The Media in Racing

David Richert Interview

We’ve already looked at the financial aspect of auto racing and how extremely important it is for every driver to look at their career as a business first and foremost. Far too often drivers put all of their energy and efforts into what takes place on the track, but neglect to focus on Media Relations. The media is one of our primary sources in drawing attention to those partnering with us and providing our opportunity to go racing at the highest level possible.

The Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup does a fantastic job addressing this important reality of racing and encourages each driver to focus on strengthening their abilities in this area. The press can be our greatest friend or our worst enemy, depending on how a driver chooses to act. We recently had the Executive Editor of Car & Driver, Mark Gillis, competing with us as a guest driver in Ohio. Mark verified this notion and said a driver\’s attitude towards the press will determine if the story will be positive or negative.

In an effort to encourage each driver to work on their relationship with the press, Volkswagen has taken the initiative in creating a media contest between all of the drivers in the Jetta TDI Cup. Each driver is responsible for tracking all of their media attention throughout the season and submitting this to Volkswagen for evaluation. The driver who can receive the most media attention is chosen as the winner and provided with an amazing prize to further their racing career.

Last season, through the support of many individuals in the public and media community, we were fortunate enough to win the Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup media contest with almost double the amount of exposure as any other driver in the series. The prize…an all expense paid trip to Germany and the chance to race at the world famous Hockenheimring in the Volkswagen Polo Cup. Not only was it an amazing prize, but even more important to me was the fact that I can claim to be the best driver at promoting a brand and creating awareness for a project. This gives me something tangible to work with when discussing business with any potential partner.

This year the prize for winning the media contest is just as exciting. Volkswagen will provide the winning driver with an all expense paid trip to Germany to accompany a massive North American press junket for the unveiling of the brand new Volkswagen Golf. Another cool prize, but more importantly, another chance for each driver to showcase their abilities in providing the media with unique and interesting stories.

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