Archive for the ‘Motorsports Education’ category

Looking for Sponsorship? Read this.

November 23rd, 2014

Most of us involved in racing, whether you’re earning a motorsports engineering degree or gearing up for a career in racing, are also involved in a race team or property. Maybe you’re a member of your school’s Formula SAE program or you’re involved with a race team outside of school.

If so, you’re probably doing what everyone else is around this time of year: looking for sponsorship.

Sponsorship is a touchy subject in the racing world – some people believe it doesn’t really exist, others treat it like it’s free money. But if you’re looking to make a career in racing, you need to get right with the concept of sponsorship as soon as possible – or you’ll be banging your head against a wall your whole career.

Sponsorship makes race cars go. That’s why it’s important to put in as much time off the track as you do on it. Here are a few great resources for learning about sponsorship, from other blogs and a page of resources!

Sponsorship Pricing: It’s too expensive versus it’s not worth it.

Your unfair advantage. (Or, cheating legally.)

Sponsorship Activation: Earning Your Money (and a Long-Term Partner)

Resources for Sponsorship: How to Get it, Keep it and More…


Now Available: The Sponsorship Seeker’s Toolkit, Fourth Edition

April 30th, 2014

If you’re in any form of racing, you know there’s everything to learn about sponsorship marketing and how to keep sponsors happy. But there isn’t much credible information out there on how to do that. Two of my favorite resources on the subject are the DirtyMouth blog on racing sponsorship and motorsports marketing and Kim Skildum-Reid and Anne-Marie Grey’s Sponsorship Seeker’s Toolkit.

Kim and Anne-Marie created this toolkit back in the 1990’s, but they’ve done a great job of continually updating it as sponsorship trends change and new tools are
made available. While many of their practices apply more to businesses and non-profits, a lot of what’s written about can be directly applied to racing and other adrenaline sports. The reason we’re sharing today is that a new edition has been released for the first time since 2008 and we’re looking forward to getting our hands on it as much as you might be.

This edition includes social media integration strategies, proposals and case studies that were not included in previous toolkits.

If you’re interested, I highly recommend you check it out here. I pre-ordered the hard copy, which doesn’t come out for another few weeks, but you can get the Kindle Edition (which you can also read on any device, not just a Kindle) instantly though Amazon. Enjoy!!

Jeff Krosnoff Motorsports Scholarship Fund

November 4th, 2013

We love to share scholarships that are of interest to or apply to the motorsports community, and this is a great motorsports scholarship in memory of racer Jeff Krosnoff that we’d like motorsports students to be aware of. All information has be obtained through the Jeff Krosnoff Scholarship Fund website.

The scholarship will award $10,000, payable to the college or university the winner will attend.

Racing was a dream come true for Jeff, and the organizers and sponsors of the scholarship hope that the money awarded will help the recipient in reaching his or her own dreams. The scholarship will not only help Jeff’s legacy live on, but also help in creating a better future for deserving young adults.

Qualifications: Four-year college bound California high school seniors with excellent academic credentials who have demonstrated a breadth of interests, a driving desire to succeed in their chosen endeavors, outstanding community citizenship and the ability to share their experiences through the written word.

Applicants should have a cumulative grade point average in grades 9-12 of at least 3.0.

And complete the application and essay. Don’t write what you think we want to hear.. We’ll know. Be honest and forthcoming.

Each application MUST do the following:

-Complete Student Application Form. (Found on the website.)

-Enclose a copy of your high school transcripts. These transcripts can be unofficial.

-One copy of the essay, which should be 2-4 type printed pages in length, double spaced. Do not hand write your essay.

-Staple your application form, transcripts and other information to your original type printed essay.

-Include only contact information of your references on the application. There is no need to send Letters of References. We will contact your references.

-Send materials postmarked on or before the deadline of January 8, 2014.

-In the case of a close decision there may be a short phone interview.

Racing Internships – Apply Now!

April 30th, 2012

Interested in a racing internship? There are a some available for the summer and the entire-year. A racing internship is a great way to put your motorsports education to good use, and get your foot in the door for a future racing career! Currently, Texas Motor Speedway is looking for at least four interns to serve in the following capacities: Events Department, Advertising/Events, Media Relations and Speedway Children’s Charities.

Here’s the job description for the Advertising/Events position:


Advertising/Events Internship

As the Advertising/Events Intern with Creative Services Department at Texas Motor Speedway, you will have the opportunity to gain experience in the fields of advertising and event management in a business environment.

The internship allows students to network with people within the motorsports industry and local community while working at one of the premier racing facilities in the United States. By the end of this internship, you will have a better understanding of the process and preparation that goes into planning and working at a race facility.

