Tuesday, June 02, 2015
has columns on motorsports in the Bucks County Courier
Times, Levittown, PA; Inside Track Motorsports News,
Canada and Area Auto Racing News, Trenton, NJ, Late Model
For many years his sponsorship column has appeared in the
Considered an authority on
the subject of sponsorship marketing.
He has been quoted regarding motorsports sponsorship in
a variety of publications including USA Today, NY Times,
National Speed Sport News, and others.
In addition Saxton publishes Motorsports Sponsorship
Marketing News, a newsletter that informs and
educates readers about sponsorship marketing. The
newsletter is in its 30th year.
He was president of the Eastern Motorsport
Press Association for more than 40 years.
Saxton was one
of the original members of the NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting
CONTINUOUSLY SINCE 1985
Racer, the Promoter and Event Organizer.
the Newsletter that offers the latest news, tips, helps, expert
advise and success stories in motorsports sponsorship - it has
helped many be successful with their sponsorship marketing
Experts in the industry appear in each issue giving you exclusive
insight into the Motorsports Sponsorship Industry.
Learn How To Be More Successful From Those Who
STAY INFORMED WITH THIS NEWSLETTER
NEWSLETTER THAT KEEPS YOU INFORMED ON THE LATEST NEWS IN
SPONSORSHIP MARKETING IN MOTORSPORTS !!
brainstorming session on sponsorship marketing!
MOTORSPORTS SPONSORSHIP MARKETING NEWS
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... more than 40 years
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and Public Relations experience !!!
"Ya can't talk
Indy without Foyt, just like you can't talk sponsorship
without Saxton" - Karl Fredrickson of Speedway Illustrated
1448 Hollywood Avenue
Langhorne, Pa. 19047-7417
Twitter @ ernsax
SOCIAL MEDIA CAN BE COSTLY
By Ernie Saxton
My longtime friend Steven
Cole Smith wrote an article in AutoWeek Magazine
recently that really caught my attention. It was
titled “Twitter and other social media can pack a
powerful – and even job-costing-wallop.” I think
mistakes in social media can cost racers
sponsorships and often times they will not even know
Smith offered an open letter to drivers, team
members, crews and others involved with a race team:
Drop the phone. Now.
Smith writes, “There are a lot of particularly
strong-willed, opinionated drivers, crew chiefs and
team owners out there, most of whom employ public
relations advisors. It is tough to get a job in
motorsports PR these days, so there are quite a few
PR representatives who, for reasons that include
keeping food on the table, likely decline to
criticize their employers when they do something
“So, since I don't work in public relations, let me
do it for them: Dude, drop the phone. You might
think Twitter is your best-est new friend, a clever
way to communicate with your legions of fans or,
more importantly, with your peers, so you can
exchange little inside jokes about cup sizes or
where you ate brunch that no one understands or
cares about. Normally, Twitter is harmless, but it's
really a coiled cobra ready to strike as soon as you
do something stupid.
The column goes on but I am sure you get the point.
Smith did not include NHRA drag racers. It is not
because they don’t make the same mistakes as others
do it is just that my friend Steven Cole is
apparently not into drag racing. Too bad for him.
However all the points he makes should be filed away
by drag racing people.
continues to amaze this writer how many racers, the
majority, seem to have that attitude that they don’t
care. During the off season there were so many
racers that participated in shows, with their race
cars on display, and many of those racers and team
members just did not pay attention to their
appearance. As I reviewed photos on Facebook,
Twitter and other social media I found it absolutely
mind boggling that racers were doing personal
appearances with little or no regard to their
appearance. Some of them looked like they were on
their way out to the shop to work on their cars.
When making appearances teams should make every
effort to have team attire and if not, at least
dress as if you are a professional. That does not
mean a suit and tie (though that is recommended when
taking part in an awards function) but a crisp,
clean shirt with trousers that do not look like they
have been worn for a while. And I am not a fan of
the jeans that come with holes already in them.
There is so much attention being given to social
media that appearances can have a huge impact on
sponsorship. Perhaps there is the sponsor that has
still not made the decision on a proposal and has
the opportunity to see the racer that has submitted
the proposal in action at a show, dressed poorly,
having a beer in front of young people and just not
presenting the image that they would want a
representative of their company offering. A lost
sponsorship and it is very likely that racer will
not be told the real reason.
favorite fault of many racers is the way they dress
when attending awards functions. Some racers
representing sponsors dress poorly and apparently
don’t think about the fact that they are
representing their sponsor. And the unsponsored
racer dresses poorly and that poor image just may be
the reason for the potential sponsor not responding.
