How investing in grassroots marketing programs increases your bottom line and safeguards the industry
Celebrating its 25th Anniversary, Contingency Connection continues to convert grassroots racing enthusiasts into loyal customers for performance manufacturers; through its effective, content-driven marketing programs. Racer Rewards & Engine Professional Rewards directly connect racers, fans, and shops to the car and truck aftermarkets.
For years the trend in motorsports marketing was investing advertising dollars at the professional level to entice customer to buy your brand--noting the old adage “Win on Sunday-Sell on Monday.” Recently however, leading manufacturers have been seeking more direct and cost-effective ways to reach the huge, yet elusive, target-market of local race tracks, racers, fans, performance shops, and enthusiasts.
Fortunately, nearly 100 manufacturers have found their answer with Contingency Connection. It is an impactful event-marketing program that increases sales and exposure; while at the same time, makes it possible for sponsorship dollars to filter down to hometown tracks and racers that need help now, more than ever.
In fact, most manufacturers will tell you that their commitment to grassroots programs like Contingency Connection means much more than the obvious promotional value. They also consider it an overall “industry investment” and safeguard. After all--what would happen to our industry if local tracks, weekly racers and thousands of fans go away?
Holley Performance provides the greatest testimonial about the value of the program by posting an incredible 18 brands for 15-20 years! According to Bobby Writesman, “Reaching weekend warriors and shops is paramount to successfully marketing Holley’s extensive line of performance products. Contingency Connection delivers outstanding ROI at the grassroots level, is managed professionally and enjoys outstanding racer and track support."
While the reach is great—the concept is simple. Tracks and racers need sponsors. Sponsors need tracks and racers. Contingency Connection is the “connection” between the two--coordinating both Racer Rewards & Engine Professional Rewards
Racer Rewards awards weekly racers with money-saving coupon books from top performance manufacturers. Racers simply run sponsor decals for products they use (or would like to use), win at their hometown track, and earn a Racer Rewards coupon book with nearly $3500 in product discounts driving business back to the manufacturer. Most appealing to sponsors is the consistent content delivered with an on-site presence at all tracks. Sponsors receive FREE signage rights in 50 markets, decals on racecars, PA commercials at 1500 events, and monthly Grassroots Wired Newsletter e-blasts. Equally appealing is the spectator interaction and social media support.
The AERA sponsored Engine Professional Rewards program is one of the most important resources used by engine builders and machine shops to increase profitability. Manufacturers love it because it gives them access to nearly 3,000 high-volume engine builders, machine shops, performance shops, and installers through a direct-mail Engine Professional Rewards coupon book. Enrollment is FREE for AERA members, and any shop that enrolls on the Contingency Connection website.
Jackie Ressa of Contingency Connection explains it all started by simply listening to her customers. “Manufacturers expressed the need for an effective way to reach the weekly race market that didn’t require a lot of time or resources. We listened and designed a turn-key, cost-effective program that puts them where they wanted to be: at the track, in the stands, in the shop, and on the cars and trucks of end-user customers.”
So, what do Racers, Performance Shops, and Manufacturers say?
Tom Butherus, a racer in the Rocky Mountain Supercharger Series said he can now afford to race more often. “In the past 12 months I have saved about $1,400 on purchases ranging from gauges to seats. I purchased product from Autometer, Hedman, Holley, MAHLE, Max-Fire Ignition, Melling, Taylor, ProCar Seats and SCAT. The sponsor coupons from Contingency Connection pay better than most race wins!”
Rhyne Competition Engines of Gary, Indiana is just one of many shops cashing-in. “We love the program and usually end up with only a few pages left in our annual Engine Builder coupon book,” said general manager Mike McKinney. “We built a SBC 427 for a Nova Gasser that is going nostalgia drag racing. We bought AFR heads, Clevite H-series bearings, Cloyes timing set, Comp Cams camshaft, Driven break-in oil, Earls hose & fittings, FAST fuel injection to control the 8-stack injected intake, JE pistons & rings, Melling’s Shark Tooth oil pump, MSD ignition, and SCE gaskets, to name a few. As an engine builder, receiving the book is like someone sending you a pocket full of cash. Plus, it gives us wiggle-room to try products that we wouldn’t have tried otherwise”
Race Winning Brands/JE Pistons Vice President of Marketing and Business Development Sean Crawford weighed in. “Although professional racing is a significant portion of our business, the majority is still weekend warriors. Without them, our business wouldn’t be successful, so we continue to focus on supporting them whenever possible. The Contingency Connection allows us to support racers at local tracks that we normally couldn’t reach directly.”
Edelbrock’s Mike Rochon added, “Edelbrock and Russell have participated in both Racer and Engine Professional Rewards for many years. Contingency Connection continually add benefits to increase the ROI for sponsors and offers nationwide, direct exposure at the grassroots level.”
Bottom Line--Contingency Connection is an end-user direct marketing tool for aftermarket manufacturers and a godsend for racers, shops, and racetracks.
Manufacturers can educate and influence grassroots enthusiasts--building loyalty and increasing sales. Racers can “race with parts that pay for themselves” and race more often. Tracks enjoy increased car counts and profitability, and fans receive a better show!
By supporting grassroots marketing programs, sponsors are making an investment in our industry as a whole--helping secure the future of this great sport from the bottom up.
For more information contact Contingency Connection at: