July '18

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rv-pro.com July 2018 • RV PRO • 79 dealerships, pit passes to give away, and the hood after the race. So far, we have car hoods from Jeffrey Ernhardt, Ross Chastain, Garrett Smithly, and Harrison Rhodes hanging in the dealership. "Last year, we added sponsorship of Super DIRT Week at Oswego Speedway. These are special cars that run on a muddy, clay track and it's a really big deal around here. We are the Title Sponsor of the DIRTcar 358 Modified Championship, which is now called the Great Outdoors RV 150, and we have radio and TV ads before and during the event, lots of event-signage, and a small sales area for accessories at the event. "We focus our sponsorships on the race community because it's a high-visibility way to reach our target market. Race fans are very devoted and loyal and it's no secret that they love to camp. "The other, smaller events we do are typically held annually and we sponsor different ones in different years primarily as a generator of community goodwill. Generally, we lend a trailer or donate money, depending on the event. "We definitely do this for sales. However, we get a lot of media exposure, too, and not just traditional television and radio. Social media can really help zero in on your customer. Watkins Glen is quite aggressive with their social media, as are most of the racing events, and we benefit from that. "We gravitate toward sponsoring events that are long-standing, well-known, and have management we can trust. It's a good idea to do some focus groups with your customers to learn how they found out about you, what radio stations they listen to, what they do for entertainment, and how they spend their free time. "Once you've captured what makes them tick, you can look for an event that encap- sulates that to focus your energies on. And it is a lot of energy. "These things take a lot of time, energy, and manpower, so you want to make sure there will be a good payback. But it's not a quick one. Someone may see you at an event this year but not be ready to buy for two years, so you have to be prepared for that. "The long-term effects of sponsorships can be difficult to measure, but name recogni- tion has a long-lasting impact. One thing all our sponsorships do is bring our employees closer to our customers, plus, the NASCAR event at The Glen is a great weekend of camping and comradery." Jeff Turnbow, chief marketing officer Southaven RV & Marine Southaven, Miss. "We sponsor many community events, because it's our responsibility to participate in the enhancement of our community. Most community progress happens through local business support. "We sponsor events put on by our local Chamber of Commerce and the public schools in our area. Some of our larger investments include Memphis International Raceway, Go-Jim-Go (which funds Le Bonheur Children's Hospital), and Pink Fishing (which supports research into finding a cure for cancer). "We've sponsored most of these events for over 10 years, but we just partnered with the Raceway this year. We're excited about their goals of growing the sport and promoting this local tourist attraction. "Our deal includes track signage, tents and RVs on display at major races such as Super Chevy Sunday, a link and coverage on their website, inclusion in their social media outreach, a hospitality suite, and signage as Title Sponsor of their RV Park. And, of course, fun! "We consider the entire experience a benefit of sponsorship. Enjoying the atmosphere

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