Just got off the phone with Ron Bergenholtz, team manager for the Full Tilt Poker Nitto Tire Formula Drift RX-8. Ron and Joon Maeng will continue to run the Enkei PF01 in 2011… just need to get him a few more rears to replace the ones they beat up! Everything is looking good for this years Formula D season and we’re planning on growing the Bergenholtz Enkei partnership so 2011 is looking bright.
A little history on the Enkei Bergenholtz partnership… I first met Ron at SEMA 2009 at the Enkei Wheels booth, this was before they announced Joon Maeng as the driver and before the Full Tilt sponsorship announcement. It was my first year to completely handle Enkei’s sponsorship program and Bergenholtz was really the first sponsorship program I started so I worked my ass off last year to make sure the program was a success. I enjoyed working with Ron from the beginning. Right off the bat he treated me with respect even though he knew I was kinda new to the sponsorship thing. Believe me, there are drivers/race teams that get all Hollywood on your ass.
At each Formula D event I attended I made sure to stop by the Bergenholtz pit to make sure everything was going as planned (as far as wheels) and to offer my support. Also to catch some shade… and water… and lunch occasionally. The day before the Long Beach season opener, I headed over to… Ron’s garage where they were preparing the RX-8 (blog post on that night HERE) and it really helped me further understand the extreme hard work it takes to put together a drift machine like the RX-8!
It’s always good to work with teams like Bergenholtz Racing. The thing is, a lot of teams will call and bug you for weeks about sponsorship then after they get it, they slap a decal on their car and disappear into the night! As most marketing people in this industry will tell you, those days are pretty much over. Budgets have been cut, sales are not what they use to be, companies are tightening up their finances, etc. So return on investment is a much bigger deal for companies sponsoring race teams now days. That means constant updates, mention of your product during interviews, photo shoots, video, tweets, facebook, etc. So though the Bergenholtz team’s 2010 season didn’t pan out as planned, as far as points, they never stopped promoting and supporting their sponsors. Not having to chase people around for updates is a huge help to one man marketing teams like ours.
By the way, Ron Bergenholtz is planning on moving to north Houston (Woodlands) in a couple of months! The Woodlands is a great area and cost of living is way way lower. When I asked him why he said “There’s gotta be more to life than paying bills!” also said “orange juice is was too expensive in Santa Ana”.
Photo taken in ATL during breakdown at Formula Drift Road Atlanta 2010.