By Michael Hart
At least three conference sessions at the SEMA Show will be devoted to the business opportunities associated with racing.
Maybe not every single aftermarket industry customer has dreams of seeing his or her vehicle cross the finish line first. Nevertheless, the industry can trace its roots back to the sport of racing, and it remains important both as a business segment itself and a fomenter of new ideas.
“Things like dry lake-bed racing and drag racing—those were the kinds of things that were the impetus for the companies that we’ve come to represent today,” said SEMA Director of Market Research Gavin Knapp.
Indeed, racing remains such an important part of the automotive aftermarket industry that at least three conference sessions at the SEMA Show will be devoted to the business opportunities associated with racing.
Knapp will lead an important session entitled, “How Big Is the U.S. Racing Market?” in which he will release the results of a comprehensive research study SEMA has conducted on the size and scope of the racing business, viewed from a different perspective than most studies.
“Most research typically focuses on things such as sponsorship dollars, media results or attendance,” he said. “Those are great metrics for the sport itself, but if you are trying to sell parts for race cars, those things are secondary. What you want to know is how many race cars are out there in the world.”
The connections between racing and the general industry are quite strong.
“Racing is the testbed,” Knapp said. “It lends itself to coming up with new ideas that can get filtered into the more general market. “You have the R&D world and then you filter the technology down.”
Examining that symbiotic union between the two facets of the market will be Cameron Douglass, director of marketing at OPTIMA Batteries, who will talk about the “Camaraderie and Competition That Fuels Industry Growth.”
Then Jim Liaw, president and co-founder of Formula Drift, will outline the business opportunities associated with one of the most exciting new phenomena in the automotive world. His session, “Is a Drift Car a Race Car? How Your Business Can Profit From a Booming Marketplace,” will cover how Formula Drift brings together traditional racing and extreme sports with a rapidly evolving technology that is drawing huge crowds.
“Any business that is selling into the racing market or just looking for the new products that its customers are interested in, whether they’re manufacturers or retailers, they’re going to benefit from these sessions,” Knapp said.
Register now for these three must-attend sessions.
View a complete list of SEMA Show Education sessions available.