The True Cost of a V8 Supercars Team
Motorsport is bloody expensive. The cars, staff, travel and accommodation - it all adds up to a multi-million dollar figure each year, Tekno Motorsports owner Jonathon Webb has revealed.
When reviewing his books, he admits to more than a little panic.
"That's (me) about the start of the year every year!" Webb told PickStar's Off-Field podcast.
"The raw costs of running the car, staff, flights, accommodation, everything else that goes into it.
"It varies per car, we've got around 25 cars running on the (V8 Supercars) field ... somewhere between 3 and 5 million (dollars) is the ballpark (annual cost per car)."
Webb says Supercars teams rely on the support of sponsors, but getting a company to open up their chequebook isn't as easy as it used to be.
"When the tobacco and alcohol money was strong in Australian motorsport, there was millions of dollars everywhere and it appeared that it was thrown around quite loosely," Webb said.
"You’d get in, grab a sponsor, grab absolutely every single dollar you could get out of them and do as little as you could, and move on knowing if it doesn’t work 'hey we’ll grab another one tomorrow'.
"Certainly from my experience in a short amount of time that's certainly not the case (anymore).
"Things have tightened up, corporate groups now are very clever and savvy with their sponsorship and marketing budgets and want to get the most out of it."
For Webb's Bathurst winning, family owned operation, the focus is on providing sponsorship opportunities that are tailored and personal.
"A really generic sponsorship is not something that works particularly in motorsport, and I don't think it works in many sports to be honest," he said.
"For me, we're a small family group and we try and include our sponsors in our small family group and make them feel apart of it, give them everything you promise them and where possible over deliver rather than under.
"For us what we call a naming rights partner is someone generally a million dollars (per year) and up.
"You name the car and name the team after that sponsor and generally they get the bonnet, the four doors and the boot, so really predominant signage.
"What they (the sponsor) can get in and around that varies massively depending on what they want and what they need for their business, but typically we'll do ride days, they can bring their clients, their customers whoever else ... (we) literally sit them in the passenger seat of the race car and belt around for the day, and scare the lights out of them.
"The driver involvement, whether they want or need a driver's presence for events or anything like that .. and then something that we're certainly excited about is a new workshop that we're building ... we put on events for our sponsors and get them involved, and drag some cool cars out and give them a walk around."
With such high stakes for the business, Webb said crashing out on race day can really throw a spanner in the works.
"The overwhelming thing when you own a team that you’re invested so heavily in is thinking .. 'wow this is going to be so expensive and the boys are going to have a lot of late nights to fix this thing'."
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