Red, White & Heart Health
February is known as American Heart Month, an annual opportunity to bring light to healthy heart habits and encourage people to check in on one another. Over the past three seasons, the American Heart Association and Pilot Flying J have partnered to have the AHA adorn the hood of Michael Annett’s No. 1 Chevrolet Camaro during the opening weeks of the NASCAR Xfinity Series season.
The partnership made a splash in 2019, with Michael Annett and his team taking the American Heart Association car to Victory Lane in the season opener at Daytona International Speedway.
In efforts to bring awareness to the goals of the American Heart Association’s ‘Life is Why We Give’ campaign, RSMG handles social media content creation and posting on behalf of Pilot Flying J Racing and Michael Annett.
Pilot Flying J’s partnership with the AHA includes promotions on heart-healthy snacks and drinks that can be purchased at one of their 750 nationwide locations, in-store donation options and online donation options. RSMG boosted these opportunities in social media campaigns that assisted Pilot Flying J in raising over $1.6 million in 2019 alone for the American Heart Association.
NIL is changing college athletics…
Name, Image, Likeness (NIL) outlines an NCAA athlete’s ability to accept money from businesses or individuals in exchange for services and availability. NIL refers to a student athlete authorizing an entity to utilize their name, image and likeness to receive compensation in return.
Athletes can receive compensation in various forms; however, their partners must receive some benefit in return. This opportunity was permitted with a new NCAA policy starting July 1, 2021.
NIL activities may include things like social media endorsements, commercials, appearances, autograph signings, and other activities where a business, brand, product, or service is promoted.
You (and your business) can directly sponsor an athlete. This benefits the athlete personally, but also can benefit your business or perhaps a charity that you support.
At RSMG we are working within the NCAA space to connect brands and athletes with NIL deals.
Helping Honor America’s Veterans
Veterans Day in America is more than a day on the calendar; it’s a showing of sincere gratitude toward to the men and women who served in the military. It’s an important time for Pilot Flying J, who not only employs many of those who served, but was founded by a veteran of the Korean War.
To honor Veterans Day, Pilot Flying J turned to RSMG for assistance in executing a promotion involving its JR Motorsports NASCAR program. Its No. 5 car, driven by Michael Annett, was to be adorned with a special patriotic paint scheme in the final three Xfinity Series races of the season.
RSMG’s graphics design team produced a red, white and blue, star-spangled livery that made its on-track debut at Texas Motor Speedway, in advance of the following week’s Veterans Day observation.
Additionally, RSMG’s at-track staff entertained three veterans and their guests, selected at random via Annett’s Twitter account, on the race days featuring the Veterans Day paint scheme. Those special guests received a prize package that included a VIP tour, a meeting with Annett and a seat, during the race, atop the JR Motorsports pit box for an experience that can’t be bought or easily replicated.
The promotion garnered a strong response from NASCAR’s fan base, which profiles as avid military supporters, and allowed Pilot Flying J a wholly American opportunity to honor the military men and women they hold dear.
Turning a Logistical Challenge into a Pleasant Dream
On July 21, TMC Transportation held the ribbon-cutting ceremony of its state-of-the-art Brownsburg, Indiana terminal. In an attempt to ingratiate themselves with the Brownsburg community and the professional drivers under their employ, they wanted a grand opening unique, memorable and above all, fun.
Tapping into their relationship with NASCAR powerhouse JR Motorsports, TMC invited Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Michael Annett, respectively the owner and driver of the No. 5 TMC Chevrolet, as celebrity guests for the special occasion. It was an idea that would garner tremendous fanfare, but with fanfare comes… fans, lots of them.
“Our biggest challenge was the scale of the event,” said TMC public relations manager Justyn Hardy. “We really didn’t know just how many people would want to take part.”
RSMG helped Hardy and TMC plan for the unknown.
An event of this magnitude, with celebrity guests, can seem daunting, but the correct logistical strategy works wonders. With RSMG’s event activation expertise, the crowd of roughly 500 people filtered in and out of the meet-and-greet queue in a timely fashion and was entertained to an open Q&A session moderated by Sirius XM Radio’s Pat Patterson. RSMG coordinated the delivery of the No. 5 TMC show car, providing an up-close look at a NASCAR racecar.
The end result’s worth, for TMC, was invaluable.
“Pride. Pride is the biggest word we at TMC used to describe the event,” said Hardy. “To host something massive like this, our employees felt they were a part of something special.
“RSMG provided us reassurance,” Hardy continued. “Everything was smooth, manageable and felt comfortable. The experience they have with events like this gave us reassurance going into the event and the result was one in which we can take pride.”
Assisting with a Client’s Career Transition
Brent Metcalf’s storied wrestling career, one that saw a pair of NCAA championships and a wildly successful international record, had come to an end. What now? At age 30, his days as one of the nation’s best freestyle wrestlers were over, but his value to the sport he loved and window for earning potential were not. He turned to RSMG for help in seeking options that would best utilize his strengths and provided a lucrative future.
RSMG found, negotiated and secured a new home for Metcalf: the Cyclone-Regional Training Center (C-RTC) in Iowa. There, Metcalf could share the knowledge amassed through his time competing at the highest levels of amateur wrestling with the next generation of wrestlers.
The C-RTC uses the Iowa State University wrestling room and serves elite-level postgraduate resident athletes, as well as younger wrestlers from high school through college. Metcalf also serves as an assistant under legendary ISU head coach Kevin Dresser.
For athletes, “retirement” doesn’t mean the end; it signifies a new beginning, one Metcalf now has with the assistance of his friends at RSMG.