While enjoying my holiday away from school, I’ve had some precious time to reflect on my experience in Orlando at the Motor Sport Business Forum. Among almost every session, I found the distinguished panels to keep repeating one word: VALUE.
I want to a share a few memorable anecdotes.
Eddie Gossage, President of Texas Motor Speedway, was asked a question about what his track has done to ease the burden on fans at the track. According to focus groups conducted in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, the ability to bring a cooler into the racetrack and free parking are two amenities that set TMS apart from any other sporting option in the region. Contrast that to the new Texas Stadium, home of Jerry Jones’s Dallas Cowboys where it costs $75 just to park a single vehicle!
While some perceive the series to be struggling, IRL President, Terry Angstadt was able to shed a lot of light on American open-wheel racing, which I know far less about. Clothing company IZOD originally began a relationship with IndyCar as an Official Apparel sponsor in 2009. It has since embraced the diversity that IndyCar represents (having a driver lineup far more diverse, with many competitive foreign and female drivers), and wanted to increase involvement. Starting in 2010, the IRL has changed its name to the IZOD IndyCar Series. It will kick off 2010 with a third race outside of the US, on the streets of Sao Paulo, Brazil, in addition to races held in Toronto and Japan.
NHRA President, Tom Compton, spoke about the objective of delivering value to four main constituents. First, the fan – through delivering high quality entertainment. Second, the sponsors – using the sport as a vehicle to sell products, services, or promote awareness. Third, the tracks – holding their events provides income, and long-term stability for the series. Last, the competitors – by maintaining the prestige of the series to provide satisfaction and an income.
Susan Lute, from Canadian Tire, title sponsor of NASCAR Canada, laid out four strong points for when a company searches to activate their sponsorship. First, objectives for your plan must be defined. Deviating from those objectives can cause you to lose sight and miss your point. Second, move from “I think,” to “I know.” Third, a company’s goal should invest in a marketing message that reaches 100% of your intended target. Last, this would apply for any working relationship, being excited about working together helps both parties succeed.
To conclude, Eddie Gossage and TMS have worked to increase the value for fans by keeping a little bit of cash in fans wallets. The IZOD IndyCar Series has a more diverse culture, which has attracted new partners. NHRA has outlined who they serve, and strive to meet their goal. Canadian Tire, has outlined their strategy which not only increases value (sales) for the company, but experiences a mutually beneficial relationship working with NASCAR Canada.
These just a few pieces of information I was able to pick up while attending the Motor Sport Business Forum. I hope you find it interesting. Please, feel free to ask questions or leave comments. I look forward to responding to your thoughts and writing more over the next few weeks.