This chapter from
Mr. Villegas' book, "The
Science of the Sponsor Search Volume 1," is intended for marketing people inside any organization that is considering involvement in motor sports marketing. As a marketing manager at UPS for many years, Mr. Villegas was among the first executives to recommend the involvement of
UPS in motor sports and saw the company through some of its first excursions into hospitality at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He has had the opportunity to learn how companies go about deciding on motor sports involvement and has put his recommendations into this article.
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Over the last few years,
many new sponsors have come to the forefront as sports
sponsors. Companies that never considered sports
marketing as a viable medium are using sports to get their
message across. UPS, Viagra, the U.S. Military and a host
of other companies have learned that, today, sports
sponsorship can put them on the map.
Buddy Lazier, the winner of the 1996 Indianapolis 500 Mile
race, was sponsored by Delta Faucet, an Indiana based
company. Delta Faucet received the equivalent of millions
of dollars of international exposure before, during and
after the race. For years to come, this company will be
known as an Indy 500 winner and will bask in the glory of
being the best.
Since then, the Indy
Racing League, the sanctioning body that runs the Indy
500, has made great strides in becoming one of the most
exciting and innovative racing venues in the world. Fans
have noticed the breath-taking wheel-to-wheel competition
and are flocking to the track. Sponsors have noticed the
large number of fans and want to draw more impressions and
customers by supporting the teams. A synergy has developed
as the best race drivers in the world have joined the IRL
fray, adding to the exciting competition and the IRL's
The supreme racing series
in the world is NASCAR. Started as a family business after
World War II, this organization has grown steadily over
the years by providing a host of "heroic" and beloved
drivers, while also joining the major automobile
manufacturers with a multitude of sponsors--bringing
NASCAR drama and excitement to millions of fans who
eagerly support favorite teams and sponsors. NASCAR is the
motor sports sponsorship standard.
No matter what the venue,
racing is fun, exciting and it often takes place on
beautiful sunny days. The danger, drama, outdoors
environment, added to the roar of engines, smell of hot
dogs, burning fuel and screeching tires make motor sport
an All-American pastime with a huge audience. Add a few
marching bands, movie stars and 4-star generals and you
have the ingredient for a day not soon forgotten.
Indeed, there is great
interest in racing nationally and internationally.
Television crews cover all major league races live. A
winning driver, who is interviewed often, gives the
sponsor free exposure. The cost of such exposure in any
other advertising medium is often tens of times more
expensive than the cost of having a logo visible on camera
during television or trackside coverage. Many companies
base their entire marketing plans around their motor sport
involvement because they know it can catapult them to
market share supremacy.
Race car drivers are
daring and heroic figures. Not only are they skilled
drivers, but fans love their positive personalities and
charisma. Young men want to be like Tony Stewart and buddy
around with him. Young girls want to flirt or go out with
Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Older people would be proud to know
Rusty Wallace or Jeff Gordon. Executives want to do
business with them. Commentators and writers want to
feature them in their stories. Track owners want to make
sure they show up at the track so the fans keep coming,
and car owners want to pay them well so they keep the team
in the winner's circle. People who like a particular
driver will eagerly patronize the companies that put their
logos on his uniform and racecar.
"As a marketing vehicle,
auto racing is a proven winner. No sport attracts more
corporate sponsorship dollars. Of the estimated $3.2
billion spent on sports sponsorship last year, 25 Percent
was directed towards auto racing. Racing is regarded as an
exciting, glamorous, unique and effective marketing tool.
Auto racing is the number
one and fastest growing spectator sport in the United
States with over 80 million fans attending events each
year. The percentage of television sports viewers per
household watching auto racing is virtually tied with NFL
regular season football, and higher than all other
television sports except NFL playoffs and college football
bowl games. That's why more companies invest in auto
racing for sports sponsorship - more than pro teams, golf
or tennis. (Source: Bozell, Jacobs, Kenyan and Eckhardt
There is no other sport
like auto racing that provides the corporate sponsor with
so many different ways to merchandise and market its
racing association. The role of the corporate sponsor has
long been recognized in auto racing as a major and
necessary component of the sport.
basketball, hockey and other team sports do not permit the
direct commercial sponsorship association that is offered
and nurtured in auto racing. Support of the sponsor and
its products or services is an accepted way of life.
