Craft Beer and Motorsports.... think about it
Besides being a huge craft beer fan, I am heavily involved in stock car racing I am posting here as something for the micro breweries and larger brew pubs to consider. I have been involved in stock car racing for over 10 years and have driven for 4 years. Being out of racing for the past 2 years leaves me with a desire to get back in the sport. IMR Motorsports is looking for sponsorship/advertising for our motorsports program. Before you stop reading, this is not million dollar sponsorships we are talking about here. There are several different racing series’, in several different locations we are considering. I am going to list some of them below and if the area of coverage meets your distribution area (or your target/future distribution area), maybe we should talk further about potentially working together to further market your brand to the racing fans.
I do not have to go into how well beer markets to the racing community. Bud, Miller and Coors wouldn’t throw 10-20 million a year just in Nascar Nextel Cup racing if there wasn’t a return.
Regions being considered:
1. Northeast: via the Nascar Busch North Series
04/25 Lee USA Speedway, Lee NH
05/22 Thompson Speedway, Thompson CT
06/12 Seekonk Speedway, Seekonk MA
6/18 Stafford Motor Speedway, Stafford Springs CT
06/26 Holland Speedway, Holland NY
7/10 Lake Erie Speedway, Lake Erie, PA
07/17 Waterford Speedbowl, Waterford CT
07/24 New Hampshire International Speedway, Loudon NH
07/31 Adirondack International Speedway, Beaver Falls, NY
08/21 Beech Ridge Motor Speedway, Scarborough ME
09/18 New Hampshire International Speedway, Loudon NH
09/24 Dover International Speedway, Dover DE
10/02 Wall Township Speedway, Wall NJ
Positives: associated with Nascar, runs in conjunction with several Nascar Craftsman Truck and Busch (South) Series races.
Negatives: Very little television exposure
2. Mid Atantic/Mid America: via USAR Hooters ProCup Series
4/17 South Boston Speedway, South Boston, VA
5/1 Lonesome Pine Speedway, Coeburn, VA
5/16 Indianapolis Raceway Park, Indianapolis, IN
5/29 Jennerstown Speedway, Jennerstown, PA
6/12 Salem Speedway, Salem, IN
6/19 Lake Erie Speedway, Erie, PA
7/2 Kil-Kare Speedway, Xenia, OH
7/17 New River Valley, Speedway, Radford, VA
7/31 Mansfield Speedway, Mansfield, OH
8/14 South Boston Speedway, South Boston, VA
8/21 Illiana Motor Speedway, Schererville, IN
8/25 Bristol Motor Speedway, Bristol, TN
9/10 Adirondack International Speedway, Beaver Falls, NY
9/25 Jennerstown Speedway, Jennerstown, PA
10/9 Mansfield Motorsports Park, Mansfield, OH
10/23 Myrtle Beach Speedway, Myrtle Beach, SC
11/7 New River Valley Speedway, Radford, VA
11/27 USA International Speedway, Lakeland, FL
Positives: All races TELEVISED 3 TIMES each on Speed Channel – tons of exposure for the dollar.
Negatives: Not associated with one of the large racing sanctioning bodies, but USAR is getting bigger every year.
3. Mid America/South: via American Speed Association (ASA) touring Late Models and National Stock Car Tour. ASA has been around since 1968 and some of the top Nascar drivers came out of this series. Drivers like Rusty Wallace, Mark Martin and Matt Kenseth. This is the 1st year that they will also have a touring Late Model division. Our intentions would be to run the entire Late Model tour and several National Tour events.
5/8 Madison International Speedway Oregon, WI
5/16 Baer Field Speedway Ft. Wayne, IN
5/29 Lake Erie Speedway Erie, PA (LM & National Tour)
6/5 Mansfield Motorsports Speedway Mansfield, OH (LM & National Tour)
6/12 Berlin Raceway Marne, MI
6/19 Grundy County Speedway Morris, IL
6/27 Tri-City Motor Speedway Auburn, MI
7/17 Shady Bowl Speedway DeGraff, OH
7/31 Indianapolis Raceway Park Clermont, IN
8/14 Jennerstown Speedway Jennerstown, PA (National Tour)
8/28 Sandusky Speedway Sandusky, OH
9/4 Hawkeye Downs Speedway Cedar Rapids, IA
9/6 Elko Speedway Elko, MN (possible – National Tour)
9/12 Tri-City Motor Speedway Auburn, MI
9/18 Kentucky Motor Speedway Sparta, KY (National Tour)
9/26 Rockford Speedway Rockford, IL
10/14 Lowe’s Motor Speedway Charlotte, NC (National Tour)
Positives: Association with ASA and the National Tour events are on Speed Channel.
