Motorsport consultant and founder of Racing Mentor Jess Shanahan launched a new book on sponsorship at the Motorsport Days Live event at Silverstone. She talks to the Paddock magazine about it.
The book, called Get Paid to Race, is the ultimate guide to modern-day sponsorship and touches on everything from building your brand through to landing the biggest sponsor of your racing career. Get Paid to Race takes Shanahan’s experience running a race team and coaching drivers, as well as her background in marketing and PR, and presents it in an easily digestible format.
Those that buy the book will also gain access to exclusive digital content such as templates, guides and videos. Shanahan said: “Motorsport sponsorship has changed and far too many drivers are going in with the wrong approach. I set up Racing Mentor to help people find success with sponsorship and Get Paid to Race is the next logical step in that journey.”
The book has already had plenty of support from the motorsport community. Shanahan also picked up three important sponsors for the book; Marc Brunel Recruitment, Trade Price Cars, and SupaPass. She noted: “Proof of concept was important for this book so I used everything I knew to bring sponsors on board. They’ve helped to promote what I’m doing, have invested to help get the book ready for launch and we’ve got more activities planned after the event too.” The book is available at www.racingmentor.com/thebook.
Jess, did you come to any new realisations about relevant issues while actually writing the book? If so, what was the main thing that changed for you?
Sponsorship has changed massively over the years, but drivers still seem to be employing old tricks that don’t really work in this day and age. For example, offering just a sticker on a race car and asking a business to pay for it isn’t enough. In this digital world, businesses want more, but thankfully racing drivers are also able to offer a lot more too. Social media, blogging, and video all present huge opportunities to both sponsors and racers alike.
What would you say about this book to the youngsters who are looking into Formula 1 careers?
The book is designed to teach racing drivers the business skills needed to succeed in the industry so it’s relevant to those aiming for Formula 1 too. Learning these business skills at a young age is going to give you an advantage over other drivers. The branding content within the book is also relevant to people looking for other careers in this high-end racing sport. While the book focusses on sponsorship for racing drivers, it could set someone up for a career in management or PR as well.
Any advice for Formula 1 teams on hiring new talent?
Nurture your talent, there’s no way around it. If a team can start working with a talented youngster while they’re studying, they’re more likely to stay loyal and grow with the team. This is why work experience programmes are so important. It’s also key for teams to get involved with the motorsport community to help develop new talent while keeping an eye on those who show promise. It’s much easier to train a team member from within in new technologies and processes than it is to poach someone from another team or series.