Canadian race fans have not had a ‘home team’ to cheer for since Jacques Villeneuve ruled the ranks of Indy Car and F1 in the mid-1990s. Canadian businessman Steve Meehan started a quest to change this when he purchased the assets of Baker Curb Racing in early 2011 and created Go Canada Racing. With one of Canada’s top NASCAR drivers, JR Fitzpatrick, at the wheel Mr. Meehan planned to launch his newly formed race team in advance of the team’s first official race in April 2011. Mr. Meehan challenged Paradigm to help unveil the team and raise its profile in the media, among Canadian race fans, and in the business community.
Strategy & Execution:
This program’s execution had the need for speed – it was imperative to launch the new team and logo before its first race. Paradigm staged a photo shoot with Mr. Meehan and Mr. Fitzpatrick to provide visuals to accompany the news release. The timing of media relations coincided with the team’s first official race, the NASCAR Nationwide Series Nashville 300 at Nashville Superspeedway on April 23, 2011.
The Paradigm team used a number of unique story angles to help get the word out to media. These included focusing on the fact that this was the only all-Canadian NASCAR team; emphasis on the skills and experience that Mr. Meehan would bring from the business world into the racing world; and a story on Mr. Meehan turning his passion for racing into a reality.
Sports and business media were offered interviews with Mr. Meehan and Mr. Fitzpatrick. Media were also invited to take photographs and video of the car.
Interviews were booked with all top wire services in Canada, including Sun Media/QMI, Postmedia, and The Canadian Press. Photo shoots were also booked with Sun Media/QMI and The Canadian Press.
Stories from the wire services were picked up by top-tier media outlets including the Toronto Star, Vancouver Sun, and Globe and Mail’s Report on Business Magazine.
The launch generated 61 stories and more than 33 million impressions across Canada.