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Wayne Taylor Racing: Press Conference - Konica Minolta Sponsorship Announcement
Posted by: newsla on Apr 12, 2014 - 06:37 AM
Wayne Taylor Racing: Press Conference - Konica Minolta Sponsorship Announcement
THE MODERATOR: I’d like to welcome everybody to the Chevrolet display today for a very special announcement that we’ll be bringing to you from Wayne Taylor Racing, one of our competitors in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship here this weekend. But first I’d like to introduce a few people. I’d like to first of all thank Chevrolet for letting us use their display. It means the world to us. We’ve been working with you folks for decades since Wayne has been sports car racing in this country, and we really appreciate all that you’ve done to help us make this happen here for this great crowd that’s here with us today.


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With us today from Chevrolet is Mr. Jim Campbell, the U.S. Vice President, Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. Mr. Jim Lutz, the Daytona Prototype Program Manager, and Mr. Jeff Chew, the Chevy Racing Marketing Manager. Thank you all.

I’d like to turn the floor over to Mr. Wayne Taylor, three‑time sports car racing champion, owner of Wayne Taylor Racing, for a very special announcement.

WAYNE TAYLOR: Good morning, everybody. Thank you all for coming to this conference today. Today is a really exciting day for me, for Wayne Taylor Racing. Max, my partner, and obviously my two drivers, young kid drivers, Jordan and Ricky, just to give you some background, I think Laz already talked about the fact that I’ve had a relationship with GM for some‑odd 20 years. Relationships are everything. Rick Taylor, who is the CEO of Konica Minolta and I met many, many years ago. As a matter of fact, I met him when he was running Toshiba Business Solutions. With the merger of this championship and the game being raised to such a level that’s going to require so much more effort from a technical standpoint, financial standpoint and so on, Rick left - when Rick left Toshiba - what was it, how many years ago - six years ago, he called me and said, Wayne, you have my number if you ever need anything down the road. So we picked up discussions last year, and he wanted to come to the Daytona 24-hour, and he brought with him the senior executives, including the chairman, Mr. Tom Taiko, who is here today. I’d like to thank him, and Mike Mathé, who has played a big role in this. They visited the race at Daytona, and literally a week after that I got the call to say we’re really interested in joining forces with you guys.

I can tell you, as a race-car owner, one of the most important parts is having good people around you. I couldn’t have associated myself with a better group of people. Everybody from General Motors to Dallara, to now Konica Minolta. And everybody from Konica Minolta that I’ve now met recently seems so energized and understand the value of this platform.

For me, the race car is really where the kids and everybody have their fun, but it’s that platform that we use to generate a business relationship with all of us. Part of what I need to achieve outside of winning championships is to bring as much business as I can to Konica Minolta. So thank you all for coming, and if you have any questions, I’ll be here for a while.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Wayne. We’ll turn the floor over to Mr. Rick Taylor. Before we do, I want to introduce our Konica Minolta guests here as Wayne mentioned. Mr. Tom Taiko the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Sam Errigo, the Senior Vice President of Business Intelligence Services. Mr. Michael Mathé, Senior Vice President International. Mr. Kevin Kern, Senior Vice President of Marketing, and Ms. Kay Fernandez, the Vice President, Strategic Business Development. Thank you for being here today. We appreciate it.

Now, Mr. Rick Taylor, no relationship to Wayne Taylor, obviously.

RICK TAYLOR: Not that I know of.

THE MODERATOR: Wanted to get your thoughts on today’s big announcement and what it means to your company and what you plan on doing in moving forward together?

RICK TAYLOR: Thank you. Konica Minolta represents a lot of things as a brand. We really represent technology and speed and leadership. You look around you and you associate yourself with brands like General Motors, Chevrolet, Continental Tires, Velocity, all of these companies that are premier brands in the space that they operate in, and to be associated with those kinds of companies and the kinds of people that are involved in those companies is a real pleasure for us.

We’re excited to be here. It represents a future for us in this sport. We’ve done very well in the last five or six years. As a company, we’ve grown tremendously, and we’ve grown really because we have really good talent in our organization. So you look at my Hall of Fame friend next to us, Wayne Taylor, and the two or three most exciting drivers probably in any part of racing today, especially the two knuckleheads on the end who are prolific Tweeters, in case you haven’t followed them yet. But we’re very excited.

Last of all, what this organization has done to unify the sports car racing effort, I think is a great platform for us. So we want to be one of the team. We like to win. We like to be associated with winners, and I think that’s what we’ve done. So we’re very happy to be here. Thank you, everybody.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Rick. With that, you mentioned Velocity Worldwide, I wanted to run through a couple of quick introductions here, some of our sponsors we are very privileged to be associated here from Velocity Worldwide, we have Paul Blakely and Mr. Brian Stockman. From Accenture, Mr. Rock Bonecutter. Then also today we have with us from Titanium Metal Supply, Todd Harrison and James Hostetler. With that, we’ll move on to the bigger picture entity which is the Tudor United SportsCar Championship, which is sanctioned by the International Motorsports Association. I wanted to introduce Mr. Ed Bennett, the chief executive officer, stage right out there, and on stage with us Mr. Scott Atherton, the President and Chief Operating Officer of the International Motorsports Association.

