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How to race ahead in the construction industry

How to race ahead in the construction industry

Did you know construction firms and motorsport have been entwined together over the decades as strongly as bricks and mortar?

racing cars speeding down around a bend in the track

Sponsoring racing teams from Formula One to superbikes, building and demolition businesses have clocked on to the fact that getting your name out there with a sport you find exciting is a win-win in terms of also bring a marketing and publicity boost.

After all, it can extend your reach not just nationally but internationally; especially as the most fearless racers attract attention as they sprint and furiously overtake around circuits on the most sought-after motors in the world at break-neck speeds.

We've had the opportunity to experience a taste of this through our long-standing relationship with Hull-based East Coast Construction, who we have helped to finance various large plant machinery.

East Coast's owner Phil Reed has supported acclaimed TT race winner and British superbiker Lee Johnston for years and linked Paragon up with him. It led to us financing the racer's new Bürstner Elegance motorhome, along with the 44ft commercial trailer transporting his bikes and equipment to each venue. Plus, the Paragon logo is now emblazoned on the side of Johnston's high-speed motorbikes.

It's not only exciting to get behind Johnston as he races this season, but it also makes us feel proud to be involved with such a talented rider as he promotes the Paragon brand.

We're not the only ones either as here is a list of some other construction companies, large and small who have collaborated with motorsports teams to help them with marketing, promotion and even recruitment.

JCB - Formula One

Staffordshire-based construction and agricultural machinery maker JCB this year partnered with new British motor racing team SportPesa Racing Point F1 team, formerly called Force India.

JCB's distinctive yellow and black branding features on the two Formula One cars driven by Lance Stroll and Sergio Perez as well as on team helmets, overalls and trackside clothing.

Merchandise has proven a successful promotional area for the company, aside from its main business. Stalls selling clothing and toys of mini diggers and other construction equipment often have long queues of customers at industry trade shows.

Smiths Gloucester - British Superbikes Championship

Family business Smiths Gloucester Ltd is a key sponsor of Smiths Racing BMW, which is contesting the 2019 Bennetts British Superbike Championship with racers Peter Hickman and James Ellison.

The company is not only involved in construction but also demolition, asbestos removal, transport, plant hire and waste management solutions and uses this opportunity to promote its brand.

Smiths Racing was launched in 2010 and previous riders for the team at the Isle of Man TT Races have included Guy Martin and Dave Johnson.

R Collard Ltd - British Touring Cars

British Touring Car Championships driver Rob Collard may have made a name for himself behind the wheel, but he also owns his own demolition firm called R Collard Ltd.

His day job is in the construction industry as the owner of the South of England's leading supplier for demolition, waste management, skip hire, scrapping cars and more.

Racing runs in the family and the business runs its own team called Collard Racing, which was started by Mick "Duffy" Collard - a factory racing driver for Ford back in the 1970's and '80's. He raced against F1 drivers such as Martin Brundle and won the Hot Rod World Championship back in 1980.

Rob Collard followed in his father's footsteps, driving for teams including Motorbase Performance and West Surrey Racing; while Rob's son Ricky Collard has raced in the British GT Championship, British Touring Car Championship and Blancpain GT World Challenge Europe.

Herzog and Komatsu America - drag racing

Herzog Contracting and Komatzu America have both promoted themselves at National Hot Rod Association drag races in the US, which have also helped them with recruitment.

Not only did this sponsorship get their name publicised to potential clients and other businesses, it was part of an effort by the companies - along with the Association of Equipment Management Professionals and the Associated General Contractors of America - to recruit mechanics, technicians and other employees that were in short supply.

Construction contractor Herzog has been a long-time sponsor with two-time NHRA Funny Car champion Tony Pedregon. Pedregon's team consultant and senior advisor John Lukovich even commented that "unlike other forms of racing, dragsters are particularly attractive to the blue collar, construction demographic", adding that it was because race tickets were cheaper than NASCAR or open wheel racing.

Hughes Bros - British Superbikes Championship

Hughes Bros Construction, based in Teesside, is a supporting sponsor of CDH Racing team in the Bennetts British Superbike Championship, which uses driver Dean Hipwell on his CDH Racing Kawasaki.

The company, with offices in Sunderland and Leeds, handles projects for the public and private sectors, including for housing, leisure, commercial, industrial and retail across the North East and Yorkshire.

Tru Plant Group - Motorcross

East Anglian plant hire and machinery company Tru7 Group is connected to motorsport through its Operations Manager Jake Nicholls.

He is the son of owner Guy Nicholls and a Motorcross racer, who was 39 points clear in the race for the 2018 Maxxis ACU British MX1 Motocross Championship title before a freak accident put him out of the last two races.

TRU7 was born in 1927 when founder Percy Nicholls went into the truck hire business. Since then, Percy's son Guy and his son Jake have inherited the entrepreneurial spirit.

CP Hire – North West 200

This well-established UK plant hire company for the construction industry with a head office in Northern Ireland sponsored this year's famous North West 200 motorbike road race.

The race between Portrush, Portstewart and Coleraine was on the doorstep of CP Hire's Northern Irish base in Coleraine. The company has been striving to provide Northern Ireland with one of the most modern and comprehensive ranges of hire equipment since 1971.

Quattro Plant - British Superbikes Championship

Bournemouth Kawasaki are racing in the Bennetts British Superbike Championship in 2019 under the name Quattro Plant JG Speedfit Kawasaki with riders including James Hillier.

Plant hire company Quattro Group Quattro Group is a major sponsor of the motorbike team.

Quattro was established in 1989 in East London and has enjoyed over 25 years of nationwide success, operating from 11 strategically placed depots across the UK.

East Coast Construction, Ashcourt Group and SMT GB – Isle of Man TT races

As mentioned earlier, East Coast Construction has been a long supporter of rider Lee Johnston and its fellow sponsors of Johnston's team include Volvo Construction Equipment's distributor in the UK - SMT GB - along with leading construction companies Ashcourt Group and Burdens.

Under the Ashcourt Racing banner, Johnston has raced to several wins this season including in the Isle of Man TT  Monster Supersport race.

If you are racing ahead with plans to buy new excavators, bulldozers or other plant equipment, take a look at our range of specialist construction finance solutions.

Paragon Banking Group PLC.  Registered in England number 2336032.  Registered office 51 Homer Road, Solihull, West Midlands  B91 3QJ.