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How the Best Innovate, On and Off the Track

Published By Kristin DirtyMouth Communications     March 22, 2016    
Tags - #marketing


Want to take your marketing game to the next level, whether you’re a racer, track promoter or racing business?

Look outside of racing.

It might sound simple, but it’s worth considering.

Because the most successful people that I know in racing didn’t get there by modeling off of other racing businesses.
They don’t stay at the top that way either. They look outside of the industry, and model bits and pieces of other successful businesses.

My business, and my customers’ and clients’ programs, have benefited both from my experience outside of racing and my eagerness to research, test and execute new tactics that other industries are having success with.

For example:

Want to offer fans better customer service? Don’t just look at what other tracks do. Consider what the best customer service providers, like Zappo’s, in the world do and how they empower their employees to enact their philosophy.

Want to entice more ‘casual’ fans in? Look at how other entertainment venues or, even, gas stations like Sheetz provide a winning model of custom, higher-end food and beverage options.

These are really straightforward examples, but that’s because it’s a straightforward concept: some of my best (and most profitable) ideas and strategies for my clients have come from studying the business of other industries that are seemingly unrelated.

How many brilliant crew chiefs found a technological breakthrough from an inspiration outside of racing? Probably more than we know.

It takes either an active level of curiosity or an active decision to ignore what’s in front of you and search for what’s better, or sometimes both. But it’s necessary if you want to be the best at what you do, whether that’s tuning shocks or launching a new sanctioning body.

Innovation is critical to your program, beyond just generating speed.

Want to take your team to the next level? Quit scoping out other racers’ graphic design or apparel. Look beyond another track’s menu. Stop comparing your ticket prices or number of divisions to the track’s up the road.

You’re not competing against them anyway.

Read a magazine outside of your industry. Go to a local bar or coffee shop. Listen to a podcast that has nothing to do with racing. Sign up for a talk or a class. Follow someone on Instagram just because they inspire you.
You never know when that twinkle of an idea will become your next big, amazing thing.


About the author
Kristin Swartzlander is passionate about applying business sense to racing 'nonsense' in hopes of growing the sport of dirt track racing. She is a business strategist who works with entrepreneurs and small businesses to help them learn how to use public relations, marketing and social media to achieve their goals. Learn more about social media, marketing and racing sponsorship on the DirtyMouth blog.

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