VSRG

VSRG Sponsorship Information

2006 Racing Schedule

VSRG Drivers

- Charles Christ
- Steve Church
- Stefan Vapaa
- Mary Anne Fieux
- Randy Cook
- Ed Diehl
- George Vapaa
- Jon Ewing
- William Harding
- Chris Moberg

VSRG Saabs

- 1960 93F
- 1973 97 Sonett III
- 1968 97 Sonett V4
- 1964 Quantum Formula SAAB
- 1967 Brand'X' Sports Racer
- Racecar Group Photos

Crews

- Tom Cox
- Chip Lamb
- Sune Nilsson
- Laura Briggs
- Don Wollum

Sponsorship Information

News Archives

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Last Updated: Mar 26, 2006

(The following text may not be reproduced without the explicit permission of VSRG)

Aggressive companies look for unique and high-payoff ways to reach new markets for their products. Companies are increasingly using motorsports marketing, through partnerships with racing teams, to increase consumer awareness and develop brand loyalty. There are many good reasons why marketing within the sport of historic automobile racing, and partnering with the VSRG, is a smart marketing mechanism to use:

A. What’s The Consumer Environment?

The motorsports spectator is a loyal customer who has a propensity to purchase premium goods and services. Recent marketing surveys have found that 64% of motorsports fans claim to purchase a sponsor’s product. Significantly, 71% of motorsports fans frequently, or almost always, would switch brands to support auto racing.

Vintage/Historic (the words are often used interchangeably) racing is the fastest growing segment of motorsports in the United States and Europe. Vintage events are spectacles of sight and sound, with 300 or more competitors entering each event driving diverse, historically significant race cars. Most importantly, they’re laid-back, spectator friendly events - - prior championship cars are within reach of the spectators, motorsport driving legends are easily approached, and the current car owners are always willing to tell about their pride and joy's history and triumphs. Such open access to the track and the pits allows fans to build intense loyalties to the drivers, cars and their sponsors.

B. What Historic Races Could VSRG Members Attend?

VSRG vehicles qualify to race in no fewer than three vintage motorsports series that are held on the U.S. east coast. These events span multiple days and are held almost year-round. SVRA and HSR largely converged in 2002, so they closely coordinate their independent events. SVRA / HSR events are some of the largest vintage racing competitions held annually in the United States. Here’s a representative list of events and locations:

- Historic Sportscar Racing, Ltd. (HSR):

  • April, Walter Mitty Challenge, Road Atlanta, Braselton, GA
  • June, Watkins Glen Historic Races, Watkins Glen International, Watkins Glen, NY
  • July, Virginia Historic Races, Virginia International Raceway, Alton, VA
  • September, Atlanta Historic Races, Road Atlanta, Braselton, GA
  • September, Brumos Summit Point Double Header, Summit Point Raceway, Summit Point, WV

- Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA):

  • March, 12 Hours of Sebring, Sebring International Raceway, Sebring, FL
  • April, Spring Fling, Roebling Road, Bloomingdale, GA
  • May, Vintage GT Challenge, Road America, Elkhart Lake, WI
  • June, Sprint Vintage Gand Prix, Mid-Ohio Sportscar Course, Mansfiled, OH
  • September, U.S. Zippo Grand Prix, Watkins Glen International, Watkins Glen, NY
  • September, Blue vs. Gray Challenge, Summit Point Raceway, Summit Point, WV
  • October, Season Finale, Virginia International Raceway, Alton, VA

- Vintage Sports Car Club of America (VSCCA):

  • April, Spring Sprints, Lime Rock Raceway, Lakeville, CT
  • May, Spring Races, Virginia International Raceway, Alton, VA
  • October, Lime Rock Finale, Lime Rock Raceway, Lakeville, CT
  • November, Turkey Bowl, Summit Point Raceway, Summit Point, WV

C. What’s The Estimated Attendance At Each Race (Teams and Spectators)?1

The SVRA's 12 Hours of Sebring draws over 160,000 spectators; however, most vintage racing events are more conservatively attended:

  • HSR Events: 5,000-25,000
  • SVRA Events: 1,000-15,000
  • VSCCA Events: 1,000-2,500

D. What Are The Demographics Of Race Attendees?

A demographics analysis of the spectators who attend non-professional, closed-circuit road racing events has never been completed in the U.S. Fans of vintage racing are a unique subset of this consumer pool. Its estimated that these fans are in the 35-65 year old age group and have middle-to-upper class incomes. They attend the events to admire the cars and reminisce about the ‘golden age’ of American automobile racing. Throughout the race day, they visit the paddocks to chat with the racing teams, and ‘wine and dine’ on hospitality decks or grassy slopes. Other spectators are retired race drivers, past car owners, or rabid fans of particular automotive marques.

Its very important to note that there are no monetary prizes for ‘winning’ vintage races. The owners, drivers, crews, and spectators there are re-living history through spirited, wheel-to-wheel (but non-contact) racing. In some cases, the ownership, operation and maintenance costs of these rare cars is greater than those for a professional racing team. Correspondingly, the participants and enthusiasts represent an upscale market with large discretionary incomes.

E. How Will The Sponsor’s Name Be Exposed To A Race Attendee?

Sponsor exposure is happening continuously before, throughout, and after a race weekend - - while traveling to/from the event, on site, and in print and internet media after the race. At the race site, vintage racing teams and their families are a close-knit community, openly sharing their expertise, tools and sponsor-provided materials to keep all the cars running. Fans constantly hear sponsor references and view sponsor logos, and learn from the teams how sponsor support keeps the teams operating, while they freely move about the paddocks. VSRG tow vehicles/trailers, canopies, and literature will carry sponsor logos, and team members will wear corporate apparel, racing garments, baseball caps and T-shirts imprinted or embroidered with sponsor logos.

