Supercheap Auto have set new standard in the commercial leveraging of their Bathurst 1000 sponsorship which rivals any similar activity at any major event in the world.
Proving that the days where sponsorship meant just a sticker on a car or trackside sign are long gone, the automotive retailer has built its own temporary network of outlets to service what is expected to be a record four-day crowd at Mt Panorama this weekend.
Supercheap Auto have a massive 1200sqm temporary store set-up just inside the main entrance in merchandise alley at Harris Park as well as a smaller store on top of the mountain and a mobile buggy which services all the track’s camping areas.
Combined, the stores will process more than 20,000 transactions during the four days, making the operation twice as big as any other of 240-odd stores in their national network.
The stores also provide promotional and retail opportunities for their major partners, many of which are also associated with Supercheap’s car sponsorship of the Walkinshaw-prepared Commodore of Tim Slade and Tony D’Alberto.
The infrastructure and logistics are huge, but the return helps justify the company’s multi-million dollar investment in the Great Race which is now in its 11th year as the naming rights partner.
The spend also helps build relationships with the fans with the temporary stores becoming a one-stop-shop for their weekend requirements, according to Promotions Manager, Dane Patterson.
“The planning of the operation takes more than six months and involves more than 120 staff,” said Patterson.
“This is obviously the biggest event of the year for us and the sport and we are always looking for ways to make it bigger and better.
“The on-site stores have grown and grown over the years and are now really part of the Bathurst experience for the fans, especially the ones that are camping at the track and rely of us to help them with their supplies or to have that item on hand they may have forgotten to pack in the trailer.
“We have had a terrific start to the weekend and all we need now is for Tim (Slade) and Tony (D’Alberto) to have a big result on Sunday.”
The store also features several fan-based events during the course of the weekend including a unique car display, which features one of Peter Brock’s original Holden Toranas.
One of the highlights today was the unveiling of Peter Champion’s long-anticipated limited edition VF HDT Commodore.
The VF is a celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the 1985 release of the original HDT VK Group A Commodore, affectionately known as the ‘Blue Meanie’. The last time a HDT special edition vehicle was unveiled at Bathurst in the Supercheap Auto store it sold within a few minutes.