While the nationwide lockdown has brought racing to a halt, Gauteng-based PR service provider Motorsport Fanatix launched a new online show during the period.
The show debuted on April 30 with South African motorsport legends Mike Briggs and Shaun van der Linde headlining as its guests. Two further episodes on its Facebook page (www.facebook.com/motorsportfanatix); comprised of live discussions with the Signature Motorsport’s trio of drivers as well as the latest manufacturer to enter the local karting scene, Parolin Racing South Africa. Marco Parolin, Marketing Director of Parolin Kart Racing globally, made a surprise guest appearance via live stream from Italy.
Motorsport Fanatix was started in 2017 by Raymond Cornwell. “I always fondly look back on the early nineties racetrack atmosphere and felt inspired to try and recreate this” says Cornwell who notes his passion for the sport as the driving force behind the company.
Growing the brand and list of services
The 2019 season saw Motorsport Fanatix moving into the field of providing PR services; with Cornwell starting to work closely with established social media specialist and freelance journalist Reynard Gelderblom. Cornwell’s passion for providing positive coverage of the sport is what originally caught Gelderblom’s attention.
“From knowing how much effort and time it takes to make it in this cut-throat industry, I had my doubts about working with Raymond” admits Gelderblom. “He did however exhibit passion and a willingness to learn. Those are more important qualities than any existing level of education to me. I soon started getting him involved in some of my projects and I made it quite clear that he’ll learn to swim in the deep end. At the end of the year, he had indeed developed into a respected colleague and a very good friend.”
The Motorsport Fanatix Show
With the lockdown implemented, Motorsport Fanatix started an online feature called Lockdown Chatter; primarily with existing clients as Cornwell explains: “Our clients need to retain relevance during this period; especially given that they still have commitments towards sponsors as well. This sparked the original concept behind what the show has evolved into.”
Within a short time, the show was re-branded with Cornwell being joined by Gelderblom as a fellow presenter as the latter elaborates: “There is this sort of funfilled energy between us; I think those who know us and follow our social media pages will know that. After a bit of deliberation, we decided to simply call it The Motorsport Fanatix Show as the brand was already established and in a way the name says quite a lot about us and where our passion started as well.”
The first show indeed proved very successful. With Briggs and Van der Linde, it had 1143 live views while covering various topics around racing and some behind the scenes moments in their careers.
Funding and the way forward
The show already features a product sponsorship from iCube Africa, the official distributors of the Tonino Lamborghini luxury beverage range in Africa. According to Gelderblom, there are still opportunities that do exist: “We have had time slots purchased by our existing clients, but we are of course open to discussions regarding advertising, brand placement or selling off further slots. Ideally, we would like the revenue to be generated through different means than charging appearance fees as this will provide us with more freedom when it comes to inviting guests. Interested parties can get in contact with us regarding this via our Facebook page.”
The current content make-up is predominantly related to motorsport, but Gelderblom also explains that they are open to further evolution with this as well: “We have ideas about where we want to take the show. As the lockdown is being phased out, we would like to implement some of these. Knowing that most motorsport competitors will be putting a lot of focus on their business dealings as well, one of the ideas we are looking at is to combine an entertaining show with some marketing opportunities for them.”
Keeping social distancing in mind, the current format sees the presenters and guests logging in from their homes, but as Cornwell states, they are looking at other options. “Ideally we would like to move into a more permanent studio setup and we are certainly open to various possibilities. Of course, a lot of this will be based on funding and on maintaining a unique feel to it, but we are confident that we will be able to do this. Some ideas we are dying to share with you but will do this through the course of the next few months. Prospective investors will of course not just benefit from these, but will also form part of the decision-making team around them.”
The Motorsport Fanatix Show currently airs every Thursday at 18:30, but a new time slot will be announced shortly.
Published on behalf of Mootorsport Fanatix
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