In 2004, I started a new digital marketing business called Lateral Syncing. Teaming up with Denis Badderley, I began to learn about how motor-sport and sponsorship worked together. We pioneered the use of SMS text messaging to help sponsors engage with fans at the event, through advertising in the official program and through magazine advertising.
One of our first campaigns was working with Texaco who were sponsoring a driver in UK version of NASCAR called ‘Days of Thunder’ at Rockingham. One of the drivers for the team was Ben Collins – defending champion of the series who went on to be better known as ‘The Stig’ from Top Gear.
The campaign was one of the first to put an SMS short-code on the car with a call to action. This meant that we got people texting at the event, but also when photos of the car were published and the short-codes were visible.