Performance Coaching



Sponsorships are difficult to come by and a blessing when they do. Honoring the sponsor relationship takes skill and intention. Today I want to give a shout out to 21-year-old winged sprint car driver Clyde Knipp who is spot on in knowing how to do just that. Clyde is far beyond his young years in wisdom on knowing the importance of taking care of his hard-earned sponsors and creating a buzz for their products. In fact, he did such an outstanding job when he was sporting the orange and black T-Rex Tape colors on his #13 World of Outlaw machine that it was permanently imprinted in my brain.

A term known as “Activation Marketing” is the process of creating an “event” that creates an “emotion” that in turn requires the fan to do something with the information or emotion. Today’s racing sponsorship goes far beyond just putting a logo on the car, transporter, fire-suit and crew shirts and having the sponsors names mentioned over the track pa system. Sponsors want value-add for their dollars and want real meaningful connections. The key is to create an event that is so significantly different that one will recall the event at a later time.

Case in point - I witnessed Clyde engage fans strolling through the pits on a regular basis with his charismatic smile and friendly outreach. He would “invite” race fans into his pit stall by first presenting the fan with a small size T-Rex roll of duct tape and then personally autographing it and then asking the fans for a photo. By doing this, Clyde created an emotional tie to fans while being a great ambassador for his sponsors. Along the way, he generated more followers of his personal racing program and new customers for T-Rex Tape.

Recently, I was in the need to mail a package home from Indiana. I needed a shipping box and some packing tape. As I strolled down the office supply aisle at the store, the T-Rex packing tape jumped off the display as if it was the only packing tape that was in the entire store. Bright orange and black with the big T-Rex logo was seriously all I saw in the midst of the two dozen other brands. I’d never heard of T-Rex honestly, till I met Clyde and saw the beautiful orange and black #13. I thought to myself, how strange, I was looking for another competitor’s brand because of habit, and now I found myself not only gripping the T-Rex tape, but I was reliving a wonderful night at the World of Outlaws from the past season and watching Clyde bring smiles to his fans faces.

All this happened in seconds! Activation Marketing a Success! I was now a new T-Rex customer! I do have to add that it was the “event” that was attracting me to the product, locked somewhere in my subconscious and it was relevant only later when I needed to recall it.

Unfortunately, timing is everything, and not all sponsors realize that creating brand awareness from race marketing is not instantaneous. It takes time for fans to become acquainted with sponsors and to become loyal customers and for the ROI to appear. However, the process of seeing revenue increases can be shortened when drivers like Clyde have the ability to create an emotional tie with their fans and sponsors.

If you found this post of interest and would like to discuss how Champion Race Promotions can create an “activation marketing” event for your business or race team, we’d love to hear from you.

About Lori Cutter: Lori is the founder of Champion Race Promotions and a Accredited Motorsports Press Association Member (NMPA) and published writer for National Speed Sport News. She is a performance mindset coach and public speaker. Contact: 503-349-2778 cell;

Article Credit: Lori Cutter - Champion Race Promotions

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