as moving billboards for the sponsor's logo. When properly
placed on the vehicle, the sponsor's graphics are highly
visible to the fans in the stands and to TV viewers.
team uniforms, along with event and race circuit signage,
which carry prominent sponsor identification, give the
sponsor additional visibility
with fans at the track
and also appear in TV coverage and newspaper photos.
support sponsors by wearing brand or corporate apparel at
public appearances away from the race event: to further
the sponsorship association.
which transport the cars to the racing circuit also serve
as traveling billboards for the sponsor and its racing
can be showcased at the track through hospitality
functions and display exhibits where additional signage
and product sampling opportunities are available.
electronic media outlets, which set the standard for news
coverage, have agreed to mention race sponsors of events
and cars in their coverage if those sponsorships are an
integral part of the story.
This is a
much more liberal policy than is followed in other types
of sports coverage and in hard news and feature stories.
marketing programs between several corporate sponsors
present opportunities to sell and promote products in a
unique and innovative fashion.
product displays using a racing theme coupled with a
driver autograph session and show car display assist in
generating additional traffic into retail stores.
Corporate track side
hospitality provides for a unique way to entertain
clients, employees and VIPs." (quote used by permission of
What is Sponsorship?
To begin to understand
what these great racing venues are accomplishing and how
they are doing it, we need to understand what sponsorship
is. How does it make possible the dramatic events at the
racetrack and how has it created the industry that is the
worldwide motor sports phenomenon?
A Race Team is a business
made up of car owners, mechanics, drivers and equipment.
The car or team owner has the important job of making the
team successful, getting it on the racetrack, winning and
collecting the earnings. In major league racing venues,
team ownership is big business involving all the
management and marketing tools used by mainstream
businesses. These teams employ talented marketing and
promotions managers and are highly sophisticated in their
business dealings. They understand that in order to be
successful on the track, the team must be successful in
Racing, for the big time
team, can be very profitable if it approaches business
relationships with professionalism and good will.
Successful team managers know they must ensure that each
sponsor receives a tangible result in return for showing
them the money.
Don't be mistaken about
sponsorship. The sponsor is the most important element in
the team's and driver's successes. Sponsors are a key
component of the race team, every bit as important as are
the guys who turn the wrenches and change the tires. The
sponsor provides the operating capital for the team and in
return is allowed to use the team's and the driver's
prestige, charisma, fan interest and media coverage to its
advantage. A company involved in motor sports can get its
message across to millions of potential customers,
generate good will in the community, and most importantly,
increase market share and profits. Pure and simple,
sponsorship of a race team is a marketing play, a way to
make more money by getting more people to buy products or
So what kind of company
could benefit from motor sports sponsorship? How can a
company decide if it is a good thing? What are some of the
sponsorship options, and how does a company get started?
Sponsorship types in motor sports are similar to those
found in all sports. Sponsorship activities are listed in
the 2004 Sports by Sport Marketing Books:
Types of sports
sponsorship activities -
included in a printed game program and/or a team or league
secondary sponsor on a vehicle involved in motorsports
secondary sponsor of a sports property or event
Associate Team Sponsor:
sponsor of a motorsports or cycling team
sponsor of award given to athlete or team Broadcast
Sponsor/Advertiser: sponsor or advertiser on radio
broadcast, cable telecast or over-the-air broadcast
Building Naming Rights:
sponsor receiving entitlement to a stadium or arena
Car/Truck/Motorcycle Sponsor: primary or main sponsor
on a vehicle involved in motorsports
sponsor given this designation by the property or event,
usually for size of sponsorship in addition to timing of
company with signage in a stadium, arena, motor sports
track or other venue
company given this designation by the property or event
sponsor given this designation by the property or event
sponsor given " exclusive " or “ official " status
(usually in a defined product category) by the property or
sponsor whose agreement calls for the company to provide
its product or service to the property or event
sponsor with recognition tied to a particular player
sponsor given this designation by the property or event
Promotional Partner/Sponsor: sponsor with presence
tied to in-game or retail-based promotions
sponsor of a motor sports race series, or other series of
general sponsor of a sports property or event
sponsor of a motor sports or cycling team
sponsor receiving entitlement for an event, award, etc.
As you can see, the
options in sports sponsorship are many and most race team
sponsors will use a combination of these options when
attempting to leverage their team involvement.
