Sponsorship pays off: Winnipeg company comes off big after Talladega leg of the NASCAR Cup Series
It was a debut to remember for the team behind Winnipeg’s very own Mclaren Custom Grills, who in the span of a few minutes became a household name for millions.
As the associate sponsor for professional racer Kyle Busch, heading into the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series, the company didn’t realize the scope of the recognition it would receive. Minutes after Busch won his latest race in Talladega on Sunday, fan interest in his sponsor peaked and millions hopped online causing the company’s website to crash.
“It happened within three minutes of him crossing that finish line,” said Mike Mclaren, owner of the Winnipeg based company. “It seems like everybody wants a piece of Mclaren Custom Grills now… it’s growing a lot quicker than I expected.”
The company first started in 2020 after Mclaren mulled over the idea of sourcing locally made barbecues. Fast forward early three years later, he said they’re now licensed by all 30 teams in the NBA.
The sponsorship with Busch began in March. Part of the agreement mean that Mclaren and his team were able to provide the paint scheme for Busch’s car – a No. 8 Chevrolet Camaro.
“Kyle’s sponsorship team called me as I was getting out of my truck, and I honestly thought it was a joke… I hopped in my truck and drove 23 straight hours to their headquarters in North Carolina,” said Busch. “And I just sealed the deal in the room with them.”
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For marketing and sports consultant Cary Kaplan, the recognition received by Mclaren Custom Grills is nothing short of uncommon. Kaplan, who is also president of Cosmos Sports and Entertainment, said the key to the company’s growth was in their decision to move forward with the sponsorship.
It’s a story that, he said, is fascinating.
“They’re not sponsoring a local community baseball team. They’re sponsoring some of the biggest sports organizations,” said Kaplan. “Sponsorship reaches thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of human beings in live settings. There is real power in investing dollars in that space.”
Kaplan emphasized that sponsorship is the best form of marketing. But he also mentioned that a company should work to maintain their digital presence – putting themselves in front of people. Companies that can invest, according to him, can offer a lot exposure.
“Any time when a Canadian success story happens, we all feel good about it… you don’t normally see these things happen that quickly with that much of an impact,” said Kaplan.
In the meantime, Mclaren said he’s getting ready for the next race in Dover. That race is scheduled to take place on April 30.
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