And as Smith points out don’t make statements on any
social media that can be misconstrued.
Often times the benefit of social media, getting
your marketing message to many, is outweighed by the
problems created when the racer decides to voice his
or her opinion.
Sponsorship is tough enough to come by these days
without have to climb over huge hurdles created by
social media miscues.
HOW MANY ARE FAMILIAR with the importance of being a
good negotiator? Often times when a potential
sponsor says NO you can use negotiating skills to
turn the NO into a YES.
The most important part of
negotiating is knowing exactly what you want. You
can go into a meeting with the thought of wanting to
come away with a deal for $100,000 but you would be
willing to settle for less.
Spend some time picking
the brain of the potential sponsor and find out why
there was a rejection to the $100,000 deal. And then
negotiate a deal that would include you doing less
in return for less investment by the sponsor.
You always need a Plan B and a Plan C. In our
seminars we have always suggested that you offer
Plan A that would be the primary sponsorship, but
have the other plans ready just in case they are not
in a position to be a primary sponsor but could
benefit from a well-structured associate
Sure it is easier to just have a primary sponsor and
keep that one sponsor satisfied but sometimes that
just is not possible. More and more we are selling
multiple businesses taking benefit of being part of
a well-structured sponsorship program with a race
team. Each business getting the opportunity to be
the primary sponsor for one or more events during
the season. Call us and we can explain.
FREE OFFER. Send us an
email at Esaxton144@aol.com and give us your snail
mail mailing address and we will send you the latest
edition of Motorsports Sponsorship Marketing News
GODADDY SHIFTING OUT OF
NASCAR NEXT YEAR TO FUEL GLOBAL STRATEGY
Working to Retain Danica
Patrick as GoDaddy Spokeswoman
Ariz., April 29, 2015
Inc. (NYSE: GDDY), the world’s largest technology
provider dedicated to small businesses, is leaving
NASCAR at the end of the 2015 season, as the company
looks to diversify its marketing investment across
more channels and regions. The move marks another
milestone in GoDaddy’s marketing evolution, in which
the company is balancing brand awareness with a more
personalized data-driven marketing approach while
expanding its global footprint.
than two years, GoDaddy has grown to serve 37
countries in 17 languages and is positioning to
fortify its presence in Asia by the end of this
year. In reallocating portions of the marketing
spend internationally to places where the brand is
not as well-known, GoDaddy can market to small
business owners and entrepreneurs around the world
who want to leverage the power of the Internet with
their own digital presence, while still executing on
new initiatives to connect with U.S. consumers in a
more targeted way.
GoDaddy is not renewing its primary sponsorship of
the No. 10 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team of
Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) and driver Danica Patrick,
the company is negotiating to keep Patrick as a
GoDaddy spokeswoman under a personal services
Danica and all she does to empower and inspire
people, especially women, which is why we are
working to keep her in the GoDaddy family,” said
GoDaddy Chief Marketing Officer Phil Bienert. “We
have the utmost respect for Stewart-Haas Racing, and
they’ve been phenomenal partners. In fact, NASCAR
has been a tremendous domestic platform to help us
achieve an 81 percent aided brand awareness
domestically, but at this stage, we need a range of
marketing assets that reach a more globally-diverse
set of customers. The fact Danica is having a
record-setting season makes it tough to leave this
motorsports sponsorship, without a doubt.”
proving to be Patrick’s best Sprint Cup Series to
date. She now holds the record for most top-10
finishes by a woman in NASCAR’s top series, with six
including a seventh place finish at Martinsville
(VA.) Speedway and a ninth place finish at Bristol
(Tenn.) Motor Speedway earlier this season.
has been an incredible partner for a very long time,
almost nine years, and as I’ve said before, our
brands have really grown up together,” Patrick said.
