How Supercheap Auto created a retail bonanza with sports sponsorship

Brooke Hemphill

It took 11 years and hundreds of thousands of dollars in investment, but Australian automotive retail chain Supercheap Auto (SA) has taken a sporting sponsorship and turned it into the second largest event on its calendar, just behind Christmas.

It began with the Bathurst 1000, a global motor racing event held in October every year. In 2005, SA took over naming rights for the event. But the team behind the sponsorship are the first to admit they didn't get it perfect first time around.

"Back in 2005, we did all those traditional things that you would expect. We put signage in prominent locations around the event, around the track. We got locations that gave us mass TV exposure. We entered a vehicle in the race. We had a two-car team," David Bauer, SA's GM of Customer Communications and Engagement said at the Mumbrella's Retail Marketing Summit in Sydney.