Scott, from a bigger picture perspective, what’s it mean to a series as a major player in the business world to come on board and partner with a team like Wayne Taylor Racing?

SCOTT ATHERTON: First of all, I want to congratulate Wayne and Rick for bringing us together to have such an announcement. When you look at it from a championship perspective, a sanctioning body perspective, IMSA, the Tudor United SportsCar Championship, it’s certainly not every race that we make an announcement like this, and I think that should speak volumes of the significance of what we are here today to announce. To look at the landscape that the championship represents, I think Rick said it already, we are a motorsports property that is surrounded by premium brands and category leaders.

I think there is no question that today, with the addition of Konica Minolta, we have the collective pleasure and thrill of adding yet another set of premium brands into this environment. So from our perspective, we couldn’t be more pleased.

I think from Wayne Taylor Racing’s perspective, I said this when we were meeting back at Sebring, we have a lot of race teams in our paddock that set a very high bar for their on‑track performance. We have other examples of teams that do an exceptional job on the business side in bringing active partnerships and true sponsor relations into their environment. In Wayne Taylor Racing, you have that rare combination of both.

I’ve thought a lot about it. What separates Wayne Taylor Racing? Why do these guys continue to attract the kind of real business partner activation that they do? I believe Superman has the cape, and Wayne’s got these blue tinted glasses. I’m convinced that that is what separates it all.

There is a little bit of a branding deal going on with the hair with the young lads coming up. One a little bit more so than others, but they’re carving out their niche, and I would say it’s working, so don’t fix it. Congratulations, guys, well done.

THE MODERATOR: Before we turn it over to Q&A, Wayne has another point he’d like to make.

WAYNE TAYLOR: Last year, everybody saw the No. 10 car being fully sponsored by Velocity Worldwide with the Darius platform, and that was thanks to three individuals, Paul Blakely, Enda McShane, and Brian Stockman. And Brian has become not only a partner with us, but become a great friend. He’s brought his sons out from Belfast this weekend to be here, and I want to make a special thank you to you, Brian, not only from a sponsor standpoint but for becoming such a great friend to my family.

The other person that sits in the background, our friend, Rockwell Bonecutter from Accenture has been very instrumental in helping us understand more about the business world. So we want to just push forward and bring this to a new level.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Wayne. With that, we’ll open the floor up for Q&A from our media friends.

Q. Rick, does Konica Minolta have activation planned incorporating the Konica Minolta Corvette and/or Ricky and Jordan?

RICK TAYLOR: If you did something like this and didn’t use Ricky and Jordan, you’d be wasting your money because you have two of the most engaging, I think, individuals personally, but also talented, talented, talented drivers. So, yeah, we’re going to use - we have a very extensive arrangement with Wayne for customer hospitality, driver visits. The car will be seen all over. We have lots that we’re going to do to make sure that we get the most out of our sponsorship.

And we’ll certainly highlight - I don’t want to skip the more seasoned veteran of the group, Max, who I have had the pleasure of knowing personally much longer. I knew the young guys when they didn’t really know who I was. They were around this tall. But Max I’ve known for a long time. He’s really got such a combination of youth enthusiasm and then wisdom and experience that it’s really an impressive group. If their father, if Wayne stays out of the way, they’re going to do great this year.

Q. How can you capitalize on Ricky and Jordan’s use of social media in helping to brand Konica Minolta Racing?

RICK TAYLOR: I don’t know if you’ve followed the last few days, but I’ve gotten into a little Tweet war with the boys. I Tweeted this morning at 5:40 a little quote from Top Gun. I have the need, the need for speed. And at 5:42, Ricky Tweeted back. So apparently he was up awaiting my Tweet to go ahead and Retweet and expand that.

So when you’ve got youth and enthusiasm, they’re more adept at getting the message out through all types of media than I will ever be. And it’s a big advantage to have the following that they have and certainly Max has with the different demographic representing our brand. So we’re very excited about it.

Q. Congratulations to everyone on the stage about the announcement. I think it’s quite remarkable that Wayne has finally found a partner that has the branding colors that match his sunglasses. More importantly, Wayne, congratulations. I think this certainly makes a statement about the viability of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and the platform that that provides for bringing on a new premium power such as Konica Minolta. What is the commitment? What are you looking at moving forward? Are you looking to expand the team? If you could just give us some details on that?

WAYNE TAYLOR: Well, you always want to expand the team. The number one priority at the moment is to build this relationship and be successful from the ground up. This will be the first weekend, actually, that Ricky and Jordan will be driving together. So we need to win some races as a team. We need to try to win the championship, and ultimately, you know, we will look to run a two‑car program. It may be such that into next year, if the rules and regulations stay where they are, perhaps we’ll run one car for the full championship, and a second car for the North American championship.

Q. Does that mean Max will be back?

WAYNE TAYLOR: Max will always be back.

Q. How about Wayne?

WAYNE TAYLOR: That’s a bad question. You know I’m done with this.

RICK TAYLOR: Did you see him get out of the car at Daytona? I thought he was going to keel over. I was a little worried.

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