Racing teams, in general,
have three basic types of sponsors:
1) Primary sponsors have
the most visible presence and provide major dollars. They
purchase primary logo placement on the racecar, team
equipment, uniforms, etc. They make it a practice of
getting the most for their considerable investments by
developing additional promotional and hospitality
programs. They are the big boys.
2) Secondary level
sponsors purchase secondary status on racecar and team
signage. These companies obtain positions on racecars in
order to maintain or grow their company image. They spend
less than the big boys but they are big in their own
3) Associate level
sponsors are often smaller companies or, again, large
companies where success in their industry requires at
least a motor sports presence. Such sponsors are in racing
to enhance a portion of their marketing program. They do
not spend as much as the big boys, but still gain more
than the cost of their investments. Associate level
sponsors can also be brands that accompany a group of
other brands on the car in a cooperative marketing
program. Other types of associate sponsors include those
whose logos are required on every car by the racing series
or through cross-promotional programs.
Certainly every sponsor
of motor sports has a deep love for competition and
racing. It is this love that propels many CEOs to use
motor sports sponsorships to help their companies grow.
Their presence at the racetrack gives them a chance to see
first hand what many other companies are doing to grow
their businesses. The people who have the most fun at the
track are those who cheer for a team or driver who is
their spokesperson and friend.
Sponsorship can consist
of more than just driver or team sponsorship. Companies
access a variety or a combination of sponsorship
opportunities in motor sports such as:
Rights.- Licensing Agreements
or Event Sponsorship.
Racetrack venues for
sponsors are opportunities to gain name and brand
recognition through a variety of means such as:
Cross-promotional opportunities with the team on
television, radio, the Internet and at the track.
"There is a famous story
that circulates in the Marketing Department at Great
Western Bank in Los Angeles. Several years ago, a man
walked into their Bellflower branch (Los Angeles), and
asked to see the manager. The manager came out and the
customer informed him that he had his last paycheck in
hand and that he wanted to deposit it into a new Great
Western checking account.
'That's fine, commented
the manager, 'but you look rather young to retire and
never work again.'
'Well,' replied the
customer, "I just won the lottery, and I want to bring all
of my money to Great Western Bank.'
The manager smiled and
asked, 'You must have passed six other banks on your way
to this one. Why do you want to deposit your money at
'I've been a Lakers fan
my entire fife, 'stated the new millionaire. 'Great
Western sponsors the team, puts their name on the building
they play in, so that's where I'm bringing my money!"'
This story taken from the
book "Sports Marketing" by Phil Schaaf illustrates that
one of the major benefits of sports sponsorship is brand
or product loyalty. Fans do notice which companies sponsor
their favorite team or racecar driver. SRi says 45% of
CART fans are more likely to buy a product from a sponsor
while other forms of sports sponsorships support generally
20% brand loyalty. We believe this level of brand loyalty
is typical of all race fans.
What do these companies
have in common?
Yes, they are all sports
sponsors. More importantly they are successful because
sports sponsorships are a major component of their
marketing programs. They know that there are good business
reasons for their sponsorships. Simply put, the millions
of dollars they spend on sports sponsorships have come
back to them many times in product loyalty from fans.
Brand or logo exposure
such as that found on billboards, banners, display
advertisements and television commercials work because
they engage the attention of the person exposed to them.
What you experience in seeing a sign is the called power
of suggestion. Each time you look at a sign or message,
marketing people count an "impression." The next time you
see that name on the shelf of your local store, you will
get another impression. When you see a magazine add
featuring the product, you get another. You may see a sign
or message so often that you neglect to register it
consciously. You still register it subconsciously.
This gives the product a subliminal monopoly on your time
and thinking. You will probably buy lots of that product.
The cost of creating the sign or message is little
compared to the return on the exposure.
The psychology of
developing product or brand impressions on the minds of
consumers is a proven concept. It works; otherwise you
would not see companies like ESPN, ABC, NBC, and many
others selling advertising time for big dollars.
One of the most
inexpensive ways to develop sign impressions is to sponsor
a race team. The racecar and driver's uniform, race car
transporter and team bus, uniforms, etc., offer the
sponsor an opportunity to get attention, particularly if
the driver is a frequent winner with a great fan base.
