Friday, June 17, 2011

Rodrigo Sanchez > Professional Race Car Racer

Rodrigo Sanchez, Professional Race Car Driver.

What do you need to be an entrepreneur?
Passion & Relationships; passion for what you do is the one thing that allows you to take larger risks in order to accomplish the results you want. It drives you through rough times reminding you that it’s just not a job that you’re into but rather something that gives you joy no matter what the circumstances are. Relationships are also important, always try to surround yourself with people that are smarter than you.

What did inspire you to start your business?
Passion; since I was a little boy, I dreamed of becoming a professional race car driver, capable of instilling pride among Latinos in international series such as the IZOD IndyCar Series.

How did you finance it?
Motorsports is a very expensive sport. Teams and drivers require financial aid from private companies to be able to pay for the cost of being at the track. As a driver and very experienced Motorsports Marketing professional I have understood the power, reach and excitement that racing has to offer while helping companies achieve their marketing objectives through a branding friendly and high appealing sport. I design and prepare custom made marketing proposals for companies from all over the world to use my program as a marketing vehicle and as a result I finance my program this way.

Being Hispanic…Does it have any influence on your business?
Off-Course ! There are very few of us racing at a professional level and with the increasing base of Hispanics today, companies are starting to realize that we are no longer a minority but rather a majority. My racing program offers a great marketing vehicle for companies to use and I offer something that very few can; that is minority representation where everything is based around the premise of instilling pride among Latinos through our racing program.

In the face of adversity, how do you decide to keep going?
The desire to succeed and the fear to let down all of those that have high hopes on me; as I mentioned before, racing is a tough business where patience and perseverance are two qualities needed to keep you moving in the right direction.

What is the biggest challenge your business has faced?
Funding, finding sponsors is quite a challenge, it requires us to have a very strong marketing programs in place and offer some unique benefits for companies to come aboard. Luckily we have the insider knowledge and relationships to ensure that we develop programs that are able to distinguish ourselves from the rest.

If you could change one thing about your business, what would it be?
Nothing really besides hoping that we have made it to the United States to race professionally at an earlier age, if done so we could probably be at a different point right now. I always try to guide myself by the thought of avoiding to think what I could have done and rather concentrate on what I can do.

What was your childhood ambition?
To become a professional race car driver and a proud representative of Latinos inside and outside the track. I can’t even remember the first time I went to a race and my childhood albums are filled with pictures of me around race cars.

Tell us about three entrepreneurs that you admire?
Zak Brown, CEO Just Marketing International

Carlos Slim, CEO Grupo Carso

Elias Hermida, CEO 1800Hispano

I admire these people not because of their status or level of success but rather by their ability to find a need and a way to solve it. A good entrepreneur will find a need and will use his experience and relationships to execute a solution for that need.

For business meetings: breakfast, lunch, or dinner?
It really depends but usually dinner is the best way to truly get to know someone.

What sacrifices on your personal life did you have to make in order to become a business success?
EVERYTHING, success comes from dedication, hard work and being able to focus on your goal. This requires sacrifices that are usually not easy but you have to make sure you are on top of your game at all times. In my case I have sacrificed what other young adults usually do to concentrate on my own thing. Twenty four hours a day are not enough for me to get all my stuff done and while all my friends are out partying or having fun, I am either at the gym making sure that I am physically prepared for the challenges of driving or with my laptop doing press releases, marketing proposals, setting up interviews with the media, etc.

What is your favorite quote?
Champions are made from something they have deep inside them - a desire, a dream, a vision.
Muhammad Ali

Is it difficult to be unconventional?
Actually no, it might be challenging but definitely not difficult. From a marketing and business perspective, I can’t afford to be considered “conventional” because I need to stand out among the rest of my competitors to guarantee that I am delivering a true ROI to my sponsors.

Biggest mistake made?
Those who know me know it better than me.

Do you consider yourself an innovator? Why?
Yes, Motorsports Marketing requires a very innovative mind in order to design activations capable of delivering a true ROI to our sponsors. From Hospitality Programs, Corporate Entertainment Programs, Show Car Programs, Driver Appearances and Branding to custom made activations designed to fulfill specific brand objectives. Innovation is not a way of being but rather a state of mind.

About the Company:
Rodrigo Sanchez is a professional race car driver form Mexico who is getting ready to join the Road to Indy Program which serves as a feeder system for the IZOD Indy Car Series and the Indianapolis 500. Rodrigo is one of the very few Latinos who are seeking to race professionally in the United States. Currently living in Austin, he has collaborated in major Motorsports Marketing Programs in series like Formula One, IndyCar, NASCAR, Grand-Am and American Le Mans. In the past he has served in many positions regarding Motorsports Marketing with teams, drivers, series & events, currently he is the Driver and Marketing Director for Rodrigo Sanchez Racing; a program designed to get Rodrigo to drive in the Road to Indy Program. Also he is one of very few drivers that are able to not only use his skills behind the wheel to represent brands across the world but also possess the ability to create smart sponsorship programs capable of generating a true ROI.

1 comment:

Frank said...

I love the point about being different and noticable - if nothing else all entrepreneurs nee to make sure they do that. Good lesson and I spoke about that topic here.

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