Short Track Racing | A Vision Of Our Sport’s Future: Part 6 – Business Partnerships
A potentially large amount of income for a facility is through sponsorships. Many tracks aren’t using modern marketing tools that could increase investor interest and build comfort in their investments. Just like “fan interest, entertainment, and youth engagement,” this is a perfect opportunity for facilities to use creativity and integrate their marketing partners into the track image.
It’s important for a speedway to explore what a potential (or current) partner is seeking to match the business’s goals and motives. Luckily for race tracks, there are a vast amount of assets that speedways possesses. Assets include on-premise visual marketing availability, digital marketing, hospitality, business to business opportunities, product sampling, and giveaway options to the racers and fans.
A track should identify the goals of a potential (or current) sponsor and then collaborate with them to build a platform that complements their marketing objectives. In other words, custom-tailored marketing partnerships should involve more than “Give us X amount of dollars and we’ll put your name on a backstretch billboard”.
Exposure can be created without watering down the track’s sponsorship campaign. For instance, the “John Smith’s Custom Carpentry – Street Stocks” or the “Jane Doe’s Automotive – Restart Zone” are excessive uses of marketing. It is vital to use a variety of promotional tools while avoiding product confusion and marketing delusion.
Speedway executives need to connect and frequently communicate with business partners. A speedway should continuously educate their partners on the drivers, race procedures, track personnel, and the ins and outs of the sport of short track racing in order to grow a healthy business relationship. It is beneficial to increase marketer involvement and interest while providing opportunities to share their views on enhancing brand exposure.
Marketing partners seek a personal connection and a partnership they believe in – similar to the ideas mentioned in the “Racer Interest” section of this statement. Competition is tough with businesses deciding where to spend their marketing dollars and modern day marketing trends point towards long term relationships. Consequently, we have to step up our game and not get left in the stone age of modern day marketing.
Following up and providing open lines of communication with marketing partners is essential. Weekly newsletters can keep partners up to date with everything related to the facility. Marketing managers, executives, and employees should be encouraged to follow the track’s social media outlets. Updates, analytics, reports, and trackable results of the exposure they’ve been provided increases the value and comfort of their investment. Building relationships and connections with business partners will only help speedways market their product more effectively. Gaining a better understanding of a marketer’s business can be achieved through visiting their workplace and getting a feel for their product or service.
-A partner may be partial to business trade-offs. For example, a paint company may be interested in applying a fresh coat on the concession buildings. A paper material company may be interested in supplying the speedway with cups, plates, and toilet paper. A garbage removal company may like the idea of their name being visible in exchange for waste removal. A local landscaping company could keep the grounds presentable (side note: have you judged the appearance of your track’s infield grass?)
-Social media importance has already been discussed and it can be heavily tied into a track’s marketing program. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are all moving towards video favored platforms and videos are prime opportunities to include sponsorship plugs. Every facility should have a detailed social media plan and an objective of that plan is to promote track marketing partners.
-Partners are most concerned about their return on investments. They are often either seeking an increase in sales or ways to improve their product. Creating business to business (B2B) relationships is a strong method of showing return in a partner’s marketing plan with the track.
Click here for Part 6 – Business Partnerships