Mar. 12, 2009, 8:27 am
A couple of weeks ago, we had a new resource join the team, Rick Maas (firstname.lastname@example.org, VP of Marketing). Rick was most recently the VP of marketing at Vectren Source (Vectren is the gas utility company for much of Indiana), and he's a real "C" level guy. Along with my buddy George at Brandwidth, Rick is one of the most creative guys I know. Besides his passion for motorsports and sports promotions, Rick has also previously served as the general manager for several AA and AAA baseball teams in the Seattle Mariners' organization. Anyhow, welcome aboard Rick!
So recently, in the context of getting a new partnership drive kicked off (enabled with the addition of Rick to the team), we spent quite a bit of time talking about "Who are we", "What's our purpose", "What types of partners would most benefit from a relationship with us", etc. While it may sound a bit weird to talk about "who are we" and "what's our purpose", I think its pretty important to put those stakes in the ground. Without having these anchors solidly defined, it's so easy in this crazy business and in this crazy economy to let a lot of forces that are out of your control ultimately drive your decision making for you. Besides, while you intuitively know who you are and what your purpose is, it's always an interesting exercise to put it down on paper, especially if 3 or 4 people on a team try to do it and all come up with a slightly different answer.
Well, I'm proud of the process and I'm proud of the results. Spanning three decades (and soon to be four!), Genoa is first and foremost a top tier development league team. As such, Genoa's purpose is quite simply to promote it's drivers and partners. Genoa has long been known as a "driver's team", and one would be hard pressed to find a driver, a team owner, a partner, or a supplier that has had a bad experience. This is the Genoa legacy.
In the discussion about "The Purpose", though, we dug a bit deeper to really try to define what we meant by promoting our drivers ... our partners. We talked about how performance and reasonable costs were important so that we could attract winners. We talked about our repsonsibilities towards driver growth in not only talent, but in public relations, in character, in teamwork, in life. We talked about "representing well" ... the team, the partners, the League, the League's partners, the Event promoters, the fans, the Indianapolis community, the racing community, etc. We talked about commercial viability. Genoa is a business and not a hobby. For Genoa to achieve it's purpose year in and year out, it must remain commercially viable as an entity.
We talked about the unique 3-dimensional experience that comes from participation. Youtube can't capture it. The internet can't project it. You can only get it - taste it, hear it, smell it, touch it - by participating. We talked about how as a Firestone Indy Lights team to deliver the unique, 3D, IndyCar experience to our drivers and to our current and prospective partners.
We summed up Genoa's purpose: "To create and foster a unique space for drivers and team partners to showcase their talents, to grow, to engage, and to win".
In other news, we hope to have a couple of driver announcements very soon. Thanks for checking back - Mark.