When popular racers like Danica Patrick and Dale Earnhardt Jr. mingle with fans, they are signing autographs, giving high fives, and chumming it up like any celebrity. To the public it appears that the driver lives the good life of any celebrity. Behind the scenes though, the auto racer is more like the beating heart of a giant enterprise. They are the product and capital of a massive business. Sure, the driver gets to experience an opulent life, complete with lines of adoring fans; but their work is intense, draining, and critical to the support of a brand.
Off The Track
Racers are the main focus because they are the face of the enterprise. They are the ones we cheer for, but there is so much more to it than winning the race. The complex organization behind the driver includes intricacies such as:
- Pit Crews
- Business Administration
- PR Agents
The Role of the Race Driver
The main responsibility of the driver is to generate money for the business and act as the brand ambassador.
Money is generated from winnings, sponsorships, and endorsements. Some sponsorship agreements also include endorsements, such as Danica Patrick’s relationship with GoDaddy. They sponsor her brand, and she endorses them.
With most drivers, placing in the top five means more money. Not only are there winnings, but there are often bonuses from sponsors involved. Then the money is used to pay the driver, pit crews, and all others who work for the organization.
Accountants Make it Happen
In addition, the driver’s organization foots the bill for the logistics of moving the team from track to track. For Kansas City Scott Tucker it’s his Level 5 Motorsports team (see:http://scotttuckermotorsports.com/). This involves mobile garages, race cars, RVs, hotels and airfare, meals, and more. All of these expenses are tracked and managed by accountants that specialize in the business or racing.
Without accountants to keep all the money in line and the bills paid, drivers would go broke and the racing industry would vanish. It would be an unfortunate because in addition to providing entertainment to the masses, race car enterprises are a valuable source of innovation in engineering.
Keeping the finances in order is necessary for keeping our favorite racing drivers doing what they do best…winning and being celebrities. We all reap the benefits one way or another thanks to stimulated economy and advances in engineering.
Trent Bakker is a financial professional who loves sports — especially racing. In addition to following the industry behind motorsports, he has written blog posts and news features about subjects like forensic accounting – Veriti Consulting Phoenix and business appraisal, tax codes, and basic accounting.