You’ve seen me write an entire newsletter post on the fact that “following your passion” is terrible advice. But what if you could truly do it: Follow your passion and be useful to others?
[TL;DR – I’ve been in the racing world for years as an amateur and constructor for my son’s racing. I know how to solve big problem in the racing-world and I’ve built a technical MVP with really great momentum so far. Find it here.]
A History of Racing
For many of my YouTube subscribers, you’ve noticed that I’ve been posting daily shorts of my deeper engagement into the racing game. One of my very first posts years ago was about my son’s career into the racing world. Ever since then, we’ve only gotten more and more serious as a function of competence and success. He’s won series championships, a top performer both at the club and national level, and been growing and maturing in the sport of racing at noticeable speed.
I know the game of racing. I’ve traversed the ladder myself as an amateur. As an SCCA licensed driver, I enjoy my current position of being a ‘gentleman driver’ or ‘pay driver’ for teams that need an extra driver (or suddenly missing one). I’ve never claimed to be good. I won’t ruin a team’s race, and in most cases, I’m just good enough to keep average pace with the field. Sometimes I just tell the team that “I won’t make things worse. That’s all I can promise.”
Racing is Cost Prohibitive
Ask any Team Principal or driver what their biggest constraint or issue is, and they will respond with “we need more money to race.” Finding good drivers for a team is only secondary to the ability to support a team. Teams need sponsorship to support mechanics, coaching, travel, technology and the car itself (and everything is a consumable). Drivers need all of these same things. While the money aspect is a complicated problem to solve in that teams can (relatively) know what their costs will be to run a team for a season, the greater and more frustrating costs are time and relationships.
Racing is Psychologically Expensive
The amount of time drivers and teams spend wooing and working with sponsors to work out a sponsorship deal is a cost that deeply impacts the overall effectiveness of a team. When dog-fooding a team, all members of the team are playing an almost full-time role of a salesman and fundraiser as well as their functional duties. How frustrating it can be to work out the deals of a sponsor… and if we’re honest, most racecar drivers aren’t business people. Some of them are merely neanderthals who only know how to go fast. This is ok! But the tax imposed upon small teams is immense. They must be able to sell and service their sponsors in professional and mature ways. Details must be discussed and negotiated:
- Sponsor amount
- Where branding goes on car
- How many races
- How much marketability & visibility
- Sponsor value
- Social media provisions
- Events and more
The short of it is: Drivers and teams must be able to successfully convince a sponsor that the money they give will give them the advertising value of the sponsor’s product, service, or company. This isn’t an easy task to measure by any means.
Oh, and it’s not only for racing drivers. Any athlete in motorsports on land, water, and air have the same constraints: Find money and perform well to keep money flowing. We are solving this problem.
There are More [Technical] Problems to Be Solved
I have seen MANY operational, management, and technology problems to be solved in the racing world. Many of those problems have been become personal, as my son completes his 3rd full season of racing. These problems aren’t merely frustrating, but constraining and sometimes hurtful to the trajectory of a driver or team. I’m struggling with it all now myself.
Team Principals and drivers are not often business people. This is why they hire engineers, sales, marketing, etc as the team grows in success and support.
Even more rare is deep technical knowledge. The deepest that (few) teams get to is hiring someone to build their website and (maybe) manage their social media channels. In many racing events, we’re literally still pen and paper. It’s 2023 my friends, time for an upgrade.
Personal Vested Interest to Solve Problems in Racing
I’ve found an intersection of my capabilities, passions, and invested interests… and I’ve been pulling on this string for almost a year now. Can it truly be possible to build, work, and be paid completely within your passion? I’d certainly like to try.
Some would ask whether I lived my passion in my past projects. The answer is yes. I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to always work within my passions: agile, startups, Bitcoin, and venture investment. I’ve been blessed to be able to direct my life in this way and find amazing colleagues to help support my investments and focus.
But, never before has my work included a direct impact to my family and a sport I love.
Very rarely do people of industry get to build something that directly impacts the success of their family. In most cases, family is merely a receiving function of effort, they receive the output of work-effort to bring money in.
What if you could say that your work directly impacted the financial success of your son or daughter? What if you could say that every waking day your work was directly improving the career or life-path of your progeny? What if you could say that your work allows you to be working with your family every day? – This rare gem of a situation, a rare convergence of factors, could it actually be possible outside of running a family farm?
Time to Try Following My Family Passion
I have built a technical platform and solution for the automotive & motorsport world that has already been proven in our early alpha user testing.
- Problem – Racing Drivers (of any kind) and Racing Teams need money to race. They are not well equipped or versed in fundraising, business, or technical engineering.
- Solution – Making it easy for Drivers & Teams to quickly show potential sponsors the transactional details of money for brand visibility.
- There is no marketplace of available drivers and teams looking for drivers. We’ve already begun building this with our (soon to be released) partners.
- There is no platform for drivers to easily input details of sponsor-value and show their value to potential sponsors in a marketplace.