Every second that the race car is on television or seen by
the fan at the track, the sponsor receives an advertising
value equal to the money that would have otherwise bought
that time in traditional advertising media. If the driver
is constantly in the top five, the sponsor will reap many
times the sponsorship investment.
Some companies, such as
Joyce Julius and Associates, count the amount of time each
sponsor logo appears on television. They calculate the
dollar value of the exposure the sponsors receive in order
to help them estimate return on investment. Sponsors also
look at press releases and news stories that show up in
newspapers, magazine articles in Circle Track, Open Wheel
Magazine and Speed Sport News to name a few. Don't forget
Speedweek and Raceday television shows and the SPEED
Network. Just the general interest in the driver and
racing can make sponsorship and logo signage a significant
boon to the properly positioned sponsor company.
Motor sports involvement
is an effective way for a new, small or medium sized
company to grow. A carefully executed marketing program
can result in a great increase in brand identity and
product loyalty. The investment need not be large because
a small increase in market share means much more to a
smaller company. It also provides the foundation for
future growth and a more prominent motor sports presence.
Oil companies like
Pennzoil, Valvoline, and Texaco use motor sports merely to
maintain their respective market shares. If one of them
were to stop their motor sports involvement, brand
identity would seriously suffer and, over a period of
time, they would lose significant market share. Each
spends considerable sums to connect with a team that can
be a winner. Watch any televised race and notice the
number and variety of companies involved in sponsorship of
events or teams. Notice their TV commercials to see how
they enhance their image by connecting with winning
drivers or racing themes (Want to have a better performing
car? Buy our product. Want a faster computer, or faster
Internet access, use our software, etc., etc.). Look at
the special promotions they conduct at the track, the
displays they set up, the posters and collectors' items
they give away or sell. Notice the questionnaires they ask
you to fill out so they can learn about your age, income,
spending habits, etc.
Racing and the racetrack
provide a tremendous entertainment value for families and
fans. Race events give fans a chance to associate their
personal values with such core values as teamwork,
achievement and hard work. Sponsors
will benefit from a variety of opportunities to
successfully gain a return on their involvement. The
range of marketing goals at the track can consist of
increasing brand loyalty, creating awareness and
visibility, changing or reinforcing your corporate image,
rewarding your sales force, exciting your employees,
networking with other teams and sponsor organizations,
changing consumer behavior, driving traffic to retail
locations or web sites, educating race fans, finding new
Finally, let's look at a
fun side of motor sports involvement. One important way
for a company to grow business is through hospitality at
sporting events. Giving their best customers access to the
pits and hospitality area is an excellent way to build
"In the late 1980s, a
Nabisco executive gave a newspaper interview where he
discussed his sponsorship with a prominent local baseball
team. In the article, he identified his luxury box access
as a tremendous advantage in entertaining key customers.
'The luxury suite,' he stated, 'allows me to entertain
customers, especially the decision Makers, at the highest
Two weeks later, the
baseball team won the pennant and was on the way to the
World Series when the Nabisco executive received a phone
call from one of his most important supermarket buyers.
'Look,' the customer said, 'if you want to sell me some
product, I need to be entertained at the highest level....
How about some series tickets?"'
This story, also taken
from the book SPORTS MARKETING by Phil Schaaf, points out
the importance of good relationships with key customers
and how sports sponsorship and hospitality can increase
the bottom line. If you are not entertaining them at the
ball game or the racetrack, someone else might be.
quality and service are the most important reasons a
company should do business with you, but hospitality at
major sporting events is a proven way to develop
familiarity and trust with decision makers. They expect
first class treatment.
One company I am aware of
monitors the growth in business from customers entertained
at Indianapolis during the month of May. Each year,
business growth from these customers is higher than from
customers that were not invited.
In addition, the
racetrack is a great way to meet other company executives
in shirtsleeves, relaxed, and enjoying the surroundings.
Through these contacts, business relationships develop
that can mean significant numbers to a company’s bottom
line. Many of these executives would prefer to deal with
other executives who support the sport they love.
Generally, a large or
medium sized company will go through a long process in
order to determine if motor sports can benefit sales and
growth. The first phase involves investigating whether
sponsorship is a viable marketing medium. This phase
requires analyzing motor sports, the fans, the races,
related advertising mediums like television commercials,
print advertising, etc., to determine if opportunities
exist in motor sports to gain new customers.
