from race meet­ings and al­ways look­ing pris­tine.

The Triple Eight Rac­ing trucks, each of which clocks up about 50,000km a year, even have their own fan base and, nat­u­rally, serve as a con­duit be­tween Iveco, its deal­ers and its client base.

Like Hino, the com­pany uses race meet­ings to gal­vanise dealer in­ter­est and in­vig­o­rate cus­tomer sup­port.

Most race meet­ings usu­ally mean an ex­clu­sive deal­er­ship din­ner for cus­tomers, with team driv­ers Jamie Whin­cup and Shane van Gis­ber­gen in at­ten­dance, spe­cial cor­po­rate hos­pi­tal­ity ar­eas at the cir­cuits and or­gan­ised pit walks.

“Deal­ers see the ben­e­fits of be­ing able to re­ward key cus­tomers,” Swen­son says. “It’s about show­cas­ing pride in the brand, it’s about con­nec­tion. It’s a great way to show­case our prod­ucts.”

Mo­tor­sport in­volve­ment is all part of the deal for Penske Aus­tralia gen­eral man­ager of mar­ket­ing Kim Rud­dock, who ex­plains it all quite sim­ply as be­ing “part of the Penske DNA”.

“Rac­ing is in the Penske blood, it’s part of our DNA – and Roger doesn’t get into things for a short time,” she said.

“Mo­tor­sport is the third or fourth most-watched sports in Aus­tralia and it ap­peals across ev­ery so­cial level so it gives us great rep­re­sen­ta­tion for our brand.”

The prime movers and trans­porters, she adds, are hugely pop­u­lar with fans tak­ing as much in­ter­est in the trucks, parked up in the race pad­docks or rolling through towns in the truck pa­rades held as part of the lead-in to some events, as they do in the race cars and equip­ment they carry.

The or­gan­ised pa­rades in which the trans­porters drive in con­voy through cities pre-race are ex­tremely pop­u­lar with fans and lo­cals lin­ing the streets to see the rigs rum­ble by. And on the cor­po­rate front?

“Penske fo­cuses on di­rect cus­tomer en­gage­ment through mo­tor rac­ing so it’s a ma­jor ac­ti­va­tion for us,” Rud­dock said.

“We in­vite cus­tomers – 40 each day for New­cas­tle’s fi­nal round of the 2018 se­ries, for ex­am­ple – as part of the Shell V-Power Rac­ing en­gage­ment.”

What it all means is that many brands are mak­ing them­selves prom­i­nent and get­ting the all-im­por­tant tele­vi­sion air time, not to men­tion the thou­sands of im­ages in mag­a­zines and news­pa­pers and mil­lions of hits on­line.

In the 1960s and 1970s the catch cry from car mak­ers and deal­ers was to: “Win on Sun­day, sell on Mon­day”.

As we head to­wards the third decade of the 21st cen­tury the catch cry for road trans­port in­dus­try mem­bers par­tic­i­pat­ing in mo­tor­sport could well be: “Get seen, get bought”.

❝ Teams have a need for re­li­able, qual­ity trans­porta­tion.

— Dar­ren Swen­son

PHOTO: MARK HORSBURGH

LIFE IN THE FAST LANE: Scott McLaugh­lin won the 2018 Su­per­car Se­ries in his Dick John­son Rac­ing Team Penske Ford Fal­con.

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