I am the guy with the keyboard, the Internet and some command of English. Here’s how I barely missed out on bringing a race (or two) together.
Last time I wrote about what I loved about writing - how personal it is, how you can express all your joy and pain in something extremely irrelevant as e.g. writing about a pole lap at some race track. It means the world to me. A part of it at least. But I’ll let you into a little secret: there is actually something better than writing a story.
It’s making the story.
The Internet and especially social media is a wonderful thing if you use it wisely. I’m not on Facebook, but I have a Twitter account where from all the people I follow I’ve met about two or three personally. I have a LinkedIn profile where I create new professional connections and talk to people. These are the platforms where the most adverse invitations come from. Amber Lounge was one on Twitter, a guy named Andrew introduced me to Nicolas Perrin on LinkedIn and virtually all the people I interviewed on this blog came through LinkedIn.
But that’s not what I’m here to talk about right now. It’s definitely part of it, it is always the start of it all.
It was the football world cup in 2014 and Germany just humiliated Brazil the night before. I was standing outside this luxurious hotel in my cheap Monty Python shirt I bought from an ASDA store in Bristol, UK two years before and I was waiting for the call of some Dutch people. As we had already established it, we were about to discuss the advertising campaign of the Hungarian round of Acceleration 14. If you haven’t heard about it, Acceleration 14 was a racing and concert series in 2014, touring Europe with former A1GP, touring and legend cars and motorcycles - finishing the weekend off with a retro 80s & 90s concert, hosted by David Hasselhoff.
I got the call, I met the guys who were asking me all these questions about what connections I had in media to help them to get the name out. I had very few, so I was bluffing most of the time. I improvised on the spot, frantically trying to come up with creative solutions. At the end of the meeting I volunteered to get in contact with every media outlet I could think of, connecting the parties and also to ‘hunt down’ racing drivers and riders for the weekend.
Long story short, I wrote an awful lot of e-mails, made a gazillion phone calls and it wasn’t unheard of me walking out in the middle of my English class I was teaching at, just to take the call of the country’s biggest commercial TV channel. In the end, the race didn’t happen due to the lack of interest or funds from drivers/riders, but the concert took place and it was a massive hit with the people: it sold out completely.
I tasted blood and I knew I liked this. A lot.
So last year I tried to raise my game: why don’t we try and bring a race opportunity together, financed by media attention. This is what I tried to do:
Exhibit A: You might know this, but I’ve made several interviews with a young racing driver - son of an F1 champion, whose rivalry with another F1 champion was turned into a movie recently.
Exhibit B: Car repair shop and also a racing team owner where I did an English course - with a Ferrari and other vintage cars in the showroom (latest addition: Opel GT)