What’s the point in doing all that work to win races if no one knows about it?
This is where public relations comes in and it’s integral to your success as a racing driver.
What is PR?
PR helps you to establish a rapport between your brand and the public. For large businesses, this can be as complex as community relations, crisis management and media events but, for the most part, it’s much more simple for a racing driver or team.
When you’re a racing driver, PR is used as a tool to tell your story to the world (fans, friends and potential sponsors). Most racing drivers promote themselves within their local newspaper but it goes so much bigger than that. You can exploit the motorsport press when you win, attract television coverage and use your personal story to reach the glossy heights of the lifestyle media.
PR coverage is key to getting you noticed and attracting sponsors.
People need to know what you’re doing
A little bit of recognition can go a long way to boosting your profile as a racing driver and with that profile comes all sorts of benefits. From an increased presence that helps you to reach potential sponsors, to an impressive marketing tool that can help you secure those partners.
It shows sponsors what you can do
If you’re pitching to potential sponsors, your latest cuttings and clips can show those businesses just how far you can reach, as well as the kind of coverage they could expect as one of your partners. It’s hard evidence that you are able to market a brand.
It helps you to reach sponsors
If you can circulate your name in the local press and beyond, you’re going to start to attract attention, especially if you’re offering something different or exciting. The businesses you contact who have already heard your name are going to already be warm to your approach.
Boost your audience
Your reach in the local press can be added to your social stats (something that’s covered in the Sponsorship Bootcamp). Showing off your audience in this way helps potential sponsors to get an idea of how far you can reach. This helps them to justify bigger spends, and being able to offer press coverage to a sponsor is something you can offer over other racers.
Get the best deals with teams
If a team sees that you have a huge media presence, they’re likely to give you the best deal on arrive-and-drive packages – perhaps even a free drive, I know a number of instances where this has happened. Consider this when building a PR strategy.
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Consider this, if a business is going to look into sports marketing and sponsorship, they’re going to look for the racing driver with the biggest profile. If you can offer a wide reach to a business’ target audience, and you’re visible, you’ve got a fantastic chance of landing that sponsor.
Even when you’re targetting businesses who may not have thought about sponsorship in the past, you have the upper hand if they’ve already heard of you through local, industry and motorsport press.