Branding Hits the Racetrack

  • Categories:

    Client News, Content Marketing

  • Date:

    March 16, 2016

Branding Hits the Racetrack

Client News Content Marketing

Public relations account manager Meara Lyons supports WIX Filters' marketing efforts. 

For a company with a rich background in automotive, light truck and heavy-duty filters, the racetrack is a natural product and marketing extension. WIX Filters’ engineers have been creating products to address the unique challenges faced in the grueling conditions of the racetrack for nearly 50 years. With so much attention being placed on a dedicated market and passionate audience, it only makes sense for WIX to seek out product sponsorships, technical partnerships and brand extensions with teams and drivers to emphasize its industry and product expertise. 

What started with David Pearson, Buddy Baker and Richard Petty in the mid-to-late 1960s has grown into a comprehensive mix of product, technical and team sponsorships. Today, this mix is woven into an ongoing marketing communications program spanning NASCAR Sprint Cup, XFINITY, Camping World Truck, Whelen Modified, the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA), Red Bull Global Rallycross (GRC) and local grassroots racing across the U.S. These partnerships run the gamut:

  • At-track promotions
  • Customer hospitality
  • Activation programs
  • Sales meetings
  • Social media sweepstakes
  • Ongoing media coverage

The result of all these efforts? Eyeballs and expertise. First, these sporting events attract an incredible amount of passionate brand loyalists who are ready and willing to add an opportunistic brand to their long list of favorites. Second, these fans are everywhere – they’re ingesting and engaging with racing content wherever and whenever they can find it. The challenge is cutting through the noise to resonate with these fans, but brands that rise to the challenge benefit because fans favor specific car manufacturers, teams, drivers and even racing types. In other words, aligning with one can be marketing gold for a brand, and WIX is doing it well.

Here are a few highlights of WIX’s storied legacy with NASCAR:

  • In 1967, WIX sponsors NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty, who goes on to win his second NASCAR championship that season (and WIX filtration technology helps him win five more).
  • In 1991, WIX becomes an associate sponsor of Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), a relationship that lasts more than 20 years.
  • In 1996, WIX becomes the Officially Licensed Filter of NASCAR, positioning WIX as the number one filter in motorsports.
  • Fast forward to 2004, when WIX receives the coveted NASCAR endorsement as an exclusive NASCAR Performance Product, promoting WIX as the #1 filter in NASCAR.
  • In 2011, WIX extends team and product sponsorships with Stewart-Haas Racing, Tony Stewart Racing and Richard Petty Motorsports.
  • In 2014, WIX follows driver Ryan Newman to Richard Childress Racing (RCR) and develops winning products with RCR’s ECR Engines group. Newman comes in second overall after an exciting Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
  • Finally, in early 2016, WIX announced a technical partnership with Hendrick Motorsports. Together, the companies develop filtration products that help power the team – technology that has already resulted in a win by Jimmie Johnson at Atlanta Motor Speedway. 

All of this equals eyeballs. And, for the past six years, WIX has partnered with driver Ryan Newman to physically bring the brand to the track for millions to see. It’s a symbiotic partnership that plays to everyone’s strengths and gets WIX directly in front of consumers. Additionally, Newman’s hobbies – camping, hunting, fishing – perfectly align with WIX’s customer base, and his charity, Rescue Ranch, is another feel-good brand extension for WIX.

Now, expertise relates to WIX’s technical partnerships. WIX wants fans to see its brand on the car, but they want them to know WIX is under the hood, too. And not just Newman’s hood. WIX filters can be found in almost every race team’s vehicles, and that accomplishment makes WIX proud. The more drivers use WIX, the more WIX is seen as an industry leader, which only further elevates the brand.

So, as race season revs up, pay close attention to how brands are able to leverage such a dedicated audience – and maybe you can brainstorm some “on the track” ideas of your own.

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