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  • Writer's pictureKurt Haller

The Origins of Lets Go Racing: The Power of a Motorsport Partnership

When you hear the phrase, 'motorsport sponsorship,' what do you think of? If your first thought was large, multi-billion-dollar, enterprise businesses, then you're not alone.


When Rob Scott and I first embarked on the journey of Lets Go Racing Global, we had the same thought. As we sat drinking a couple of finely crafted Old-Fashioneds at the JW Marriott Steak House bar on Park Lane, we found ourselves asking questions about motorsport sponsorship,


"How could a business justify the cost of a motorsport sponsorship to their board and management team?"


"Surely, the entry points are astronomical."


"There's no way a scale-up business could remotely afford to do that at this stage of their evolution."


Looking back on this conversation now, we couldn't have been more wrong...


A blue BMW race car with organge highlights and brand sponsors

The Origins of Lets Go Racing: The Power of a Motorsport Partnership

From the outside looking in, a motorsport series such as Formula 1 may appear to be merely about fast cars, glitz and glam, technical prowess, and hefty price tags. And although some of that may be true - the sport is a gold mine for business opportunities.


Motorsport is an inflection point. It's a sport where speed, precision, human performance, and innovation collide. But more importantly, within the sport, exists a unique opportunity for businesses, both large and small, to accelerate their brands to new heights (no pun intended).


The global platform of Formula 1, has captivated audiences worldwide with over 1.5 billion fans tuning in from over 200 countries. The sport has attracted leading technology companies such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), AMD, Cognizant, Dell Technologies, and Oracle, all eager to leverage the sport's global appeal and technological prowess.


The Origins of Lets Go Racing

The origins of Lets Go Racing stem from my co-founder, Rob Scott. His career began as a Formula 1 test car driver for Niki Lauda at Ferrari from '77 to '81 and then later became the test driver for Jackie Ickx and David Bell for the Le Mans series from '81 to '83.

 

Red F1 Ferrari 1977
Rob Scott at Ferrari in 1977

These racing origins ignited his fervour for rapidly growing high-potential companies, launching his first startup at the age of 25. Since then, Rob has played pivotal roles in nine startups and has led four corporate restarts during his remarkable career in technology and cybersecurity leadership.


35 years later, Rob was approached by a dear friend who was connected with the incoming MD for Racing Point which later became known as Aston Martin Formula 1 Racing. After an initial conversation, Aston Martin communicated their interest in securing a technology-driven partner. After engaging with several members of our network, we landed a conversation with Cognizant, a Fortune 200 IT provider.


This conversation came at an opportune moment, as Cognizant was evaluating other sports partnerships such as the PGA and NFL. Cognizant actively sought out a sports partnership to differentiate themselves in a competitive market saturated with major players like Accenture, Capgemini, IBM, and Deloitte.


Instantly, Formula 1 resonated with the Cognizant team for numerous reasons:

  • Over 1.5 billion fans worldwide broadcasted in over 200 countries.

  • Recently, as a result of the new series 'Drive to Survive,’ a young demographic is increasingly involved in the sport with 57% of viewers aged between 16-34.

  • 1 in 3 large enterprise IT decision-makers globally follow Formula 1.

Formula 1's unique attributes, such as its emphasis on teamwork, technology, and precision, aligned seamlessly with Cognizant's values: (1) always strive, never settle, (2) work as one, (3) create conditions for everyone to thrive, (4) promotion of inclusivity and diversity, and (5) social impact.


After determining the seamless fit between Cognizant and Aston Martin, the IT provider signed a record-breaking deal making them title partner to the Aston Martin Formula 1 Race team. The pivotal factor in our success was tapping into the extensive Aston Martin partner ecosystem of over 28 brands, which resulted in a remarkable return on investment.


As part of our consultative approach, our team added further value by identifying additional business opportunities extending beyond the immediate partner ecosystem such as Aston Martin's newly constructed factory in SilverStone. Given the breadth of introductions, commercial opportunities, and brand exposure, Cognizant was able to achieve a considerable return on investment in all facets of the partnership solidifying its position as an industry leader.


Why Lets Go Racing?

The success of brokering and identifying the fit between Aston Martin and Cognizant led me and Rob to pursue the business idea of Lets Go Racing. Our mission is to connect innovative brands to the power of motorsport. Since our establishment, we've formed relationships with 10 teams across a broad range of series' and have signed approximately 20 advisors to the business who are

Rob Scott and Kurt Haller wearing sunglasses
Kurt Haller and Rob Scott, Co-Founders of Lets Go Racing at the 2023 Monaco Grand Prix 2023

Our approach goes beyond traditional sponsorships. Because of our independent status, we are team-agnostic, allowing us to identify the right motorsport team for brands ensuring an alignment in values and strategic objectives. Ultimately, fostering long-term partnerships built on mutual success.


With our extensive network of relationships across various motorsport series such as F1, Formula-E, Extreme-E, IndyCar, IMSA, MotoGP, and others, we provide access to a diverse range of opportunities tailored to your brand's needs. Whether you're looking to engage with a global audience in Formula 1 or tap into the rising popularity of Extreme-E, we have the connections and expertise to guide brands to the perfect partnership.


Looking Ahead

As motorsport continues to evolve, so do the opportunities for business success. Whether it's Formula 1 or other series, the power of motorsport sponsorship lies in its ability to captivate audiences, drive innovation, and create lasting impressions. For businesses seeking to accelerate their growth and elevate their brand, motorsport offers a thrilling journey filled with endless possibilities.


By Kurt Haller, COO & Co-Founder at Lets Go Racing

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