CONCORD, N.C. – John Force isn’t retiring from the National Hot Rod Ass’n anytime soon.
That was made clear by Force during a press conference Thursday afternoon at Charlotte Motor Speedway, where Force announced new partnerships with JMI, Octagon Entertainment and Rogers & Cowan.
JMI joins John Force Racing as a strategic partner to help facilitate pursuit of new sponsorship opportunities. It was announced earlier this year that both Ford and Castrol would be leaving the team. Through the multi-year agreement, JMI will work with the JFR marketing team to find primary sponsorship for Force, pro drag racing’s winningest driver, and his daughter Brittany Force.
“I have been at a crossroads a few times in my career,” Force said. “In the early days, I was in the Midwest, broke, planning to give up my dream of racing when an opportunity to match race materialized. In 2007, I was at a crossroads when we lost Eric Medlen and when I crashed six months later. Doctors told me I would be lucky to walk again but I came back in 2010 and won my 15th NHRA Funny Car Championship.
“Now, I am at a new crossroads as I look for new primary sponsors for the first time in 25 years. I might have to start selling products to the competition something I never thought I would do if I don’t find another manufacturer,” acknowledged the 2012 inductee into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame. “I have never been on the open market and I feel like hiring JMI gives me the best chance to continue to grow my company. I have great partners in Auto Club, Traxxas, Mac Tools and Freightliner, but this is an expensive sport and to be the best you need funding.
“One thing I want to make clear moving forward, we have great partners through 2014 and we will be racing for more championships for them,” said Force. “Castrol and Ford deserve to have our full focus until the end of 2014 so we do not intend to discuss any major sponsorship developments until after the 2014 season.”
JMI is the world’s largest motorsports marketing agency, harnessing the marketing power of motorsports to create business solutions for some of the world’s most successful corporations and brands.
“John Force is a drag racing icon and we’re honored to represent his legendary organization,” said Jon Flack, COO & President, Americas, JMI. “This partnership is exciting for our business and a great fit because we both eat, sleep and breathe, racing. We understand the challenges and opportunities in motorsports, and have a great responsibility as the team works towards the future.”
Moving forward, John Force Racing, Inc., and John Force Racing Entertainment will be working with John Ferriter and Octagon Entertainment along with Rogers & Cowan in an effort to increase the team’s visibility in non-traditional media.
“We are going back to Hollywood,” said John Force, CEO of JFR. “We loved doing the Driving Force Show in 2006 and 2007 but we had to change direction after we lost Eric Medlen and I had to teach my daughters how to become professional drivers. We worked with my friend John Ferriter then and we are back together with a new concept.
“We are going in a different direction for this show,” said Force. “It won’t be about learning the ropes on the race track. I have taught my kids how to drive, but now I need to teach them how to chase money and get in the boardroom with corporate America. Our goal is to work with Octagon and John Ferriter to produce an entertaining show.”
In an effort to continue to grow the JFR brand and extend its influence outside of motorsports, Los Angeles-based Rogers & Cowan will begin reaching out to entertainment media outlets on behalf of the stable of JFR drivers. The agency will expand the JFR brand into traditional mainstream media. Rogers & Cowan’s objective is to position the Force family into mainstream entertainment personalities by securing significant national media and expose at entertainment focused events.
The firm’s goal is to reach out to major television outlets such as The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Good Morning America, CBS Sunday, and Entertainment Tonight. In the national print area, the Rogers & Cowan will pursue USA Today, Parade, The New York Times, and Wall Street Journal among other notable outlets.
“Rogers & Cowan is very excited to be associated with John Force, his family and racing team. We are working closely with John and his team to execute a strategic marketing communications campaign to reach JFR’s goals and expand their brand and image into the entertainment mainstream and increase the team’s visibility,” said Sandy Friedman, Rogers & Cowan Executive Vice President, Music & Sports.