The Concept :

A new reality television show where 50 drivers and 21 wildcards from through out North America were selected to participate by a careful analysis of thousands of talented drivers and the voting of the fans on the Racin’ for a Livin’ website. In the fall of 2006, the producers will take the top fifteen from the 50 and the top five from the 21 Wildcard drivers and go to the track in Charlotte, North Carolina. After a few days of on and off track participation, the veterans will choose 12 to start training for the program. Eight will be eliminated and sent home. The overall winner will receive seven fully sponsored races in a NASCAR Busch Series car in the 2007 season. One of the twelve rookies will be eliminated each week, however they will not be sent from the show. The eliminated drivers will be with the weekly winners to “trade paint” on the track. Although they can’t win the show they are still trying to impress all the owners and sponsors in motorsports.
Can you take unknown, untested rookies after training them with the very best in the business and enable these rookies to drive like a seasoned veteran in their very first Big League race?…
Does the old saying “You’re only as good as the people you surround yourself with,” really apply here?…
Come find out at the end of our first Racin’ for a Livin’ season.
The TV show, on prime-time network and distributed "internationally" will allow the viewers to see and experience the high intensity world of auto racing through the eyes and mind of the driver. 12 Rookies will be selected by a careful analysis of the thousands of talented drivers and the voting of the fans on the website. One will prove worthy of their shot, in the most popular and hardest to conquer US motorsports arena, NASCAR! In the US NASCAR ranks second only to the NFL, with a strong fan base of over 75 million. Experience their world, where one mistake could mean the loss of life or limb, while having the added distractions of sponsors and fame. The show will include fun with great entertainers and musicians who love the thrill of Racing. They will be carefully selected to fill a variety of roles including:
· Interaction with the rookies and veterans, which entails a white-knuckle ride with a top NASCAR Cup driver on a high-speed track.
· Off-track action venues to include ATV’s, water sports, golfing, fishing, etc.
· Lifestyle venues, the life of fame and fortune, 5-star all the way.
· An Original Sound Track that will set the heart pounding beat to the action.
· One-liner Comedy Cameo’s
The show’s rookie drivers will take you through the ups and downs of their aspirations, dreams, and realities. You will learn how a driver becomes a pro. How the driver deals with his crew. How the driver schedules his or her time and coordinates how to live and win.
On the racing side, it’s the most intense training program ever devised for auto racing. We will make sure of that! Top veteran drivers and crew chiefs will take on the task of training the rookies and polishing them into winners ready for their debut. The intense training time will bring out the most aggressive and skillful drivers who have the drive to succeed.
One of the twelve rookie drivers’ dreams will be dashed each week, however they will not be sent from the show! The winner will then move on to their shot at Professional Stock Car Racing, and will truly live out the ultimate goal of every rookie driver who dreams of Racin' for a Livin'. Driver elimination will be based on scoring comprised of three components: lap times, scoring by a judging panel of racing veterans, and their appearance and attitude away from the track dealing with the fans.
Be there to witness the run of emotions as they go from one extreme to the next and everything in-between. Watch as the dreams of one of these rookie drivers ends right before your very eyes with each episode. When race day arrives, will the chosen driver rise to the expectations of the millions of fans that follow racing, or just turn out to be another rookie on the track?

The Process :

What does it take to become a Professional Stock Car Driver?…On the program, fan power, talent and the ability to learn from the best. So this is how it goes..
1. Drivers submit themselves, and the veteran panel will review and decide which of the fifty the fans get to vote for.
2. The fans vote for the rookies they want to see on the show, while the Rookies are put through tests of media endurance. The top 15 by the end of July will be the ones on the show for the run off with 5 Wildcards. Only 12 will make the cut into the program.
3. This is where the veterans in racing and lifestyles will take over. The Rookies will be trained and compete against each other on and off the track.
4. The veterans will narrow the field down to two. During the final program, the fans will vote for the Rookie they want to win. At the end, a live two hour special will reveal who the fans choose as their new Driver.
5. The winner will get a chance to, get reviewed by NASCAR for approval to compete in competition, enter, attempt to qualify and compete for seven races in the NASCAR Busch Series to prove his or her stuff with all they have learned. If they win one of the races, they get a big $$$ bonus and a possible debut in the NASCAR Cup Series with the team, pending NASCAR's approval of the drivers ability.


