One of the most repeated questions we get asked (at every venue we go to) concerns sponsorship. We’ve done several articles on finding, aquiring, and keeping sponsors for grassroots motorsports programs. Investing several hours researching the subject, we’ve become minor experts on the topic. Expert enough to run the board on Jeopardy if the category is sponsorships (We’ll take motorsports sponsors for 200 Alex).
Recently, very few companies have created a fresh and out-of-the-box method of sponsorship. The typical parts and technical support are still the standard methods of marketing and backing the grassroots motorsports programs. PFC Brakes has taken it a step further and incorporated a self-help, social-media component into its program.
PFC Brakes Unique Sponsorship Application
“In my humble opinion, in terms of sponsorship over the last three years, we have developed one of the best sponsorship programs in the motorsports industry,” said Adam Keiser, director of marketing for PFC Brakes.
“Each year, typically launched at the PRI Tradeshow, we hold an online competition called #SponsorMePFC,” he explained. “Drivers apply on our site; then over a four-week period, they promote themselves on social media using a special hashtag we assign for the event.”
In past years, the company used #SponsorMePFC17, #SponsorMePFC18, and #SponsorMePFC19, which identifies the annual campaign by year. It is reasonable to assume this year’s campaign will feature the #SponsorMePFC20 hashtag for the 2020-year program. We mention this in case any driver wants to get a headstart on designing their offseason social media posts.
How The Winners Are Chosen
Drivers are given a four-week window to engage their fans through social media using the PFC-assigned hashtag. “We evaluate the applicants based on their accomplishments, character, and ultimately their engagement and reach with the hashtag,” said Keiser.
“We select ten drivers and offer them product and marketing support,” Keiser explained. “At the end of the day, the #SponsorMePFC campaign is good for our exposure. And more importantly, it helps by teaching the applicants the importance of online promotion.”
Wanting to gauge the success of the program since its inception, we took a look at the first group of sponsorship winners. These winning drivers were announced for the 2016 season.
Trent Ivey was 21-years-old when PFC Brakes selected him. He was an up-and-coming crate late model racer working through the Carolina region. Since then Ivey has moved into the Super Late Model class.
Woody Pitkat was a veteran driver with a couple of division titles to his credit when he was selected. Since then, Pitkat has extended his resume with more championship titles, adding experience in the Whelen All-American Series and the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.
Cody Haskins was already a car owner and operator of his own team when selected. Using hard work and determination, Haskins has won multiple events at NASCAR local home tracks and had a considerable amount of success in the CARS Racing Tour. Currently, Haskins runs multiple race teams (managing drivers, financial obligations, marketing, and helping set up the racecars).
Kyle Strickler was a well-known Dirt Modified racer when selected. Since then, he has moved to Mooresville, North Carolina, and moved into Dirt Late Model racing. He has driven in the NASCAR Truck series at the Eldora Dirt Derby in 2018 and is looking to showcase his talents in other Dirt Late Model series.
Haley Moody was born into racing and working her way through the asphalt fendered car divisions when selected by PFC Brakes. She has raced in many significant events in the CARS Series, all the while immersed in completing her education.
Steven Brooks was an asphalt Late Model racer when selected by PFC Brakes. Steven traveled all around the country for four years racing some of the best asphalt Late Model drivers around. Currently, he competes in the UMP Dirt Modifieds and continues to travel the country racing the best drivers in the series.
Kodie Conner had moved into the Super Late Model division when selected for sponsorship by PFC Brakes. Taking over the race team in 2017, Kodie now competes heavily in the Pro All-Stars Series.
Stewart Friesen, 2016 PFC Brakes sponsorship winner.Stewart Friesen was a well-known Big-Block Modified racer when selected. He broke into NASCAR that year at the Eldora Dirt Derby, finishing Second in his heat. Since then, Friesen has run 63 races in 3 years with the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series, winning the Eldora Dirt Derby this year.
Alex Prunty was another child of the sport, growing up in the Prunty Racing clan. Alex already had a couple of championships when PFC Brakes selected him and moved into the Super Late Models at his local track. He won his second National Short Track Championship in 2018.
There is little doubt that the PFC Brakes sponsorships helped these drivers reach the next level. The payoff for PFC Brakes has been rewarding as well. “You can see the traction that we have gained with this program,” said Keiser.
You can expect to see the company announce the #SponsorMePFC2020 campaign during the lead up to the PRI Tradeshow in Indianapolis this year. Racers wanting to get a head start can start working on their social media skills now. Make sure you hashtag PFC Brakes to keep their attention.
Here is a list of the past winners since 2017:
- Matt Sheppard – Big Block Modifieds
- Hunter Marriott – USMTS Dirt Modifieds
- Chris Madden – Dirt Late Models
- Zane DeVilbiss – Dirt Modifieds
- Casey Roderick – Asphalt Super Late Models
- Natalie Decker – NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series
- Tyler Roahrig – Outlaw Super Late Models
- Jeremy Doss – Asphalt Super Late Models
- Justin Bonsignore – NASCAR Whelen Modifieds
- Anthony Miller – Asphalt Limited Late Models
- Mike Mahaney – Big Block Modifieds
- Morgan Ward – Wissota Modifieds
- Zachary Tinkle – Asphalt Late Models
- Jack Dossey III – ARCA Late Models
- Cole Butcher – Asphalt Late Models
- Derek Griffith – Asphalt Late Models
- Hunter Jack – ARCA Late Models
- Carson Ferguson – Dirt Crate Late Models
- Kayli Barker – Asphalt Late Models
- Rafe Slate – Asphalt Late Models
- Tanner Jack – Asphalt Late Models
- Victoria Stutsky – Dirt Modifieds
- Adam Hoegerl – Sprint Cars
- Alexa Anderson – Asphalt Super Late Models
- Chase Dixon – Asphalt Late Models
- Jacob Perry – Whelen Mini Stock / Pro 4 Modified
- Justin Merriman – IMCA Stock Cars
- Justin Mondeik – Asphalt Late Models
- Nick Neri – Asphalt Super Late Models
For more information on PFC Brakes or their sponsorship program, visit them online at pfcbrakes.com.