Dave Blaney Teams with Pete Grove to Launch 2018 All Star Campaign

High Point, N.C. – (January 15, 2018) – ‘The Buckeye Bullet’ Dave Blaney will return to full time sprint car racing in 2018 for the first time since 1997 with the All Star Sprint Circuit of Champions in the Pete Grove-owned No. 70. Blaney, who earned his most recent victory with the All Star Sprint Circuit of Champions in August of 2017 at the $10,000-to-win Open Wheel Championships at Atomic Speedway, will run the full All Star schedule along with select World of Outlaw shows and major events.  “I’m really excited to be partnering with Pete and racing more this year,” Blaney said. “It’s a good fit for both of us, in my opinion. We’re going to be taking care of the cars here in North Carolina, and that takes a lot of time off of his plate to focus on his businesses. And he’s got great equipment and the drive to go out and be competitive.” Blaney and Grove will start their All Star campaign in Florida at Bubba Raceway Park and Volusia Raceway Park in February. “It’s a short time to get it all ready for Florida but I’m excited enough to get back to a full time schedule that I’m not worried about the amount of work we have in front of us,” Blaney said. “I’ve been focused on working with Ryan over the last few years and that’s only allowed a part time schedule. The more you race, the better you’re going to be so I’m ready to take that on again. And Ryan’s going to be able to be involved in the team a...

Mid-Season Sponsorship: Where to Focus and Why

For most of us, racing season is about performance in the garage and on the track. It’s easy once the season gets going to go into ‘maintenance mode’ – where you’re just maintaining and improving your car and showing up to the races on your schedule – and forget about ‘sponsorship mode’. Once the racing season starts, though, you have a ton of opportunities to both: attract new marketing partners, and, activate your current sponsor relationships. Many of the sponsorship-seekers and clients that I speak with are comfortable with the idea of activating their current marketing partners because they know it’s critical to making their sponsors happy now and in the future. But the underrated part of keeping your current partner(s) happy? Sponsorship activation often attracts new sponsors, too. And there is no better or easier time to activate your partnerships than during the season, when fans and the media are paying the most attention to your program and you have lots of opportunities to bring your partnership alive.  When potential marketing partners see how well your promote your current partners, it’s easier for them to see exactly what they could be investing in and what kind of job you’ll do for them in the future. They see what you create, whether that’s marketing done in person (appearances), at the race track (autograph cards, apparel, announcer information and, you know, being a person and interacting with fans), online (social media) or any other way you put information about your sponsors out there. They see the response to what you create, whether that’s through the reaction of your fans online or offline or the public interaction...

Helping Marketing Partners Achieve Goals Starts with Knowing What They Are.

When you’re pitching a sponsor or creating a proposal for a potential marketing partner, you can exponentially increase the odds of moving forward in the process if you know what that company’s goals are and how you can help achieve them. But how do you get that information? All businesses want to increase their bottom line. That’s the obvious. Most companies want to do that by selling more products or services. But pitching on the ‘I can expose your product to more eyeballs’ line is way too general for most companies to take seriously. They might want to sell more of their products or services via social media, which often has a lower cost of customer acquisition, or they might want to sell more of their products to their existing customers, or find new customers, or sell higher-priced products, etc. The more specific you can get in solving a problem, need or desire, the more chance you have at the decision-maker finding a fit with your solution. (Bonus: the pricing matters less when you’re providing a clear solution to an expensive or difficult problem.) What other problems might companies want to solve? Saving money on products or services they utilize adds as much to their bottom line as selling more products. If you can help them do that, you’re providing value. Providing access to a marketplace – say, getting their product on the shelves of an auto parts store chain or having them picked up in a catalog – can provide direct value. Brand-building activities like a positive role in the community, access to an influencer’s network, emphasizing product use or...

How to Be Sponsor-Able

Most of the questions that I get about sponsorship center around the outbound portion of forging a relationship: How do I find a potential sponsor? Who do I talk in the company about sponsorship? What should I put in my proposal? How many times should I reach out? Should I mock-up my car with their logos so they can see what they’re getting? What should I charge for ‘x’ size logo? But I’ve found that racers, and tracks, who have the most success with finding and keeping marketing partners are looking at it from a different angle and asking this question: What will make my team sponsor-able?  But we’re all sponsor-able, right? I’m able to deposit that check, I know it! It’s not so much about being able to accept or accommodate sponsorship. It’s about building a property that’s worthy of sponsorship. And I don’t mean worthy in a moral sense. I’m talking about building value into your brand, and then finding a marketing partner that will exchange value (i.e. money, product, access to resources, etc.) for what you provide. I’m talking about making it easy for potential marketing companies to find you, understand the value of what you offer and build a relationship with you. So, how do you do that? For me, it all comes back to branding. I got an email from a racer a few weeks ago with questions about sponsorship. He had a professional signature line on his email with a link to his website (*high fives*). But when I opened that website…I was even more impressed with his branding! His website had clear imagery, consistent colors and...

Racing Press Releases: Tips and Tricks to Get Your News Out

Ever wonder why you hear about the same racers over and over again? They’re on podcasts, in magazines and being tweeted about by media members. And not just because they’re winning races. They’re talking about their upcoming schedules, sponsors they’ve secured and personnel changes on their team.  Why them and not others? Usually it has something to do with their public or media relations strategy. As many of you know, when I worked at the San Francisco 49ers, off-the-field public relations was my specialty. Same goes for when I worked at the Arena Football League. As you can imagine, I’ve gotten tons of questions about public relations, media relations and tactics like press releases. First, let’s tackle the obvious:what’s the difference between public relations and media relations? Simply put, public relations is strategically communicating or building a relationship with the public. Media relations is a type of public relations, but focuses on your relationship with the media. For example, public relations is making an announcement to your fans via your social media channels. Media relations is the act of calling or emailing your local newspaper reporter about that same news. Now, let’s address everyone’s favorite topic: press releases, and how to do them.  Press releases are just a small part of a public relations strategy but, right or wrong, it’s where we see the focus of most teams who are ready to take their game to the next level. Here are some simple tips and tricks on what to do (and what not to do) when issuing racing press releases by topic: Frequency. There are some racers who write a press release every single week while some...