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