5X Racing Team Support Program
NOTE! We cover this in more detail within the article - but for quick reference - all existing members in good account standing (have submitted a recent picture with our decals on and race results) are grandfathered into our Sponsored Driver program. This program will carry an even better discount to reward those on the Team Support program that were loyal and remained in good account standing with us.
One of our goals since we found ourselves in the position to be charitable with our earnings was to give back to the racing community in any way that we could. At first, it was with our time, more specifically in donating our time to holding volunteer positions with NASA Florida as Spec Miata class director and even NASA Florida Race Director. This also allowed us to be the title sponsor of the NASA Florida Spec Miata class, and while we couldn't offer much more than volunteering our time and offering the racers in the class discounts, it was our way of giving back to those who supported us.
Another way we gave back was through our 5X Racing Team Support Program. We modeled this program after the Mazdaspeed Motorsports Development program, which is a membership program that when joined, opened a discount structure to purchase both OEM and race parts for all Mazda vehicles in exchange for your racecar wearing Mazda decals and proving you raced this vehicle regularly by providing race results and pictures of the vehicle periodically. While not a "sponsorship", it was rather a membership program that we could provide to a wide range of people and not just a chosen few like a traditional sponsorship program. It was our way of "spreading the wealth" to many instead of just a couple, and we thought it was a good way to provide benefits to not just those who were the spotlights of the class, but also those who were just starting out. We ran this program for many years and surely helped a few fledgling racers out, and while good in theory, the biggest challenge for us was making sure that the members were actually putting our decals on their cars and keeping them there, not just for the initial picture to get their discount started. With very few members providing regular race results and updated pictures of their cars, and no way of enforcing them to do so except by suspending their discount, we have decided to transition our support program to the more traditional sponsorship program of supporting select racers of our choice. This will allow us to better control the reciprocation of the drivers end of the deal with applying our decals to their cars.
Our existing loyal Team Support program members in (good account standing) will be grandfathered into our Sponsored Driver program. This program will carry an even better discount to reward those who stuck with us on the Team Support program. We appreciate the loyalty and patronage you shared for us by consistently running our decals and spreading the word about our program/company. For new racers looking to be on our sponsored driver program, we will now be choosing who we'd like to support instead of offering the membership program. Currently we have a solid lineup and are not actively seeking new drivers, but you are certainly welcome to send us an email to "get your file in". We'd like to know what your story is, a racing resume, what you race, where you race, how often you race, links to your race results (to see how many races you've participated in, not to see how well you finish), and what your racing plans are. This info can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
For potential racers looking to get supported (by us, or anyone for that matter), here is what we'd look for when investing our advertising budget into a racers program:
- They race A LOT!
- Since we have been so busy in both business, new car builds and updates, and LIFE (the most important of all), it has left us with less and less time to actually get out and race our own cars. Track presence is important to a company such as ours, and we want to make sure a 5X Racing flag is being flown at the racetracks that we normally visit here in the south. Since we cannot get to the track as much as we'd like, we want to make sure drivers we invest in are at the track VERY frequently.
- Social media is king nowadays whether you like it or not. In the past it was magazine ad's, then forums, but the advertising media has shifted now though, and everyone is on Facebook and Instagram including us! (follow us on Facebook and Instagram!) The drivers we chose to support are above-average users on both Facebook and Instagram. They share great content and have a following, which we hope will reciprocate with our followers. Followers leads to more brand exposure, which leads to deeper pools for targeted advertising, which leads to sales. Or we hope at least! Tagging your social media photos of your car with #5xracing is a great start!
- It's no secret that businesses want their logos on cars that get the attention. Obviously we want to get our brand out there to those who are interested in Miata racing, and a great way to do this is for people to see our logos affixed to cars that are gracing the pages of their local regions magazines or are being shared across social media platforms.
- While it is hard to be 100% "liked" at the track, some come close. You can certainly be popular too, whether it be the life of the party or the shining star while on track being a front-runner with a great looking car. And you can most certainly be outspoken and a voice standing up for the racers if something is amiss with the running of an event or within the rules. We've filled all of these shoes before within our 10+ years of racing Spec Miata. While we now prefer to be the "well-liked" team, we've also been the shining stars (fully-wrapped 5XR livery car winning the NASA FL 2010 SM Championship), and we've been the outspoken "thorn in the side" too when helping to advise on Spec Miata rules and National Championship technical inspections. We value all of these personality types and see the potential within them.
- Mostly because we couldn't make a 4-point list without including a "5", being fast certainly helps. "To the winner goes the spoils" they say. While winning isn't a requirement for our supported drivers, we like to see them do well. And doing well certainly helps to put our logos in the spotlight because the car crossing the finish line first most often gets the press. There are so many ways to make yourself and your racing program marketable even if you're not running up front however. Those who are creative in finding these ways will get just as much attention from us as those who are at the front, so don't consider this a disqualifying factor!
So with that, we thank all of those who've supported us via our Team Support program both past and present. We hope you understand our decision as a business to shift our support to specific racers rather than spread a light discount across a wide variety of grassroots racers. As we grow into a company who has more and more time restraints and is unable to get out to the track as much as we'd like, we want to make sure that we still have a track presence through racers who ARE at the track as much as we'd like to be!
Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for the next few media blasts highlighting our supported driver lineup!