Unlike most racers, Tania has an impressive science degree with majors in Computer Science and Mathematics, also a Commerce Degree with a major in Finance. Moreover, she has done post-graduate studies in Applied Finance and Investment. The highlight of her racing career so far would probably be making history as the first woman to do a full season in the prestigious Porsche Carrera Cup GB series. We sat down with the incredible Tania Mann to chat about how she uses her financial knowledge in racing.
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The business education
Nowadays sponsors are waiting for you to demonstrate that you can provide genuine business benefits for their hard-earned sponsorship funds. My education has been incredibly useful – not only it helped me understand this requirement, but it also allowed me to demonstrate how I am able to implement various strategies for potential supporters. It is still extremely hard to raise sufficient funding for high-profile series due to the substantial budgets required, but a background in financing keeps you more aware of the situation in the market, it often gives you the upper hand in negotiations and, obviously, helps you make better decisions.
The biggest challenge that I face, and I’m sure it’s the same for almost everyone else, is connecting to the right people. I’m not a marketing specialist and therefore my network is not necessarily perfect for what I’m trying to achieve. I think there are some solid companies out there that I would be a great fit for, but it’s difficult to connect to them and, in particular, the necessary decision-makers.
I’ve noticed that Formula E is getting a lot of attention right now – it’s a new sector of motorsport, filing a natural gap in the market to offer electric racing and, for this reason, its innovation factor can’t be properly compared to other racing series. Nonetheless, I think the pinnacle of motorsports, Formula 1, is still doing great and it would be pretty presumptuous of me to suggest how someone as experienced as Bernie should be doing his job – his sport is strong and still growing.
Introducing creativity in your work is not always as easy as it may seem. Firstly, you must have some source of inspiration, and then everything also has to work from a business point of view and be financially viable. Given how expensive racing is today, this is always one of the greatest challenges when introducing new concepts or even improving existing ones. Often change is not to the liking of the public, however, it’s usually motivated and/or constrained due to the financial challenges of keeping a series exciting versus running it at all.
Racing is my passion and I feel blessed to have the opportunity to do something I enjoy so much. As a result, I feel it’s important to be able to give back to the community somehow as a way of showing my gratitude.
This is why I’m looking at setting up my own foundation with the purpose of using the motorsport industry as a platform to assist disadvantaged children in reaching their potential. The aim is to not only do motivational talks around the UK but to also give some deserving kids the opportunity to actually come to the race circuit during test days.
To help get my foundation off the ground I’ve started by becoming an ambassador for UK Youth. The work of UK Youth makes a lasting impact by encouraging young people to take responsibility and become involved citizens. They reach out to 750,000 young people each year and it gives a voice to people who are too rarely heard, it builds skills that will remain useful throughout their lives. Their approach to learning works with all young people and has proved particularly effective with those not thriving in mainstream education.