“It’s pretty cool, from a marketing perspective,
that we helped GoDaddy build such strong brand
awareness here in the U.S. I’m excited to work with
GoDaddy on a personal level moving forward, but will
miss having their bright green color on my racecar
signed with GoDaddy for the 2007 IndyCar season
where, in 2008, she became the first woman to win an
IndyCar race. GoDaddy later helped transition
Patrick into NASCAR, as her primary sponsor,
starting with the Xfinity Series and then moving
into Sprint Cup full-time in 2013. She is one of 14
elite drivers who have led laps at both the Daytona
500 and the Indianapolis 500.
is a superstar. She’s making history in a
male-dominated sport and that takes massive
commitment, tenacity and passion,” said GoDaddy CEO
Blake Irving. “The way Danica approaches racing is
remarkably similar to how our small business
customers approach their work … they’re both chasing
dreams in spite of huge obstacles. She’s an
inspiration to go getters everywhere. She’s also
helped inspire women around the world to dream big
and keep working to make their dreams real. I would
be thrilled if Danica stayed on as GoDaddy’s
spokeswoman and I want to personally thank
Stewart-Haas Racing and NASCAR for their help in
building the GoDaddy brand domestically.”
recent years, Patrick has worked to promote
GoDaddy’s online services for small business owners
and helped with campaigns to fight breast cancer and
attract more young women to study science,
technology, engineering and math, also known as
has been a great partner for us and for the sport
overall,” said Tony Stewart, SHR co-owner and
teammate to Patrick. “There’s a lot of season left
on the calendar and it would be great to go out with
a win … that would really put the exclamation point
on what has been a hugely successful relationship.”
RUNNING OUT FOR SPECIAL OFFER ON MOTORSPORTS
SPONSORSHIP MARKETING NEWS
ILLUSTRATED SUBSCRIPTION WITH MSMN SUBSCRIPTION
OFFERS FOR SPONSORSHIP TOOLS ANNOUNCED
LANGHORNE, PA February 8, 2015 . . . The new look of
Ernie Saxton's Motorsports Sponsorship Marketing
News has proven to be very popular. With a new color
and layout the newsletter has proven to be much
easier to read according to many subscribers.
Hot off the press is the newest edition which
includes "Investment in and co-ownership of race
teams" by attorney Michael K. Spotts J.D., "Create a
culture of excellence" by Marcie Barlow, "Writing
101" with Scott Pacich, "College football smoked
motoracing" by Brian Mackey along with an article
titled "Five ways to become a better press release
writer" and a wealth of sponsorship news.
This newsletter, now in its 31st year of
publication, offers loads of advice on what should
be done to attract sponsorship, what should be done
to keep sponsorship and a load of sponsorship news,
tips, ideas the work and more. Experts on
sponsorship present articles in each edition of
"With the new look newsletter we have been offering
a subscription deal that proved to be very
successful and there has been a great deal of
interest so we have decided to extend the special
offer," said publisher Ernie Saxton. "We are
offering a one year subscription to our new look
Motorsports Sponsorship Marketing News, a full year
of Dick Berggren's very popular Speedway Illustrated
magazine and our famous ‘Hodgepodge of Sponsorship
Helps and Tips' all for one low price of $34.95.
That is a considerable savings.
215.752.7797 to take advantage of the special offer
and have your Visa or MC ready. Or you can mail a
check to ESC, Inc., 1448 Hollywood Avenue,
Langhorne, PA 19047. Those taking advantage of this
special offer will also receive the January, 2015
edition of MSMN.
addition Saxton is offering a couple of other
specials. First is "The Great Money Hunt", a book
that includes proposals, contracts, sales letters
and more, available for $74.95 and that will include
a one year subscription to Motorsports Sponsorship
Marketing News. The book is considered one of the
best ever published on what needs to be done to
attract serious sponsorship support. The author,
Andrew Waite, had many successful sponsorship
efforts. There is more than 250 pages of sponsorship
information crammed into the book.
Another special offer includes "How-To Write a
Winning Proposal" by Milt Gedo, a sponsorship guru.
The CD offers action pages, impact pages,
demographic pages and more. It has been used by
many, many racers as they seek sponsorship support.
The CD is priced at $49.95 and includes a one year
subscription to Motorsports Sponsorship Marketing
All orders can be placed at the same phone number
listed above or telephone 267.934.7286.
Ernie Saxton's articles on sponsorship can be found
in National Dragster, Late Model Racer and other
publications. The March, 2015 edition of Circle
Track magazine included a six page article on
sponsorship by Saxton and the magazine will be
offering a monthly sponsorship column.
ESC, Inc. is available to prepare sponsorship
proposals, review proposals, and create media
releases and sales contact letters along with
providing sponsorship consultation. Saxton has more
than 40 years' experience in motorsports
sponsorship, public relations and promotion.
