12-Year-Old Racer Anderson a Marketing Maven
Anderson, a top competitor each Tuesday night in the Bandolero Bandits division of the Summer Shootout Series at Charlotte Motor Speedway, spent his spare time delivering his sponsorship pitch to businesses such as fast-food restaurants and car dealerships.
"My parents would go inside and ask if I could talk to the companies," Anderson explained. "Then, while my parents waited outside, I would go in and persuade the businesses to sponsor me."
Anderson told each potential backer he would represent them to the best of his ability. He promised he would perform on the track in addition to being a positive role model and making promotional appearances off it.
He also detailed the amount of exposure the company would receive by putting its logo on his race car and trailer.
"I explained to the businessmen that my trailer is like a moving billboard," Anderson noted. "Each time I go to a race, the sponsors' logos can be seen on the highway, in parking lots and at the different speedways."
Anderson's sponsorship proposal even included a portfolio with his biography, statistics and photographs.
"I wanted to show the businesses I was serious about having them as sponsors," he said.
The hard work paid off for the sixth grader as four of the six businesses he pitched agreed to sponsor him through the end of the summer. His backers are Chick-Fil-A, Dick Dyer Toyota, Leon Jones Insurance and Dick Dyer Mercedes/Volvo.
Anderson has already made three appearances for Dick Dyer Toyota and four for Chick-Fil-A. The appearances include displaying his Bandolero race car, showing off his trophies and signing autographs.
"I really like to sign autographs," said Anderson. "It's my favorite thing besides winning."
Anderson has also represented his sponsors well on the track. At the mid-point of the 10-week Summer Shootout Series, he had one feature victory and was fourth in the Bandolero Bandits point standings.
The young driver hopes to use both his driving and marketing skills in the future as he eyes a career in NASCAR Winston Cup racing.
Scheduled to run each Tuesday night through Aug. 12, the 10th annual Summer Shootout Series features three classes of Legends Car racing, three classes of Bandolero action and the exciting Thunder Roadsters.
Admission is just $5 for adults. Children 6-12 are admitted for $3 with kids under 6 free. Tickets are available in advance at the speedway ticket office and at gates 4 and 5 the night of the event. Parking is free. Contact the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS for information or to purchase tickets.
Spectator gates open at 5 p.m. with preliminary action at 5:25 p.m. Feature racing begins at 7:30 p.m. and will conclude by 10:15 p.m.