Racing requires lots of money to do and sponsors/partners can help with this. However, sometimes funds may be covered and sponsors/partners are not needed. This means there might be a vacant area on the car that could be utilized for something else.  It’s always important to utilize the space on your car and giving it away to a charity or good cause can benefit you and the people involved, maybe not with money but in media exposure in local communities and at the track. All of this can put you one step in the right direction to finding that partner or sponsor. Getting involved with charities, local communities, and other events can really help farm to network connections which in turn puts you another step closer to putting together a partnership.  Plus it can be lots of fun!

Last year I did something really cool with a little green man of clay: Gumby! Most everyone knows about him and it makes for a fun twist on things. Gumby just happened to be started in my hometown of Glendora, CA and the city was trying to rebirth him by hosting an event called Gumby Fest. I saw this is an opportunity to get more involved with my local community and businesses. I called up the Chamber of Commerce to have lunch to chat about it, and before I knew it, I had Gumby plastered on the side of my MX-5 Cup Car.

I received a loner car from Mazda and contacted a local decal company to make a Gumby and Pokey vinyl wrap for it. This car was driven around and used as a prop for media, and our story was a hit! I appeared in a few different major newspapers in my community in the following weeks as I helped promote Gumby Fest. We also had a custom racing suit made along with a helmet to be auctioned off at the event to help raise money for the local library. I wore this suit in the race prior to the event to help leverage media at the track; those stories were then translated to media exposure down in Glendora. My involvement with Gumby Fest proved to be a powerful networking tool as I got involved with my community and attended rotary meetings in Glendora to talk about the event and my part in it. It also helped build my credibility to future partners.

The next Gumby Fest is at the end of September when I will be helping promote the event once again, this time with the added twist of involving another charity to the mix.