Marketing & Sponsorship

Marketing & Sponsorship “keep the lights on” in Motorsports. The Marketing team is responsible for developing a brand, creating a marketing strategy, identifying potential sponsors, pitching opportunities to potential funders, and closing the deal.  The members of this team are focused on business development, and they become brand ambassadors for the team.  The greatest representation of the brand is the driver, who is an integral part of the marketingteam. Motorsports and marketability go hand-in-hand, especially with a good driver and a memorable car. 


The Marketing team is selling a brand and a product - the driver and the car - to potential sponsors and fans. The brand components include:


  • Visual identity - Name, logo, colors, design, driver.

  • Value - What does the brand stand for? Is there a cause?

  • Benefit - What does the brand have to offer to a sponsor?

  • Emotional connection - What is the soul of the brand?

How to be Successful in Marketing & Sponsorship

How to be successful in marketing & sponsorships:


  • Be a good salesperson: understand that you are presenting a partnership – and it is a sales process.

    • What does that organization NEED, and how can we tailor our motorsports program to their need?

    • How can our team help them accomplish their goals?

    • How can our team represent their brand?


  • Be a good communicator: develop a dialogue with the target sponsor / partner to develop a custom proposal, and make sure you find the “Decision Maker” and that is the person you present to


  • Understand the “language of business”


  • Look for  businesses, programs or products that are in a “launch” phase, as their marketing and promotions budget is typically larger (especially if it’s the same demographic as your followers in motorsports)


  • Do not over-promise in the partnership. It will be short lived. Under-promise and over-deliver.


  • Understand your “deliverables” will cost money (appearances, race tickets, etc.)

Know Your Story!

What are your goals? How do you plan to achieve them? How will you tell your story?  Your story will more than likely include an evolution of objectives that’s leading towards a dream – an energy in motion – development in progress.  

Case Study

Leonard Miller was the first African American team owner and manager of a professional racing team (IndyCar, SCCA) and founder of the “Black American Racers”.


Growing up outside of Philadelphia with his mother as a housekeeper and cook, Miller learned about cars and racing through listening to the families where his mother was working talk about cars and racing. His exposure to these wealthy families who had exotic cars was what ignited his passion for automobiles and racing.


With his new found passion, Miller began working on his family cars and his own cars, building his first hot rod in 1953, and helping his neighbors build their hod rod used in local drag racing.  


After many years of building cars and racing as a hobby, Miller formed Miller Brothers Racing in 1969, where he and his brother Dexter succeeded and won many races.


In 1972, Miller started Vanguard Racing, which became the first black-owned team to race in the Indianapolis 500, with many prominent figures on the board of directors including Robert Sargent Shiver – the first head of the Peace Corps and former Ambassador to France, as well as a NFL defensive player for the Washington Redskins – Brig Owens.


Miller founded the Black American Racers in 1973, in order to unify African Americans in all forms of racing, from sports car racing to drag racing, and help develop drivers, mechanics and engineers for the sport.


Miller demonstrated success throughout his years managing and overseeing a race team, participating in world class races and racing against legends such as Mario Andretti.


Miller and his son, Leonard T. Miller, formed Miller Racing Group in the 1980’s, focusing on NASCAR racing, and received sponsorship from large corporations such as General Motors, Sunoco, Dr. Pepper. In 2005, Miller Racing Group was the first black-owned team to win a track championship in NASCAR history.


Leonard Miller

  • So why was Leonard Miller so successful? What attributes made him a great team manager and successful in life?

    • His passion – From a young age, he showed a passion for cars

    • His ambition – he had a goal and focused on succeeding, and building a formidable racing team that could compete with the world’s greatest teams and drivers

    • His outreach and focus on “doing good” – he saw racial hurdles in motorsports, and determined he would create a new initiative to provide opportunities and training to those disenfranchised

    • His ability to sell – he was able to bring on major sponsors to fund his racing team through developing a strong marketing strategy for his partners, one that benefited both him and the sponsor