The voluntary internship will last, at minimum, the length of a semester, and all interns will experience multiple events including a major race weekend. The schedule is flexible and allows the student ample time to attend classes. However, the student will be required to attend certain events. While obtaining course credit for this internship by their college is not required, it is preferred.

• College level student majoring in communications, sport management, advertising, marketing, or related field
• Good organizational and communication skills
• Eager to brainstorm and bring new ideas to all projects
• Attention to detail and accuracy
• Ability to remain flexible, handling changing priorities and tight deadlines
• Must be able to work any scheduled event nights and weekends that fall during the internship.

Responsibilities: (Expanded upon during interview)
• Assist with annual media buys which includes purchasing, creative, fulfillment and payment related to radio, print, television, outdoor, online, texting and more
• Assist with maintaining the annual advertising budget
• Help develop promotional campaigns with media partners
• Create and assist with activation of events hosted by the speedway
• Conduct research from other venues, tracks and sports teams
• Assist with day to day office operations and other event related duties

To apply send cover letter, resume and application to:

Texas Motor Speedway
Attn: Ellen Stallcup
P.O. Box 500
Fort Worth, TX 76101

NASCAR Kinetics: Marketing in Motion (Case Study Competition)

April 26th, 2012

Motorsports education is at its finest when it’s being applied, and NASCAR Kinetics just launched its annual Marketing In Motion competition to offer students at select universities, not just racing schools, the opportunity to take part in the fall semester motorsports education program. The winner(s) will earn an all-expense paid trip to Charlotte for the NASCAR All-Star race weekend. Take a look at this great motorsports engineering opportunity – information from NASCAR’s website – that you can apply to take part in if you attend one of the 18 eligible universities:

NASCAR Kinetics: Marketing in Motion is an innovative, engaging program that gives college students an opportunity to work through real-world business challenges and opportunities they may encounter once they begin their career. Just the like the sport itself, the NASCAR Kinetics program is fast-paced, competitive, and fun.

Whether the NASCAR Kinetics program is the first step in an illustrious career in sports or simply valuable experience for any number of paths, it will definitely leave a lasting impression on all students who participate.

What should students expect?

Expect to be challenged. To be engaged. To get out of your comfort zone and think differently. Most of all, expect to learn and have fun.
• Each team of select students will be given case studies that affect NASCAR, our sponsors, or the tracks and will be asked to create original solutions for each case study.
• Every team will also be tasked with hosting a viewing party for one pre-determined NASCAR-sanctioned race.
• A dedicated member of the NASCAR marketing department will be assigned to assist and mentor each team.

What do we expect of students?

Each student chosen for the NASCAR Kinetics program will be considered an official NASCAR brand ambassador at their school, giving them many important responsibilities.
(1) Foster brand awareness of NASCAR throughout the campus community
(2) Keep up on and report upcoming trends on your campus
(3) Create effective group dialogue within your team to solve case studies and prepare for the viewing party
(4) Communicate with your NASCAR Kinetics contact about relevant issues facing your team
(5) Utilize all your resources, including field research, professional contacts, and teammates to solve case studies
(6) Complete and submit all materials for each case study and the viewing party in the time given.
(7) Ensure all ideas are approved by NASCAR before activating
(8) Represent the NASCAR brand in a professional and positive manner

What will students get out of the NASCAR Kinetics program?

Of course, the biggest incentive to participate in the unique program is receiving relevant, hands-on experience in the world of sports. But that’s not all dedicated, ambitious students can obtain through this program:
• The team with the strongest performance (based on pre-determined guidelines) will receive an all-expense paid, once-in-a-lifetime NASCAR-sanctioned race weekend experience.
• Each student who meets the standards of work in the program will be eligible to receive a personalized letter of recommendation from NASCAR. This letter will be a powerful tool in your post-graduation plans.
• By virtue of being a NASCAR Kinetics Brand Ambassador, each student will have the opportunity to apply for various NASCAR internships and positions.