THE MEDIA SEEMS TO BE FORGOTTEN
when was the last time that you or someone involved
with your racing program contacted the media? A
large number of the sponsorship proposals that I am
asked to review for racers and event organizers
promise media exposure but it amazes me how few keep
Working with the media, keeping them informed, is an
important part of the sponsorship marketing effort
or what I would call the sponsor satisfaction plan.
You might even say that working with the media is
part of the activation of the sponsorship. And if
you read our last column you are familiar with what
activation is all about.
is true that some sponsors do not make media
exposure a priority but I am sure that the sponsor
will appreciate any good media exposure they
some of you know I pen columns in a variety of
publications including two daily newspapers, a trade
publication, magazine (Canadian) and publish a
newsletter Motorsports Sponsorship Marketing News.
Oh, by the way that list does not include this
column which I have been doing for a number of
Understanding how important media exposure can be to
the success of a sponsorship program I make an
effort to make mention of sponsors when I receive
such news. You probably would be surprised to find
out that I receive very few news releases regarding
sponsorship announcements. And then are some that I
receive that should never have been sent. In total,
during the racing season, I receive about 800 each
day and many of them are never considered for use
because they are poorly written, do not contain
information of interest, come across as ads rather
than news and finally do not follow the rules for
How many of you are aware that the early part of a
release should include who, what, where, why and
when? Answer those questions in the first few
paragraphs and you will have a lot better chance of
getting my attention and getting the release used.
you do not have a decent command of the English
language then I would suggest you find a friend that
does or hire someone.
News releases should contain news. Right about now
the season is coming to an end for many of you so it
would be a good time to do a "season wrap" release
that talks about the highs and lows. Work into the
release mentions of the key sponsors. Mention them
in the order of their importance so that when the
release is edited the important ones have a better
chance of surviving and appearing in the story that
is written as a result of your release. Offer a good
quality photo that shows the driver and race
vehicle. Of course with publication making cutbacks
there is a good chance the photo will not be used or
will be cropped (made smaller).
What I am finding these
days is that the weekly newspaper that covers news
of your area is becoming important. They are often
called throwaways. However those weeklies, with
small staffs, are often looking for news so your
well written news release, in a story format, will
have a good chance to be used. And your release has
a good chance to being used in its entirety.
There are a large number
of motorsports and sports websites out there that
will use your releases and often without cuts or
Important to remember. You should have your website
(you do have a website don't you?) updated so all
the information is current and there are new photos.
And don't forget your Facebook page. With a website
and Facebook you market yourself and your sponsors.
News releases should be kept tight, not wordy, and
to the point. Use bullet points to highlight key
information, making it easier for the recipient to
scan through the information. The more you do to
make it easier for the media the better the chance
it will be used.
Storytelling in your press release makes them more
interesting and easier for the media to use. Again
it is important that in your story telling that you
include mentions of the sponsor but try to limit
those mentions or they will become a turnoff. The
primary sponsor gets the most play.
When sending your release by email be sure to
include a subject line that attracts the interest of
the media person receiving it. Example: "Local
professional race car driver finishes successful
Work on building relationships with the media that
cover your sport and those that cover sports and
business in your local media. Make sure they know
who you are. Put them on the list to receive all
sure that your releases have contact information
(name, phone numbers and email) so that the media
that receive them and have need of additional
information or want to turn your release into a
bigger story and have need for more information can
A RECENT EDITION OF SUCCESS MAGAZINE I found the
results of a survey that really caught my interest.
With all the hype about Facebook, Twitter, Google,
LinkedIn and more, sixty-two percent of Americans
say social networks have zero effect on their buying
decisions. Thirty percent said social media has
"some influence"; 5 percent, a great deal of
influence; 3 percent were undecided. U.S. businesses
spent more than $5 billion on social media in 2013.
That is some information you just may want to store
away for future use in your sponsorship efforts.
AND FINALLY make sure you have us on your media list
to receive your season wrap release, your plans for
2015 and your sponsorship news releases. Send them
FREE OFFER. The first ten visitors to this site that
send us their name and complete mailing address
(snail mail) will receive a one year subscription to
Motorsports Sponsorship Marketing News for FREE.
Just the first ten get the deal. Send to
Esaxton144@aol.com. And if you need help with your
sponsorship efforts call us at 215.752.7797 or check
in in at www.saxtonsponsormarket.com.
YOU NEED TO
UNDERSTAND SPONSORSHIP TO SELL IT
By Ernie Saxton
Just recently I had the
chance to sit down with a racer who was seeking
sponsorship and had questions. We had made an
appointment to do this so he should have been
prepared just as he would have been expected to be
prepared for a meeting with a potential sponsor.