Once they decide on a
series, they must then choose who will receive their
support. There are several options depending on how much
money they want to spend and how much exposure they seek.
There is an old axiom in racing: "Speed costs money. How
fast do you want to go?" Certainly, the established teams
with high dollar sponsors will go fast and race toward the
front. This keeps their sponsors in the limelight. Any
company that becomes the primary sponsor for such a team
will do well. But it will cost and they will seek to gain
maximum advantage from their primary involvement. And,
they will insist that there be a tangible result, insist
that the racing organization actively participate in sales
and marketing initiatives on their behalf. They will tie
the sponsorship, not just to racing success, but also to
sales success. A good test for a potential race team for
the sponsor is: Do they understand that they are in
business to help the sponsor be successful or do they
think the sponsor is in business to help them?
If a company wants to
test the waters and see if team sponsorship will work for
them-and they do not want to spend the big bucks-they may
want to find an up-and-coming driver. A driver in this
category often needs sponsorship assistance and one
company may be just the shot in the arm he/she needs to
become a winner. As the company’s market share grows, they
can afford to take him or her to the next level of the
Some companies hire an
outside marketing firm (Like New Century Marketing
Concepts) to find the right team and driver for them. Many
outside agencies will even design the entire motor sports
marketing program for them, analyzing the market, matching
the demographics and developing marketing strategies and
programs to enhance the company’s involvement.
Other companies may
choose to contact the agent of the driver or team they
like. He/she will arrange for them to meet the driver and
prepare the contracts and agreements necessary to complete
the sponsorship arrangements.
Before the company begins
their sponsorship program they will identify the basic
areas where a motor sports program can be most effective
for them. And the first question is "Should our company be
in motor sports? Can it improve brand recognition and
customer loyalty? Can it significantly impact their
success? The excitement found in the motor sports arena is
known to give many companies a boost in positive exposure
and attach a positive image to the brand and/or logo.
At this point, it is a
good idea for the company to develop an inventory of
promotional programs and opportunities they’d like to
implement in their motor sports marketing strategies. This
inventory is basically the tools they will put in the
little black bag of any team they will select like to
sponsor. Below are some suggestions on what race teams
can offer the sponsor. These are just a starting point.
Most sponsors will actually have a statement of their
sponsorship proposal guidelines so that teams can know up
front what they are looking to gain from the deal.
Supplier Status – this status tells the public that the
team uses only the company’s products within their
category because of loyalty and quality.
Rights – the sponsor purchases the right to change the
name of the team to one appropriate to their marketing and
Product Status – similar to Preferred Supplier Status
except that the team has designated the sponsor their
“official” supplier – this is most often used for major
events like the Super Bowl or Indy 500 or NASCAR, but if
the team garners enough attention, they can do it as well.
Sponsor – some sponsors are more interested in a
particular market – the team can sell primary sponsorship
while they race in that market alone.
Sponsor – this is the sponsor that obtains primary
positioning on the car and other equipment visible to the
public - the company provides the biggest share of the
race team’s budget.
Sponsor – the company that purchases a secondary
sponsorship obtains logo placement on the car and other
equipment visible to the public but much smaller than
that of the primary sponsor
Sponsor – this company has purchased a smaller logo size
or has traded products or services in return for small
logo placement on the car and other equipment visible to
Camera Sponsorship – when the television camera looks out
through the in-car camera, the sponsor’s designated logo
is visible in the camera shot.
exclusivity – this means that the sponsor gains exclusive
status in a particular industry or product category in
return for sponsorship participation – the company is
their only sponsor among their competitors.
this enables the sponsor to be the sole licensee for any
products that relate to the race team, t-shirts, posters,
die cast cars, etc.
Endorsements – this is a specific category of opportunity
where the team or driver endorses a particular product to
the public in return for dollars.
Cross-promotional sponsorship – this is where one sponsor
or another team sponsor gives the team product instead of
dollars – the team takes the product and negotiates with
another sponsor for special shelf space positioning and
advertising in a retail location – the race team receives
all or a percentage of the profits from the retailer.