NASCAR Kinetics: Marketing in Motion is currently available at these participating universities:

Belmont Abbey College
Central Michigan University
Centenary College
Coastal Carolina University
Delaware State University
East Tennessee State University
Elon University
High Point University
Howard University
Indiana State University
Ohio State University
Ohio University
Oklahoma State University
Southern New Hampshire University
Syracuse University
Troy University
University of Central Florida
University of Florida
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
University of Miami
University of Oregon
Virginia State University
Note: When you apply for this job online, you will be required to answer the following questions:

1. Yes/No: Are you currently enrolled as an undergraduate student at one of the participating schools? If so, what school do you attend?
2. What year are you in school?
3. What is your expected date of graduation?
4. What is your cumulative GPA?
5. What is your major and minor?
6. What is the name of the high school you attended?
7. Where is the high school located?
8. What was your cumulative GPA in high school?
9. What high school sports did you play if any?
10. What extracurricular activities were you involved in if any?
11. How did you find out about NASCAR Kinetics: Marketing in Motion?
12. Why are you interested in being a part of NASCAR Kinetics: Marketing in Motion?
13. What do you hope to gain from NASCAR Kinetics: Marketing in Motion?
14. What are your career goals and how can NASCAR Kinetics: Marketing in Motion help you achieve them?
15. What skills, experience, and interests do you have that you feel would be beneficial to the NASCAR Kinetics team?
16. What extracurricular activities (i.e. student organizations, intramural sports, and/or intercollegiate athletics) are you involved in on your campus and what is your role?
17. How many hours each week do you devote your extracurricular activities?
18. How many credit hours will you be enrolled in during the semester for which you are applying to the NASCAR Kinetics program?
19. Will you seek academic credit (i.e. internship credit, independent study) from your school if you are selected to be a part of the NASCAR Kinetics team?
20. In 250 words or less, please explain the impact you think NASCAR Kinetics: Marketing in Motion will have on your college campus.

Motorsports Engineering at Northwestern: A ‘Catalyst’ for innovation

April 14th, 2012

Another great article about motorsports engineering and racing school programs – this one about Northwestern University. The school’s BAJA SAE program places consistently in the top 20% of schools in the annual Society of Automotive Engineers competition. Read on for more information about a motorsports engineering education at Northwestern:

A ‘Catalyst’ for innovation

By Jason Kornwitz

March 28, 2012

Bbanda, Uganda

Northeastern’s student chapter of Engineers Without Borders will travel to Bbanda, Uganda, in August to assist in the implementation of phase one of a distribution system to pump water throughout the village. Courtesy photo.

Junior mechanical engineering major Andy Benn spends as many as 60 hours per week in a campus lab building an off-road buggy for the Northeastern University chapter of Baja SAE, an intercollegiate design competition run by the Society of Automotive Engineers.

The motorsports team, which has developed a strong reputation for consistently placing in the top 20 percent of more than 200 clubs for the past 15 years, will showcase the design, speed and maneuverability of its 445-pound all-terrain vehicle in a competition on May 2 in Portland, Ore.

“Working on the vehicle is an invaluable learning experience,” said Benn, a co-captain of the club. “It teaches you about engineering, but it also teaches you how to be a project manager, which is what you have to deal with in the real world.”

The club hopes to raise $2,500 through the new Catalyst program launched last week by the Office of Alumni Relations and the Northeastern Fund to finance its 3,000-mile cross-country road trip to the “City of Roses.” Two other student-based organizations — the Northeastern chapters of both Net Impact and Engineers Without Borders — are also vying for funding to support their projects.

Prospective donors can browse through the projects on the Catalyst website and make a gift in any amount, starting at $1.

“The Catalyst program makes it easy for alumni, family and friends to follow, connect with and support some of the most innovative and inspiring student projects at Northeastern,” said Jack Moynihan, the vice president for alumni relations and the Northeastern Fund. “Projects are chosen based on their professionalism, innovative qualities, social impact and feasibility,” he added.

Northeastern’s undergraduate chapter of Net Impact is designed to equip, educate and inspire business students to use their skills to foster social and environmental change. It hopes to raise $2,500 through Catalyst to fund some of the prize money that will be awarded to the most impactful student venture at the Net Impact Forum for Student Social Innovation at the Microsoft New England Research and Development Center on Nov. 17.

Engineers Without Borders–USA works on some 350 water, renewable energy and sanitation projects in more than 45 developing countries around the world. Northeastern’s student chapter of the organization, founded in 2005, has brought clean water to families in Honduras and Bbanda, Uganda.

In less than one week, the student chapter raised $2,500 through Catalyst to fund travel for two students to Bbanda in August 2012. The students will assist in the implementation of phase one of a distribution system to pump water throughout the village, in which more than 1,100 people must now carry dirty water for miles just to meet their basic needs.

Senior mechanical engineering major Keith Nelson, who has twice visited Bbanda, praised the organization’s humanitarian calling, noting, “we’ve already helped hundreds of school kids here have access to the only source of clean water in the village.”

“Working on projects like this give students an understanding of big picture engineering,” he added.

To read the full article on Northwestern University’s website, click here.

