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BUSINESS: Rating PR Efforts in Motorsports Sponsorship Marketing News

24 December 1998

There are serious gaps between the services motor sports journalists need and those being provided by auto racing sponsors' team and agency media representatives, according to a survey of national motor sports media released by SponsorLogic.

"There are more than 40 leverage points where a sponsor can obtain value from a motor sports sponsorship," said SponsorLogic President Mel Poole.

"But no matter what the sponsor's leverage points, positive media coverage should be near the top of the list because it's a credible pipeline to millions of potential customers. Unfortunately, the survey has uncovered the fact that the media who cover motor sports are generally not well served by the team or agency representatives who are paid by sponsors to provide that service.

"Things that get measured usually get better, and it's my hope that revealing the survey results will help to drive up the return-on-investment of sponsors engaged in marketing through motor sports," he said.

Associated Press Motor Sports Editor Mike Harris, one of the most influential and widely read journalists in the sport, was not surprised at the survey results.

"As the sport's gotten bigger, it's lost sight of the importance of the relationship between the media and the drivers," said Harris. "As you look around the garage area of paddock, you see a lot of so-called pr people but you realize that you're mostly on your own to get the information you need.

The survey goes on to rate at-track support, news release effectiveness, support away from the track, providing access to team principals at events, and much more.

The entire survey is covered in the December and January editions of Ernie Saxton's Motorsports Sponsorship Marketing News. The monthly newsletter, entering its 15th year of publication, offers the latest news on sponsorship, marketing and promotion in motor sports. In addition there are feature stories, helps, hints, tips, leads and other information included in the monthly issues.

Free sample copies may be had by sending a self addressed, postage paid ($.55) business size envelope to Ernie Saxton Communications, Inc., 1448 Hollywood Avenue, Langhorne, PA 19047-7417.

The article offers some eye opening information on media relations in motor sports.

In addition dates and locations for four sponsorship workshops/seminars have been announced by Ernie Saxton Communications, Inc.. All of the seminars will be sponsored by Ernie Saxton's Motorsports Sponsorship Marketing News.

Saxton will kick off his schedule with a FREE "Basics of Sponsorship" Seminar as part of the Pennzoil Motorsports '99 Auto Racing Trade Show in Fort Washington, PA on January 15 at 4 p.m. This will be a one hour seminar, free to show attendees, covering just the basics for local and regional racers. "It will give racers some idea of how to get started in their sponsorship efforts. However it is not designed to be a complete education in sponsorship," said Saxton.

Doug Auld, a well known radio personality and journalist covering Florida motorsports, and Saxton will present a three hour "Local and Regional Sponsorship Workshop" at the Milner Hotel in Tampa, Florida on Saturday, January 30, 9 a.m. The workshop will deal with everything a racer or promoter should know to attract sponsorship and keep that sponsor. Included in the $74.95 registration fee will be an actual generic proposal and 3-month trial subscription to Motorsports Sponsorship Marketing News. Reservations must be made in advance for the January 30th workshop. This seminar has had heavy response and is sure to be sold out. There will be no registrations sold at the door.

"With many traveling race teams in the area, from all over the country, we have made every effort to schedule this Tampa seminar, the first offered in the area, at a time that does not intefere with any of the racing activities. And we have made the price attractive to both the national and local teams," said Saxton.

On Wednesday, February 10, Saxton will offer another of his free "Basics in Sponsorship" seminars as part of the Circle Track Racers Expo at the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach, Florida. The one hour seminar will designed to get attendees headed in the right direction in regards to their sponsorship efforts. Saxton will offer his various materials, books and newsletter on sponsorship at discounted prices as part of the seminar.

"Sponsorship A To Z", a three hour seminar/workshop on national and regional sponsorship, will be presented by Saxton at the Holiday Inn Indigo, Daytona Beach, Florida on Friday, February 12, 9 a.m. The seminar/workshop is becoming an annual event and is almost always a sellout with just 25 seats available. Registration, in advance, is $149.95 and includes a generic proposal and six month subscription to Motorsports Sponsorship Marketing News. After February 1 the registration cost will increase to $199.95. This is a seminar designed for the serious sponsorship seeker.

Saxton is in the midst of arranging additional seminars and does offer the seminars to speedway operators and organizations seeking to use the seminars as fund raising events.

For registration information and seminar information telephone Ernie Saxton Communications, Inc. His website is located at: