RACERS: Why Crowdfunding May Devalue Your Brand

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Photo Courtesy – JComp on Freepik –It seems to be a growing trend for racers to turn to platforms like GoFundMe or similar to find money for racing.  There are even some now dedicated to motorsports.  

I would throw a caution flag on this type of approach by itself and here’s why…

It devalues your brand.

Motorsports is a multi-billion dollar industry in the US. A study done in the state of Pennsylvania in 2019 showed that the economic impact of motorsports in just that state was over 2 BILLION dollars.

The impact mostly comes from short track racing, as the only NASCAR track in the state is Pocono, which runs a couple of weekends each year and that’s it.

You are a part of that multi-billion dollar industry, meaning you have value to companies looking for ways to engage with the millions of racing fans across the nation!

When you market your race team through crowdfunding platforms, it appears as a hobby and sends the message to companies that you don’t have enough value to trade your assets for their dollars in an effort to help them grow or reach customers – so you ask for donations of any kind.

That puts you in a similar situation to the “busker” – the musician who stands on the street corner playing his music with a money jar or guitar case open in front of him for people to throw money into.

It becomes a donation, and not a business deal. 

Then you become wholly dependent on individuals who lack the sufficient dollars to support your program so in the end you often fall short of your goal.

The best approach to growing your racing brand is to race at the highest level that you can afford to out of your own pocket AND invest in a proper business/marketing plan that includes a website, a community hub, social media and tools like hero cards and maybe some hats or shirts to toss into the crowd at the track or give away to crowds of people you get in front of through appearances at parades or other activities.

It takes work, but if you race at the same track every week and you aren’t sure if half the fans in the grandstand know who you are or what you’re about, you’re not engaging directly with them enough and you need a fan club type program for them to sign up or subscribe to.

If you want to climb the ladder in the sport, it’s hard to do that from a crowdfunding platform. Investing in yourself as a marketing / media company who uses motorsports to help other companies connect and grow is the only way to give yourself the best shot at achieving that goal.