Building racecars a team effort for CU undergrads

April 14th, 2012

Want to attend a racing school? Or a regular college setting that has a racing program, like a Formula SAE team? Here’s an inside look into Columbia University, one of the top schools in the country, and their Formula SAE racing school program from the Columbia Spectator. Whether you’re interested in motorsports engineering or the business of racing, a Formula SAE team is a great place to start your motorsports education.

Building racecars a team effort for CU undergrads

Columbia SAE members are non-traditional athletes who race cars they built themselves.

By Benjamin Spener

Spectator Staff Writer

Published April 5, 2012

Photo courtesy of Peter Bohnhof

When following Columbia sports, most people neglect athletes that don’t run, jump, or handle a ball when playing their sport. It’s easy to miss a group of students that hides out in the basement of Mudd Hall and builds racecars. The Columbia University Society of Automotive Engineers—also known as Knickerbocker Motorsports—is a group of 10 to 20 Columbia undergraduates who design and build a racecar from scratch each year, and then uses it to compete in a series of races in Michigan every May. I met with one of the team’s drivers and system heads, a compelling 19-year-old named Hwei Ru Ong, CC ’14.

As I was walking toward Mudd Hall with Ong to get a tour of Columbia SAE’s shop, School of Engineering and Applied Science Dean Feniosky Peña-Mora stopped us and specifically said hello to Ong. Peña-Mora has met with the SAE team several times and has been very supportive of the program, helping to make Knickerbocker Motorsports one of the better-funded student groups on campus. The team also counts on the support of alumni donors and an ample supply of energy drinks from their sponsor, Red Bull.

Specifically, Ong is in charge of the “impact continuator,” a system of safety bumpers that protect the driver in case of a crash. Although most of Knickerbocker Motorsports’ members are SEAS students, Ong decided to attend Columbia College so that he could pursue degrees in both English literature and astrophysics while doing some engineering and racing outside of the classroom. He has a passion for auto racing, having learned to drive with a manual transmission on a tractor working on an organic farm near his home in Ukiah, California. Ong finally got his driver’s license last July, and has been one of the team’s primary drivers since October.

When he returns home to Ukiah, Ong helps run the farm on a Mahayana Buddhist campus where his father is a bhikshu (fully ordained monk). On the farm and at Columbia, Ong meditates or “sits” regularly. He said that “meditation plays into all aspects of what you do, including racing.” Eating falafel with Ong—an appropriate meal, since he is a vegetarian in accordance with Buddhist values—I asked how the serenity of meditation and Buddhism in general is compatible with the action and volatility of auto racing. “As long as this is settled,” he said, pointing to his head, “everything is OK, and things are clear even though it’s messy outside.”

Having tried out the race simulator in Knickerbocker’s shop, crashed almost immediately, and then watched Ong zoom around the simulator track and drive the real car, I can attest to the amount of coordination and focus that the sport demands. As he suggested, the key to his success in auto racing and other sports is mental clarity, which he attains through meditation. Ong has actually found success in a variety of sports over the years. He classifies surfing, skateboarding, and mountain biking as hobbies—he also played point guard for his high school basketball team and was, at one point, the Rubik’s Cube champion of Malaysia, achieving an official time of 22 seconds and unofficial times as low as 14 seconds.

Although he has gone head-to-head with rivals in a variety of sports during his life, Ong told me explicitly that he is not very competitive and has always been more concerned with personal bests—getting better for his own sake—than beating others. It may be this seemingly dissonant mix of passivity and motivation that makes Ong so good at sports, engineering, and academics. Ultimately, he would not mind ending up farming, as he did growing up, but he also has a variety of other goals that range from being a professional racecar driver to working at an observatory in Chile to being an astronaut (seriously). Talking to him and watching him break into a childlike grin when driving around, playing basketball, or solving a Rubik’s Cube, you realize he is the kind of athlete—the kind of person—who is motivated by the great joy he gets from pursuing these things, even when that means spending hours each weekend working in the auto shop with the rest of the Knickerbocker Motorsports team. Ong stresses that the team as a whole, is what, rather than any individual, is what brings success at competitions. Although winning the race is ultimately left to the driver, auto racing is very much a team sport, since it takes the efforts and skills of the entire group to put a fast car on the track.

And this team’s car is fast—it goes from zero to 60 miles per hour in about 3.5 seconds and has a top speed of 110 mph. Moreover, the car must be able to perform well in a variety of races, ranging from tight, short tracks to courses as long as 22 kilometers. This class of car is called Formula SAE, and students from colleges across the country compete against each other every year in both dynamic competitions, which refer to races, and static competitions, which involve a car features such as design and cost. Generally, Columbia’s entry rings in with a price tag under $13,000—not bad for a racecar. Clearly, this competition presents a significant mechanical engineering challenge, along with the physical task of driving the car during races.

