Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Take Notes From BHA

Teams need to sit up and take notice of Bryan Herta Autosport (BHA for short). It is amazing to see their success on the track, as well as their success off it. There is great management by the team, making smart decisions when it comes to what's best for the team. An example of this was sitting out of the race at Sao Paulo to rethink things and to evaluate their future, and by that, they were figuring out their engine situation. If they would have stuck with Lotus for Indy, they would be in the back row, but instead they started P11 in a far superior Honda engine. They raced well but got a penalty, but they still ran strong, and without the proper wherewithal by people in the team, they would have been a joke. Belle Isle and Texas yielded great qualifying efforts and top ten finishes. They took one step backwards to go two steps forward, and it was a great move on their part.

There are three steps to becoming a great team and won that fans can connect with:

Step one, in order to grow your team, first and foremost, you need a great driver, and BHA has that in Alex Tagliani. To be a great driver in the modern era, you have to be more than a talented driver, you also have to be charismatic, likable, social, and a driver that pleases the fans. Alex Tagliani meets all of these requirements. He is always doing things for fans. Autographs, tweeting with fans, and being easy to talk makes him a great modern day driver. You add this in with his performances on track, including the 2011 Indianapolis 500 Pole Winner, and you have step one complete.

Step two, you need an owner who gets "it" and Bryan Herta clearly gets "it". How many teams in the last 10 years has someone entered with a one-off entry and win a race, and I'm just limiting that to the Indy 500, any Indycar race in the last 10 years? The list is probably microscopic. Bryan Herta staffed his team well, gained the necessary sponsors, and put great drivers in his equipment, which was apparent after the 2011 Indianapolis 500 win with Dan Wheldon. Bryan Herta is a fantastic owner and knows how to put his team in a great position.

Two likable guys right here

Step three, you have to have a rocking PR, and Monica Hilton (@the_race_gIRL) is one of the best in the business, right up there with PCap (Pat Caporali @PCaporali). She has transformed the BHA Twitter into the best team account by a mile. Social interaction is at a maximum. During the offseason, activities were held on Twitter to help the offseason move faster. Lots of pictures and videos during the season help give an inside view at the team. Prizes are given out religiously, and great discussions helps make Twitter more enjoyable, and they aren't always racing related discussions. Monica gets great support from the team and sponsors, as they have tweet ups at a majority of the races in North America. This is how you become a fan favorite team.
Doesn't hurt to have a sexy car too

So I hope every team is paying attention, because this is how you succeed. Hint to other teams, FANS LIKE FREE STUFF! *Wink wink nudge nudge* Keep up the great work on and off the track BHA.

Let me know what you all think.

-Matthew Hickey

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