Needless to say, he was not.
arrived dressed in shorts, his favorite racing
t-shirt and flip flops. He had not shaved in a few
days but that seems normal for many men these days,
and his finger nails had enough dirt under them that
he could have grown vegetation. He carried nothing.
He had to borrow a pen and paper from me to take
Quite frankly I just felt it was a wasted effort but
I could use the session to improve my own skills.
Needless to say I did point out to him that his
attire and appearance left a lot to be desired. His
response was that he was on vacation. I never did
ask if this was the way he would have shown up to
meet with a potential sponsor since he was on
told me that he did not bring any of his sponsorship
materials because he figured that I knew what they
looked like and what they contained and quite
frankly he was being protective of his sponsorship
When I asked him what he does to activate his
sponsorship, he looked at me with a blank stare. He
did not know what that meant.
I pointed out that lack of
activation is the reason so many sponsorship
programs fail. Too many deals seem to be based on
putting the logo on the race car and, maybe, the
hauler and that is it. Activation is what is done by
the racer and the sponsor to bring attention to the
sponsorship program. That is what is done to create
an ROI. And that brought another blank stare. He did
not know what ROI meant.
Hopefully most of you know what ROI means "Return on
Investment" and that is the reason most businesses
get into sponsorship. They want to get a return on
investment for their sponsorship dollars. These days
there is more attention paid by businesses to the
ROI from a sponsorship than ever before. It is not
just enough for most to gain media coverage.
ROI is the measurement
of the economic return from their sponsorship
investment. If it is a local business they will want
to know how much customer traffic did the
sponsorship drive through their doors. And that is
where the activation of the sponsorship comes into
being. What did you do to bring attention to the
sponsorship? Were there personal appearances with
the race car? Was the race car and racer part of the
business advertising? Was there promotional
materials being distributed at the racers by your
team so that fans were aquatinted with the business?
And the list goes on.
However keep in mind that the benefits of
sponsorship cannot always be measured in ROI. Often
times your program may create product loyalty and
that is hard to trace. However there are those who
make an effort to trace loyalty through surveys,
perhaps with coupon giveaways to fans, and other
such efforts. It is not a perfect science but when
presented correctly it can be a huge plus in selling
a sponsorship. Again activation of the sponsorship
by both the racer and the sponsor can produce great
returns on investment.
Suppose you, the racer, wins a big event. How do you
place value on that when talking about sponsorship?
Now you are getting into a new word to learn,
Such a valuation will give the potential sponsor a
very good idea of what the return on investment
should be. There are people out there that provide
this service but there really is no perfect way to
come up with a positive valuation. Being able to
offer a success story in your racing and in your
sponsorship marketing efforts will up the value that
you have to offer.
Many companies can reach a value number by some of
the activation programs that they put in place or
you put in place as part of your sponsorship
package. Did you offer coupons? How was the
Here is a suggestion. If you have hero cards that
you give out you should include a sponsor's coupon
on one end of the hero card. It should be perforated
so that the person receiving the hero card can tear
off the coupon and put it to use without damaging
the photo. The coupon should be identified as coming
from you so that the sponsor can use it to value the
results of the sponsorship.
course if you offer some sort of hospitality at a
race event then you should have a guest book so that
those who attend can sign in and list the name of
the company they represent. Again this is a form of
valuation of the sponsorship.
Don't always show up in
your vacation attire even though you are on
suggestion of the month is for all racers that are
out seeking sponsorship and not familiar with the
terms that were used above to head out to a Barnes &
Noble or another good book store, or look on line,
for a book on sports marketing. It can be very
valuable in your efforts to secure sponsorship. And
as always I recommend the Andrew Waite book, "The
Great Money Hunt", as it covers everything that you
need to know in order to approach sponsorship in the
proper manner. Give us a call at 215.752.7797 and we
can help you get a copy.
OF OUR PAST SPONSORSHIP MARKETING COLUMNS
for Sponsorship columns}
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� 1 Yr. Subscription to
Ernie Saxton's Motorsports Sponsorship Marketing
monthly newsletter in its 26th year that educates you and brings you the
latest news, ideas,
contacts and more in sponsorship and marketing in motorsports.)
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ERNIE SAXTON COMMUNICATIONS,
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Langhorne, Pa. 19047-7417
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