- There is no technological solution for drivers to quickly create sponsorship packages and take money in. We’ve made this possible with only a few clicks!
- There is no global database and marketplace of vendors, retailers, and sponsors to reduce costs to racing.
If I Could Make it Easier…
“If I could make it easier for you as a driver or team owner to get money in to race, would you use it?”
Every single answer we’ve received was “yes!”
So far, our early testers have validated that our platform and solution is exactly what they need.
The Old Way of Getting Sponsorship to Race
- Contact family, friends, network, and colleagues. This is best done in-person.
- Discuss the terms of the sponsorship: How many races, how much expected visibility, where branding will go (suit, car, etc), how social will be leveraged, events to be at, co-branding considerations, and more. This back and forth can take months and must be done year round.
- Contracts to write, agree on, and close. Financials shared and money-in schedule.
- Branding collateral created, put on livery, put on suit, first social media posts begin being pushed to communicate partnership and sponsorship. Servicing the sponsor begins now.
- Oh, and you have to actually perform well in races so your sponsor (actually) gets the visibility they paid for.
Aunt Jodie might love you, but she ain’t gunna send you $500 every month this year to pay for one set of tires. You’ll probably need 4-10 sets per month depending on racing schedule. She’s a one-off sponsor.
Racing is expensive. Drivers and teams must constantly be getting out there, fundraising, meeting people, building relationships, and somehow over time convince them to give them money to go fast. Don’t forget, the driver needs to be performant.
Performing well as a driver is hard enough of a job. It’s time to use technology to optimize and simplify the fundraising process.
The New Way
GarageID is the most elegant solution for any race team, driver, or aspiring speed-demon:
- Sign up and fill out a Driver Profile. Tell us your racing goals, costs, and what you need.
- Upload your machine to your digital garage. We give you all the racing category-specific fields to tell us all about your ride.
- Create one-time sponsorship packages to multi-tiered packages so sponsors know exactly what they are getting for their money.
- Connect a payment gateway and send your unique GarageID link to anyone in your network.
- Sponsors can easily send money knowing what they’re getting.
Don’t be deceived. A relationship still needs to get built, but creating a platform that reduces technology overhead isn’t just something that I personally need for my son’s racing career, it’s something that the industry needs as a whole.
The automotive and motorsport world is a $3.3+ trillion dollar industry:
- $95B spent by consumers on car parts in 2021. 18% growth yoy.
- Car aftermarket TAM in 2021 was $520B.
- 14M people in USA went to car shows in 2020*. Car events is a $17.3B TAM in 2019.
- $13,000/year is average spend per car collector.
- On March 2022, Hagerty partners with Polyphony Studios to embed the first marketing campaign inside a video game, Gran Turismo 7, with 300K+ daily active users.
- $800M per MONTH is spent on automotive advertising in USA in 2020* with expectations to increase 20% by 2025.
*first lockdowns due to pandemic response, so numbers lower than expectations
And, these numbers are just the car world. If we are to include boating, motorcycles, ATVs, ATX, planes, drones, etc… If it’s in your garage, men like to race these things.
The full market potential is staggering. I’ve done the math.
Just the Beginning
Through our year of building in quick product development cycles getting amazing feedback, we’ve found that our driver sponsor platform can encompass the larger automotive world with ease, without diluting core usability and focus.
I’m excited to expand our platform beyond event organization and driver sponsorship, our two core functions right now. We have a long pipeline of needs from community feedback:
- Deeper Event Organization (shows, events, rallies, auctions, racing, clubs, community). Eventbrite just isn’t cutting it. We’re building ours for the machine-lover in mind.
- Vehicle history on blockchain. Moving vehicle history to the blockchain just makes sense for GarageID.
- Vehicle retail marketplace. If it’s in your garage, you need to maintain it and service it. Tell us what you’ve got and we’ll send you retail/service discounts. Easy cakes. Ebay Motors has tried this, but conversion sucks and nobody is proud of their Ebay turbo charger for their Civic. We can do better.
- Race Team Management. Managing and supporting a race team is a complicated problem, not complex. This means that managing a race team is a known entity. We don’t want every race team out there re-inventing the wheel to get them off the ground, so we’re building a scalable system for any team to build on.
- Race-Specific Categories. I want to build the largest marketplace for the world of racing and we’re building category specific platforms for anything that goes fast: cars of all kinds, bikes, atx, atv, motorsports, aerosports, drone racing, and more. If you keep any of your gear, equipment, or vehicle in your garage, it should be in GarageID.
- And more…
Here’s the First Ask – 3 Things
In 7 days, I’m going to launch my first ever Kickstarter campaign and try to crowdfund our project.
- Please subscribe to our GarageID project newsletter for updates!
- Check out www.GarageID.com and learn about what I’ve been building!
- Stay tuned in 7 days for my first ever Kickstarter campaign, and let people in your network know!
We have an amazing team that I’m ridiculously proud of. We’re just beginning!
All the best,