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Part Two: Being an RSG Sponsored Business Racing Driver
Posted In: General
Posted Date: 29/08/2017 11:05:16
Over the first two seasons of sports car racing, I was able to start to build a sponsorship model that would allow me to raise the necessary sponsorship to compete. Motor Racing, if you havenít guessed by this point, is not that cheap. To race in the Porsche Carrera Cup Championship I need to raise somewhere in the region of £250,000. The costs add up rather surprisingly. You have wages of two full time specialised mechanics on your car, an engineer, engine rebuilds, a yearís supply of race tyres, entry fees, new brakes, petrol and the list just goes on and on. So how do I make it work?
Lots of drivers, Iíd say as much as 90% are backed by their parents or families. Either that, or their families have businesses that support their son/daughter racing. Thatís all great stuff if you have that, but I donít. I had to therefore start something up, or else I knew I wasnít going to survive long in this industry.
Hereís what I did. I got my head down and broke down the £250,000. If you look at a goal and you think itís insurmountable then you have no chance of beating it. But if you break that goal down and look at it bit by bit, youíll have a chance of working it. At the start of 2016, I set up a scheme called the ĎBristolBonnetí. This was a £500 scheme for businesses and potential sponsors to get on board my racing programme in a cost-effective way. Think about how low £500 is. That couldnít even pay for the petrol in the car for the year. Or the tyres, or the damaged parts, or the food, or the hotels. But, I thought two important thoughts. Number 1 is, if I could get enough businesses rounded up, it would add up nicely. And 2, you never know where that might lead to. Maybe Iíll be able to show some really good value and grow some small sponsors into big ones, and network and uncover some new sponsors.
And I was fully correct. I managed to get around 30 businesses on-board that scheme last year, which ended up being around £15,000. One of those that came on-board, even incentivised me to win two races in one weekend; to which I duly and timely delivered, and he sent me over £5000 as a reward. This is a sponsor I wouldnít have met without starting my small scheme. Naturally I have other partners and investors that make up the rest of the budget.
Sometimes, itís the small things that can lead to big things. Itís the things you donít think will work or donít want to spend time on, that can actually reap the biggest rewards. As a direct consequence, as well, I was introduced to another new potential sponsor at the end of 2016, and they came on board as a title sponsor in 2017 in DMS LTD. I would not have met them without the help of my little Bristol Bonnet scheme.
For 2017, I renamed it as ĎThe Sponsors Clubí and continued to grow the business network behind it. Amongst that, I have around 5 racing partners, who are all crucial to helping me get on the grid and supporting my race season. Naturally, in return, I work incredibly hard to give them back value in whatever shape works for them and their business.
And thatís how I do it Ė I work tirelessly in the weeks to try and raise the sponsorship to allow me to compete in the racing championships. I put the business suit on in the weeks, to allow me to put my racing suit on for the weekends. Iíve effectively created a little business around it, and by seeing it as a little business, it allows me to get into the minds of all my sponsors and partners, and make sure each and everyone gets value from the season and is happy with the deal we have. This season, I have around 25-30 sponsors and partners in various forms. The difficult thing about it all, as I was explaining to someone the other day, is that each sponsor/partner has a different bespoke deal, so what may work for one, may not necessarily work for the other. As an example, I have one sponsor involved on the sheer fact that they like to be involved, they have a Porsche 911 road car and like to talk to me about Porsches and generally being close and supporting my season. On the other end of the spectrum, I have a private bank partner called Arbuthnot Latham, with whom I work hard with on racing networking events so that I can introduce them to potential new clients, as well doing lots talks and meet and greets at their own events.
With RSG; my job is to be a brand ambassador; so I will be turning up to events and conferences, as well as welcoming a lot of RSG staff and client members to my racing networking events. In addition, we have two race weekends this year, in September and October, at Silverstone and Brands Hatch, where we will have around 20 to 30 RSG guests each race coming to watch and support VIP style! Iím looking forward to entertaining everyone at the races Ė firstly and most importantly I suppose, will be for me to win. Everyone after all, loves a winner! But secondly, it will be important that I make sure each and every guest has a great day and enjoys the hospitality at the two famous race circuits.- Dino Zamparelli