Negatives: ASA Late Models are not as high a class as the National Tour or the other series’ mentioned.
If any of these markets fit where your distribution is or is going to expand to, let’s talk. This can be extremely cost effective and we can tailor make a program that will fit your needs and get the most out of your advertising dollar.
I have population numbers and closest major city information, plus anything else you might want to know about the different series’ and the races.
Look forward to speaking with some of you.
A couple of years ago I was involed in a pre study of constructing the first oval raceway in Sweden. One thing that I remember was that our research told us that the motorsport audience is very loyal to the brands which are connected with their sport. So it sounds like a great idea for those who are in the right regional market area.
What on earth gave you the impression that Nascar/Bush-bunkins care about quality beer?(much less what thier drinking at all?)
Good business idea...but I'm afraid your wizzin' in the wind.
I think you might be surprised. Maybe it's about time to introduce a good, high quality beer the race fans. I think they can handle it
You never get anywhere in life without stepping out and trying something. I think the race fans would be extremely receptive. And as 'oppigards' said, which is very true, race fans are loyal to the brands that support racing. It would be nice to see a different beer other than Bud, Miller and Coors in the game. Granted I am not looking for that kind of commitment ($$$), just enough to start on a small regional level. A great way to test the market without having to go into your pocket for 7 figures.
What I propose to do is start at the regional level and see how the fans support the introduction of a micro brew to the sport. If it goes well the race team and the brewery can grow and expand accordingly.
I am talking about figures that start under $100,000 and at the maximum never come close to approaching a half million. Actually max would only be a little over 1/4 million. Obviously the higher the figure, the greater the exposure on the car and on TV. The Pro Cup Series is 18 races that has 54 AIRINGS on Speed TV! That is a ton of exposure for the dollar. Not even the Nascar Busch Series has 3 airings per race and primary sponsorship in that series is around $3-$4 million a year. Granted they are on larger networks, but they don't have the multiple telecasts.
I think it is about time to bring a craft brew to the racing world - it's just a matter of which brewery is going to take the first step. First to market always has the edge. I think it is a win-win situation for a brewery willing to try the market.
Just released by the USAR Pro Cup Series:
United Speed Alliance Racing is pleased to announce that three regional sports networks have renewed agreements to broadcast Hooters ProCup Series races in 2004. While USAR enjoys national coverage with all 30 events being televised in prime time on SPEED Channel, the agreements with the three networks will only give audiences an opportunity to catch racing action at various times.
Urban America Television, Comcast Sports Southeast and Sunshine Network will broadcast each race after SPEED has completed its airing of Hooters ProCup Series events on Thursday nights and Friday afternoons. Urban America TV and CSS will air races on Sunday evenings and Sunshine will broadcast events on Monday evenings.
The agreements ensure that each USAR Hooters ProCup Series race will be televised a minimum of five times and reach a total of over 90 million households in the United States. SPEED channel currently reaches over 60 million households while Urban America Television reaches 20 million. CSS and Sunshine each connect with 5 million homes. SPEED channel will air Hooters ProCup Series races five days after the event tape-delayed at 8 p.m. on Thursday evenings. For more information please visit usarprocup.com.
I agree, a nice well made local, thirst quenching lager might be well received....but wouldn't the big boys make life difficult for you at all costs?
Could get nasty.
I do not think the big boys would bother you at all at this level. They are not involved in any sponsorships in the Pro Cup, ASA or Busch North Series (unless there is something new this year). There is another plus, the micro would not have to compete against them in this racing forum.
I do not believe the big 3 would be a problem until you were able to get to the Nextel Cup level, not even at the Busch (south) or Craftsman Truck Series level would I think there would be a problem. They're heavily concentrated at the Cup level and let the other series' do what they please. There are even small tobacco companies sponsoring at the lower levels without problems from the big companies - even when Winston was in as a series title sponsor.
See link below for Renegade Tobacco's involvement in the Pro Cup series and local short track racing. They would be the equivalent of a micro brew on the tobacco side. They saw the series an a great opportunity since they knew they could not venture in to the Cup level and compete. Last year was their 1st year and it must have worked well for them since they re-newed for a 2nd. My guess, that between being a series sponsor + sponsoring 2 cars, Renegade's involvement would exceed $500,000 easily. It must be working because last year they did not do as much.
Last edited by IJM; 03-16-2004 at 08:23 AM.