SBD/Issue 121/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

Mazda Builds Brand Loyalty Through Support Of Amateur Racing

Mazda Building Brand Loyalty
Through Amateur Racing Effort
Few automakers are as "deeply involved" with amateur racers as Mazda, as the company "claims 9,000 racers and says more of its cars zoom around road-race tracks on any given weekend than any other nameplate," according to Chris Woodyard of USA TODAY. Mazda North America Senior VP Robert Davis: "We're here to help people race. Our core values are to have as many people racing Mazdas as possible." SportsCar Magazine Editor Jason Isley: "It sells cars. There's not a doubt that Mazda is the predominant car out there." Auto companies "offer discounts, prize money, free technical advice and sometimes even cars to amateur racers," and their competition "creates lots of goodwill, brand loyalty, positive word of mouth and the envy of their more pedestrian workmates -- all of which helps sell cars and burnish brand image." Other automakers also are "involved in helping amateurs." Ford sells "sprint cars with Ford engines and three levels of race-ready Mustangs." Also, Porsche Motorsport spokesperson Andy Schupack noted that "dozens of Porsche clubs around the country offer amateur racing." And Honda, which said that it has a "broad-based program to support many forms of amateur racing," gives "worthy participants prize money and racing parts" (USA TODAY, 3/13).

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