The Endeavor : 

Tony Berry of AJB racing was selected as one of the 21 "Wildcard" drivers for the television show by JVI Productions LLC and their panel of judges. The dynamics of the voting process awarded bonus points for media coverage garnered by the contestants. Tony appeared on the Speed Sport Report Live broadcast on the FOX Sports Radio affiliate in Spokane, Wa for six straight weeks. Tony also appeared on with Dennis Patchin on KXLY radio. Along with the interviews with Tony, the show also had made many references to the Racin’ for a Livin’ Campaign and Tony’s on and off track performances/accomplishments. Tony was a guest multiple times on the Northsound Racing Show which airs on the ESPN affiliate KRKO-AM Everett, WA. Holly Cain, the motor sports columnist for the Seattle Post Intelligencer, did an article that appear in the sports section of the newspaper. Paul Delaney, a Spokane area motor sports writer has authored numerous articles for different publications.  

Tony acquired the proactive support of local race facilities not only during events that he participated in, but also events that took place while he was at other venues. Stateline Speedway in Post Falls, Idaho supported Tony by displaying “VoteTony” banner and posters. “Berry Backers” cheerleaders were granted the ability to canvas the grandstands handing out voting cards, flyers and playing cards. The track owner sanctioned them to do this for the entire six week period Tony was involved in the Wildcard voting process. In addition to the repeated announcements by the track announcer the track did “VoteTony” T-Shirt give-a-ways to fans in attendance.
On August 12, 2006 AJB racing co-hosted the “Wildcard 100” at South Sound Speedway in Rochester, WA. Through the efforts of the race team, every spectator that walk through the gate on race night was given a flyer outline the details of the Racin’ for a Livin’ show and the voting process of selection for the drivers. The track public address announcer referred to the nights events as the “Wildcard 100” throughout the race night. Banners, posters and specialty voting signs were prominently displayed in key visional areas of the speedway. The track did lucky number program give-a-ways featuring "VoteTony" T-shirts along with decals. During any break of the action, the track announcer talk about Tony and the Racin for a livin’ program. Monday August 14, 2006 was declared “Tony Berry Day” in Spokane Washington by a Proclamation read at the city council meeting and signed by the Mayor of Spokane Dennis Hession. The proclamation recognized Tony for his devotion to auto racing and to his commitment to his family and furthering his education.

The Outcome :

While most of the participants had months to gain support and votes, Tony was a late addition to the wildcard field. In just a six week period Tony was able to garner over half a million votes and finished in sixth place . A top five finish was the ultimate goal, however the team goal was to get invited to Charlotte. That goal was realized; Tony was selected as an "Alternate Contestant". All the hard work of the entire race team, fans and regional race tracks help to achieve the goal. All seventy-one of the Racin’ for a Livin’ competitors exemplify the type of racers that have helped built motor sports over the years throughout the country. Achieving the great race track support across the region with their various "Wildcard 100" late model, sprint and midget races with banners, posters, cheerleaders, t-shirt lucky number give-aways, race track announcers support with the "WILDCARDTONY" commercials all helped get the word out to many new race fans. Receiving the honor from the Mayor of Spokane proclaiming Monday August 14th "Tony Berry Day" in the City and County of Spokane, Wa really helps elevate our sport of choice within the general business community as well.




The Wrap-up :

This "WILDCARDTONY" campaign has been more about team work, creative "out-of-the-box" thinking, time management, building of motor sports awareness among non-race fans and the believing in the effort... and each other. This was a first rate inclusive marketing campaign that achieved the desired results and then some. Regardless of the final "Charlotte" invitation outcome, the AJB racing team and its loyal fans, sponsors, track owners and regional media supporters are the "Winners Circle" on this worthwhile project


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