Once a company decides to
enter motor sports, they need to plan their marketing
programs. This is where the sponsorship can pay. If the
marketing program does not aim to take full advantage of
the sponsorship involvement, the sponsor is throwing
dollars away and will wonder later why the sponsorship did
not work. In other words, successful sponsorship involves
the investment of additional marketing dollars above and
beyond the amount given to the team. The rule of thumb: in
order for the sponsorship to work, the company needs to
invest additionally at least as much in marketing and
activation as they spend on the sponsorship.
To be effective, a
sponsor’s activation strategy should focus on the
1. To appeal to their
customers and potential customers-to increase business.
2. To improve their
relationship with employees and their local or national
3. To enjoy watching and
participating in the success of their sports personality.
Here are some suggestions
on how they might maximize their investment.
To increase market share,
they should first review their existing marketing programs
to determine which programs would benefit from being
related to motor sports sponsorship. For instance,
magazine advertising gains zing by using pictures of the
racecar or driver endorsing your products. Drivers can do
television commercials and make personal appearances at
conventions and trade shows they already attend annually.
They can improve employee
morale or sales by having the driver personality come to a
meeting and give a motivational speech. He can tell
stories from his career or talk about safety, health,
avoiding drunk driving, etc. In other words, some
marketing programs become stronger when they intelligently
employ the racing personality and his/her success.
Once the company has
reviewed and converted existing marketing programs, they
will turn to new initiatives that will further expand the
company's image and market share. These initiatives will
aim at the target audience and take full advantage of the
appeal and influence of the driver/spokesperson.
Marketing programs are
successful when they help the company gain new business or
maintain existing business. The following marketing
initiatives have been successful. By no means do they
exhaust all the possibilities.
"Instant Win" Radio Promotion featuring the driver and the
"Fantasy Team Member" competition where the winner has a
chance to be a race team member with uniform and pit
crowd giveaways between race heats, where fans answer
trivia questions about racing and win prizes.
additional signage opportunities at tracks, retail
locations, etc., where blank space is available.
sponsor Booster Club for additional hospitality and
space on outdoor billboards for the company featuring the
driver and sponsor.
cost-effective literacy campaign or other charity program
using the driver as spokesperson.
cross-promotional campaigns with retail extensions and
product sampling opportunities at racetracks and other
die-cast models of the racecar showing the sponsors on the
Rent-a-Tent parties at the track for product displays.
Scratch-Off Card Promotions.
Event sponsorship for the sponsors or supplier/s.
New Century Marketing
Concepts has devised a simple program that will enable any
company to analyze the potential benefits of motor sports
Demographics - Do your demographics match the demographics
of motor sports?
- What are they doing (or not doing) in motor sports?
- How can you meet the efforts of your competitors in
motor sports and what will it cost?
that have worked - What has been done successfully in the
past in your industry and how can you make that experience
work for you?
Enhance and improve your
existing marketing plan
areas where motor sports involvement will improve the
Develop programs and
new programs and promotions
you do it?
Who will be
you measure results?
with the corporate marketing plan
pitch and how
Sponsorship that pays
Show Me the Money
There are many ways to
pay for sponsorship. A company could budget the payments
over the season or pay one flat amount. By financing the
sponsorship with a business loan, the team gets the money
to run, but the sponsor can spread the payments over time
with the proceeds from increased sales. In some cases, the
sponsor could provide product in trade. The recipient
could either use the product or hand it off to a retailer
or wholesaler for some racing dollars. The sponsor can
become involved in a cooperative sponsorship program where
the company and others could pool marketing money and
invest in a team.
There are other
opportunities, such as offering contingency awards or
prize money to a team. In this way the money goes to the
team only when they win specified results. Some companies
may not think that motor sport is right for them. Yet,
they can still gain marketing points by paying for
sponsorship and placing the logo of a favorite charity on
the car. They could also help a team or driver obtain
sponsorship from one of their customers or associate
companies. They may reward the helpful company by placing
their logo on the car also.
When market share
increases as a result of a specific initiative, the
company will want to enhance it to gain even more market
share. They will also need a way to monitor the
effectiveness of each initiative in order to assess its
impact on their business and ask the team to provide some
reporting processes so they can evaluate the sponsorship.
Without such an assessment, they have no way of knowing
which elements of their marketing programs are working
best and which are not working at all.
Motor sports sponsorship
can be a rewarding way for a company to become involved in
their community-and increase the standing of the company.
Because of the International appeal of racing, and with
some careful planning, they can make their company into a
major player in the business environment.