The problem

Lewis had received feedback from the 2016 Ginetta Junior Scholarship that suggested he needed to work on his interview skills and knowledge of working with sponsors. This is what would get him further next time around.

The solution

Multiple media and brand training sessions to get Lewis focussed and relaxed when faced with questions about Ginetta, his racing career and how he intends to work with sponsors. Backed up with templates and email advice.

The outcome

Second in the Ginetta Junior Scholarship 2017! Lewis was just pipped to the post by the eventual winner’s final lap. The feedback was that his interview was fantastic and that he’d improved hugely since the previous year.

The process

14-year-old Lewis Galer and his parents came to me ahead of the 2017 Ginetta Scholarship. The previous year, Lewis took part in the Scholarship following many successful years in karts. Despite very little seat time in a car, he came sixth overall. A huge achievement for the young driver.

Always looking to improve, Lewis asked for feedback following the event and was told that while his driving and fitness were strong, he was let down by his media interview and lack of experience with sponsors.

My job, ahead of his second try at the Scholarship was to improve his presence during interviews, give him more confidence and to prepare him for the questions that may be asked by the panel.

Alongside this, I worked with Lewis and his parents on the basics of sponsorship, just in case he didn’t win and needed funding to compete in the 2018 Junior season.

During the first session , we talked about what sponsors look for in a driver and the best way to approach them.

The goal of this was to give the Galers more confidence as a team going into meetings as well as some tips and tricks for grabbing a sponsor’s interest, and tackling the subsequent sales process.

Lucy Galer, Lewis’ mum was part of the sponsorship coaching session. She says: “The session helped tremendously with approaching new sponsors, as we felt more confident and comfortable.”

The second half of the day-long session was focussed on media training. We talked in detail about Lewis’ performance during the 2016 Scholarship and the questions he was asked. I then recreated a similar interview all of which was recorded for us to look back at.

The goal of this was to succeed in the Scholarship interview but also to give Lewis valuable skills in front of the camera for his future career in cars.

We recorded one video and then went back to give feedback. We repeated this, getting Lewis to relax, pause where necessary and show a little more energy.

The whole family could see the difference between the first video and the last. Lewis says: “I was much more confident in the last video to the first.”

The difference between the first video and the final one is remarkable. Lewis went from nervous to much more relaxed, confident and funny. His personality was beginning to come across in the interviews, which is exactly what I wanted to see.

After the session I asked the Galers to continue practicing, keep contacting sponsors and keep in touch. We would have another session the day before the Scholarship to go over everything.

I also sent them sponsorship email templates so contacting sponsors would be easier than ever.

We kept in touch as they had questions and they ended up booking in Lewis for an extra hour to really work on the media side of things the day before the event.

In those three hours, we filmed more video, talked about how Lewis could channel the excitement and adrenaline of a race into the interview, and discussed how he’d portray his personal brand. Again, he upped his energy levels, relaxed and felt he was ready for anything the panel could throw at him.

I wanted Lewis to be as prepared as ever for his time with Ginetta. He says: ” I felt ready and very confident. I was not worried or concerned about how I would come across to sponsors, as the sessions had built my confidence. It was well worth it!”

The following two days, during the Scholarship, I kept in touch with Lewis with a couple of phone call pep talks to help keep him focussed. He stayed positive and excited throughout and said the whole thing had gone well. He sailed through to the final 10 out of 65.

I waited with baited breath to find out if he’d won. The message that finally came said he’d come second. Losing out on first place by just 0.1 seconds on track. I was gutted, as were Lewis and his family. Second is a huge achievement but it doesn’t get them to the Junior Championship.

I found out later that Lewis had been in first place for most of the two days and the feedback on his media session was fantastic. He was just pipped to the post by one stonking lap from the eventual winner.

Lewis is still aiming for the Ginetta Junior Championship for 2018 and has already picked up a few sponsors to help him on this journey. He’s been testing with Elite Motorsport and is finessing his handling of the car ready for his championship effort.

It was a pleasure to work with Lewis and his family on this and I know Lewis Galer is a name to look out for in the future.

Lewis concludes: “Jess is a pleasure to work with, she is a very confident and approachable person. With lots of great ideas. The difference from my first session to my last was incredible. I had a completely different approach towards everything and this had boosted my confidence level drastically.”

Lewis was an absolute pleasure to work with and it was wonderful for me to be able to see the difference from that first session to the last.

I asked Lucy about how they found the overall process, she says: “It was definitely worth it! Jess was incredible, she taught Lewis so much. We cannot believe the difference from the first session to the last it was amazing. Lewis has such a different approach towards sponsorship etc. We have received comments/ feedback about Lewis, ie; A lovely young man, very mature for his age, very pleasant and well mannered. We are so proud of Lewis.”