F. How Will The Sponsor’s Name Be Exposed To The Public After The Race In Text / Image Likenesses?

Vintage/historic motorsports events are widely embraced by the motorsports ’hardcopy’ and World Wide Web press. The general press covers this type of motorsports on an ad hoc basis. Race reports containing explicit references to active corporate sponsorships will be submitted to motorsports press outlets by VSRG. For example:

The dominant periodical covering all amateur motorsports is Grassroots Motorsports, and it devotes content specifically to all SVRA and HSR events. Also, an article about the VSRG consortium will be submitted by VSRG.

A mid-season and/or summary news article about the drivers/cars will be submitted for publication by local and regional newsprint organizations where venues for sports and community interest stories are provided.

Saab-specific media: A J.D. Powers & Associates APEAL study found that Saab car owners use the Internet more, and have more advanced degrees, than any other automobile owner group.

a. NINES, the National Saab Club Magazine, will publish any article submitted that is Saab-related. NINES subscribers are highly diversified with respect to the age of their Saab cars. An article can be submitted to NINES for each event attended by VSRG cars, and an article about the VSRG consortium can be submitted, as well.

b. The Saab Network website will generate significant numbers of sponsor impressions via the “Current News” headlines/links section on its homepage. Founded in 1988, it was a pioneering automotive list server, and later became one of the first car make-specific websites on the Web. The Saab Network will generate a “Current News” headline/link to any VSRG racing article.

c. The Vintage Saab Racing Group website highlights sponsor logos on the homepage, emphasizes the value of sponsor support in all pertinent text, and provides links to sponsor websites. Race event articles, and special interest articles about VSRG members and their cars, are being added over time to further highlight the relationships we have with our sponsors.

d. VSAAB.com is a website dedicated solely to vintage Saabs. The homepage is a directory of links with accompanying text explaining the link. Sponsor logos and/or names will be displayed along with a link to the VSRG website.

So, VSRG sponsors will benefit from a wide array of media outlets and methods. The distribution and demographics of the media tools mentioned above are highlighted here:

Hardcopy

Motorsports-Specific

- Grassroots Motorsports

70,000+ worldwide circulation/issue; 8 issues/yr; over 69% are age 24-49; 33% are vintage race enthusiasts; 95% have attended college; 82% are in managerial, technical, professional or sales occupations; 88% earn over $50k/yr income; 31% earn over $100k/yr income.2

General Public (a regional example is provided here)

- Media General, Inc. “Newsbank”

Media General, Inc publishes daily and weekly newspapers, and other periodicals, in Virginia, North and South Carolina, Florida and Alabama. In the Richmond metro area, there are 800,000 paid circulations weekdays, 900,000 paid circulations Sundays.5

Saab-Specific

- NINES, the National Saab Club Magazine

2,100+ circulation worldwide/month; 12 issues/yr; 700 issues distributed within MD, metro D.C., WV, VA, TN, NC, SC, GA, FL and AL areas.6

World Wide Web

Motorsports-Specific

- The HSR and SVRA websites post the “Harrington Report,” with photos, to summarize each vintage event; written by noted motorsports writer and photographer Bob Harrington; website statistics unknown.

Saab-Specific

- The Saab Network (www.saabnet.com)

170,000+ unique visitors/month; over 2.5 million page views/month; 59% are age 25-44; 76% hold college degrees or higher; 87% are professionals or in technical occupations; average household income over $100k/yr.7

- Vintage Saab Racing Group (VSRG) Website

Averaging approximately 250 visitors/month; visit rate is increasing following proactive advertising, linking from other web sites, and Google search references.

- VSAAB.com

Averages 10,000 unique visitors/month.8

G. Calculations Of Comparable Value

A “comparable value” analysis has been done by the VSRG based on widely used and accepted ‘media audit’ exposure valuation practices used in the field of motorsports marketing and sponsorship. There are many complex calculations, but to keep things simple: The comparable value of one VSRG member attending six events can be well over $10 million! The complete analysis can be provided upon request.

I. How Can A Marketing Partnership With The VSRG Be Expanded And Improved?

VSRG sponsors can increase the reach and impact of their corporate image at vintage racing events through on-site merchandising and promotional, advertising and hospitality opportunities. Examples could include:

  • Purchase a track billboard
  • Provide giveaways (At consumer outlets; as employee incentives; as team rewards)
  • Offer promotional / souvenir items (seat cushions, visors, t-shirts, tote bags, etc.)
  • Become an event sponsor or associate sponsor

The VSRG will gladly support and assist companies to coordinate and develop these, or other profitable marketing programs through our contacts in the road racing industry.

_____________________

Footnotes:

  1. - Estimated based on sanctioning body websites, past event summaries, participation, word of mouth, and other empirical information.
  2. - Grassroots Motorsports ‘Media Kit,’ 2002.
  3. - The final results of every SCCA/Volvo Historic Series race is documented in Sportscar as a ‘Driver/Car’ mention. One or more news articles will be submitted for publication to obtain explicit sponsor mentions.
  4. - SCCA Sportscar, 2002; and SCCA Member’s Survey, October 11, 1996.
  5. - Media General, Inc., Circulation Department, October 29, 2002.
  6. - NINES publisher Stephen Goldberger, October 26, 2002.
  7. - The Saab Network website ‘Media Kit,’ 2002.
  8. - VSAAB webmaster Chris Rogers, October 30, 2002.

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