Tuesday, March 24, 2009

TRG, David Gilliland & Gilly's Gang: A Kind of Magic!

Proposed sticker for #71 TRG car at Martinsville.

Its a kind of magic

Its a kind of magic
A kind of magic
One dream one soul one prize one goal
One golden glance of what should be
Its a kind of magic
One shaft of light that shows the way!

(from A Kind of Magic, by Queen, movie Highlander)

Yesterday, I blogged a comparison of Yates Racing and TRG (The Racer's Group)! I discussed the magic that appears to be brewing at TRG, with wonderful chemistry between Driver, Crew Chief and Owner. Today, I want the NASCAR world to know that the magic continues. A special Kind of Magic.

Last year, the fans of David Gilliland, calling ourselves Gilly's Gang, attempted to contribute financially to David's team. We knew that it took a lot of money, but the dollar figure we were given was daunting. Frankly, we gave up!

This year, David has a new ride and a new owner. We wanted to reach out, but after the reaction to our attempts last year, we expected nothing different from TRG. One member pressed forward anyway, and on Monday of this week, received a response from Lloyd Wideman, TRG Marketing Director! His response:

Good Morning and Happy Monday!

My name is Lloyd Wideman, I am the Director of Marketing for TRG Motorsports. I spoke with Daniela just before getting out and on the road to Bristol about getting the Fan Club on the race car for one or more events... How could I turn down a fellow Missourian???

I ran some concepts past the ownership and spoke to David about the ideas... Here is what we have to work with:

What ever the amount of money you raise, $5 or $5000... we will provide you with the Deck Lid (trunk) for a race. The entire space is yours to do whatever you want with it.

We can put Martinsville together pretty quickly if ya'll would like to do it there!

If you need help developing a concept, please let me know.

As we speak, Gilly's Gang is in the process of gathering funds. There is an amazing amount of interest, and members are contributing whatever they can, and the Gang is accepting ANY amount!

Marketing folks are the unsung heroes of most businesses, and most especially in NASCAR. This sport does not run entirely on good looks, good faith, and good results. It takes real money to get those rolling billboards on the track. The marketing department of any race team is busy finding ways to persuade sponsors that their team is a good deal. Deals can be on the verge of a signature, and then get hijacked by other teams and THEIR marketing departments. The marketing teams are the ones chasing the leads, following up, and helping to negotiate the deals, while the owners and drivers get all of the attention during the announcements.

It is understandable that some of the larger teams might be reluctant to have a 'fan sticker' on a car. Accepting a less-than-market-value amount might cause a reaction similar to Retail Sale Syndrome (where buyers will hold off purchasing because they know it will be cheaper in the future) and cause other potential sponsors to balk at paying the amount that is really needed. This is probably the reason for the response from Yates last year, and is totally understandable.

The other part of being a Marketing Guru is in knowing that there are opportunities with any idea. And sometimes, the simplest idea can turn into a huge opportunity to sell a story, or a concept, or a sponsorship. It is always challenging for Marketing folks who have to prove to the owners that there is 'value' in any idea. But savvy marketers will at least try the idea, and see if it works. Taking chances is part of any NASCAR driver's race, but the marketing team finds it harder to present those dangerous chances to the owners, as they are never sure how ANY deal will work out. TRG is taking a chance with this concept, but the fan response has been energetic and exciting to watch!

David's fans know that it may be challenging to come up with the amount of money that TRG REALLY needs for the whole deck lid, or even the stickers on the wing mounts. But, we do know that we are being heard as fans, and we are excited to know that we indeed have an opportunity to contribute. Racing would not exist without it's fans, and TRG seems to understand that fans want to participate on a grass roots level.

Kevin Buckler of TRG told SpeedTV's Dave Despain that he has no problems with tweaking the angle of a team and driver in the middle of a Cinderella Story. However, Cinderella did not find her Prince without the help of Magic! And the fans, in this case, are providing Magic to help their driver, and his team! A Kind of Magic, indeed!

If you wish to be a part of the magic, go to www.davidgilliland.com, and sign up for the Fan Circuit. On that message board, you will see instructions on how to contribute. If you wish to not join but want to contribute, please feel free to email me, and I will give you all of the needed information! Join in the magic!

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