The team is looking forward to its race in May and has been working on various aspects of the car. When I arrived at the shop, several students were drafting a cost report for one of the static competitions, and Ong commented that they would have to deal with powertrain issues over the weekend. These days, the entire team prays for good weather every weekend so that they can get out to a track in New Jersey and test the car. While the simulator is a good way for drivers to get seat time, it is not a substitute for driving the actual car, not to mention that the engineers need to see the car in action to identity potential design flaws or ways to improve its performance.

For the most part, the car is close to finished and will soon be sporting a custom-fitted fiberglass body made by the team. Emblazoned with Columbia colors, this car will represent Columbia at the SAE races in Michigan in a few weeks. The team’s performance in these races will demonstrate not only the coordination and levelheadedness of the drivers but also the immense engineering prowess of the Columbia students who designed and built it. As Ong put it, “Without the team, there’s no car. I don’t even know if I’ll be driving in May, but the important part is that we get the car on the track. Then we can race.”

To read the original article, please visit the Columbia Spectator here.

Motorsports Education and Careers in Racing

February 5th, 2012

Congratulations on making the decision to learn more about getting a motorsports education and pursuing a career in racing!

You are entering a field that is in high demand – racing is an exciting industry that is constantly changing and growing, giving you a great chance at training for and finding a job in motorsports!

Every job and training opportunity is different – please explore the site to learn more about launching a motorsports education and career in racing!

The Racing Tool that Pays Dividends…

December 9th, 2011

All of us racing people know that video is a powerful tool – we will sit and watch racing videos for hours no end. That’s why it should be no surprise that a video camera is a great racing investment: a mini video camera! Yes, they are pretty sweet in general, but have you thought about what a Flip or Playsports could do for your racing program?

With a bit of practice, you can use a video camera to produce racing content that takes your program to the next level. From producing racing recaps and insider-content for your team’s website to creating video-sponsor pitches to raise money for the season, video is the newest and most compelling media tool on the web right now. Give your fans a tour of your hauler or race shop, post an interview with your driver and crew, or pitch a sponsor on the benefits of partnering with your race team with the touch of a button. Video can be used by an race team, even Formula SAE  clubs!

So you’re convinced – video is the way to go. Now which camera should you buy? Below are recommendations for only a few of the many choices out there.

1. Flip Video in HD

This is the video camera that I use to shoot racing videos. At $189, it’s a great value for a video that can handle the quick pace of racing on and off the track, along with 2 hours of memory available. The video quality is very good and it comes with software built-in to create movies of your own. Available at Amazon for $189.

2. Kodak PlaySport ZX3

On sale for under $100, this camera is one of the highest rated and most affordable options on the market. The advantages include the small size and ruggedness of the build. The camera is also waterproof, although it’s up to you how relevant that is to your race team! The video quality is fair to good – excellent if you consider the price – and you can take still shots with the camera as well. Available at Amazon for $89 (sale price – regularly $149).

That’s only a few of the many cameras that are available. To browse a full selection, check out Amazon’s extensive Camera and Video Section.

If you’re really into racing videos, you’ve certainly seen some shot from a place on the car. If you’re not familiar with how that’s done, you need to learn about the GoPro Hero cameras. The Motorsports Hero is a rugged camera that can be mounted pretty much anywhere on your car.

Not only can you use this video for sponsorship and fan videos, you can position this camera in different places on the car to observe how your setup is working , from watching the amount of shock travel, birdcage positioning and much more. And with a protective case, you never have to worry about it getting broken by a rock or dirt clump. It’s also protected in the event of a wreck, although it probably won’t survive a high impact direct hit.

At $199, the GoPro is definitely a great investment for anyone serious about their racing program. Available at Amazon.


Motorsports Engineering: Critical Components That Ensure Driver Safety

November 15th, 2011

Today, we’re sharing a video on racing safety – an extremely important, and constantly evolving, aspect of motorsports. If you’re interested in motorsports engineering or careers in racing, knowledge of the safety technology used in the sport is crucial. And, experience with technology and motorsports engineering is crucial to understanding and developing racing safety equipment.

Here’s a great video from Aric Almirola, driver of the No. 88 Chevrolet, and other members of the JR Motorsports team talking about racing safety and the motorsports engineering it takes to develop those crucial components:

What do you think the most important piece of safety equipment is to drivers today? How has motorsports engineering helped to develop that?

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