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Marketing And Promotion Of Speed-Run Events And Services

Strike while interest is hot with these proven tactics about how and when to effectively reach straight-line speed competitors.

By Louise Ann Noeth

Those looking for a share of the unique “Wild West” power brokering that is mile and half-mile airfield competitions should start by attending events and talking to as many racers as possible down pit row, because they will tell you what they want, according to multiple sources.

This approach allows performance shops to strike while the passion is boiling. Fellow service providers insist that if the build is right, if it gets results, customer satisfaction takes care of the rest.

“Box stock rookie racers are often hooked after a few passes and crave faster speeds,” explained Ron Mowen of Vengeance Racing, Cumming, Georgia. “Invite potential clients out to the event, some will want to come back with a helmet.”

Parts makers and service providers have found that good return comes from partnering with sanctioning bodies or race events to boost product and awareness by sponsoring a class, special award, or offering bonus money.

“No matter how good a relationship you have with a client on the phone, they will always appreciate putting a face with a name; meet face to face as much as you can to fortify the connection,” said Matt Watts of Induction Performance, Thonotosassa, Florida. “Don’t discount powerful customer word-of-mouth opportunities at events and online.”

And all interviewees agreed that the No. 1 marketing tool is leveraging existing clientele.

“Use all resources to build your customer base,” said Joe Krivickas of Precision Turbo & Engine, Hebron, Indiana. “We might ask a successful existing client to write a testimonial, run signage on the vehicle, display the vehicle at an upcoming event, or set up a booth during the event to help bring further awareness to the other participants about our relationship.”

Vengeance Racing has video production staff to produce event coverage that showcases its clients, vehicle builds, and any wins or records, then posts the clips on social media. “We also bring parts and have five techs at every race working on client cars to keep them running,” explained Mowen. “I encourage employees to bring spouses and kids to enjoy the weekend that often includes an afterglow dinner party with clients at a private location.”

Evan Davis of D3 Performance Engineering (D3PE) in Houston, Texas, reported, “Online interaction for car-specific chat forums allows us to market our products and packages more directly. The smart money is on well-crafted cross promotion to further brand saturation.”

Induction Performance sponsors two wannaGOFAST events held near its Tampa location to pump up awareness among GT-R and Supra owners. The firm is the presenting sponsor at TX2K16, unofficially dubbed “The Super Bowl of Street Cars,” and is in talks to add a half-mile competition to their sister event in Florida in the fall of 2016 promoted as FL2K16. 

In fact, nearly all sanctioning bodies we contacted use social media as their primary communication platform. International media representatives have covered the Top Speed Racing Association (TSRA) from 11 countries, and spectators can top 5000. “Our fan interaction through social media is a quantitative barometer illustrating our worldwide reach,” stated Shannon Matus of the long-standing Texas Mile event.

Vengeance Racing understands social media potential and utilizes it extensively constantly posting build pictures/build results/race results/customer testimonials to Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

“Sharing this information garners interest from prospective clients and shows them who we are and what we do,” Mowen said. “Being involved in the online community is extremely important not only from a marketing perspective, but to earn the trust of fellow enthusiasts who may at some point become a customer.”

As the domestic title sponsor for wannaGOFAST Vengeance Racing is included in its video productions, flyers and goodie bags. “We get signage at the events as well as premier pit parking for our rigs/client vehicles for maximum exposure,” Mowen added.

And while acknowledging that social media is an integral marketing component for many businesses, Nathan Cicio of TopSpeed Motorsports in Alpharetta, Georgia, warned, “The problem that I see in our industry with social media today is that your typical, we’ll call him a salesman, can portray very easily online an image that has no foundation, but yet convinces people that it does. The Internet and social media is making that easier and easier to happen.” As a result, some businesses that gain traction online may not have the chops to back up their claims.

Instead, Cicio advised enthusiasts to seek “performance results. Results speak, period. You can’t fluff actual results. Results don’t lie. Quarter-mile times don’t lie. Miles per hour in the quarter-mile don’t lie.

“If you are thinking about modifying your car, look at the company’s results,” he added. “Look for consistency. Then talk to their current customers. That’s another positive about social media: You can get ahold of anybody.”

Marketing And Promotion Of Speed-Run Events And Services

From power adders to safety enhancements, straight-line speed competitors need guidance—and a source where to purchase these products—so they can achieve their need for speed. Attending events, using social media effectively, and plenty of other resources have proven effective to lift sales to this market. Photo courtesy of wannaGOFAST.

Performance Racing Industry