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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello All,

My name is Heath Nunnemacher, and I am a current sophomore at Michigan Tech. Many of you are aware of Tech's strong ties and history to rallying. Some of you are alumni, while others might have been cheered by the hordes of MTU rally fans during LSPR.
I am currently attempting to start a rally enterprise at Tech. The Universtiy defines the Enterprise program as "giving teams of students opportunity to participate in real-world settings to solve engineering problems supplied by industry partners." It is, essentially, a chance to apply engineering skills on real projects outside the classroom. I have proposed to the University an Enterprise that would entail campaigning a student-prepped, maintained, and managed car in a handful of Rally-America events as an opportunity to apply mechanical/automotive skills in full-scale. Some of you are aware of the already existing SAE Enterprise programs such as MiniBaja or CleanTruck; given the enormous following of rallying at Tech it's a mystery why this doesn't yet exist. In order to get approval for this endeavor it's necessary that I identify potential sources of funding; this is where I need help. I am asking anybody with ties to Tech, or anybody that would like to assist with an educational venture, to help identify potential funding. In return for support, as an example, students might design, manufacture, and test parts as designated by the sponsor. For additional information or questions please contact me at hanunnem<at>mtu<dot>edu , or visit http://www.enterprise.mtu.edu/about.html

Thank you.

Kindest Regards,
Heath A. Nunnemacher
 

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50 bucks from Burmeister Rallysport. Hey, it ain't much, but it's what I give to my alma mater every year, and I'd rather see it go to aspiring rally-minded engineers...especially since they canned my curriculum at Western.

Lurch
Ex-MTU Husky turned Bronco. Chris Whiteman and I lived in "420" East Coed Hall (now McNair or some such garbage). Go Mama's Boys! (Nobody Shits on 90 Guys)
 

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I dont know how these educational progams work Heath, but I would think you would prepare a proposal involving rally preparable vehicles, making it generic enough you could plug in a tailored page or two & cover sheet for each specific target manufacturer. Then I would try two things-

1) I would find out if RA (contact JB Niday via PM directly) could put you in touch with Wasserman MG, as they may or may not be able to have better strings to distribute said proposals, as you/MTU students are part of the target demographic. I could see some advertisers & manufacturers jumping at this IF (big IF) IF presented correctly & to the correct people.

2) I still say dealerships (yes car dealerships) are a good sponsorship source. Something like a donor car (that's what I am assuming you are mostly looking for initially, correct?) then funding for the program/season from sponsors? I see that as twofold. First, the car- A local/regional dealership (of ANY make with FWD, as you guys are engineering students- MAKE it a rally car!). Second, the program funding- I see that being able to be much more flexible- multiple sponsors: alumni (Burmeister Rallysport, etc), local businesses, MTU rally team car washes, etc.

I would try both of the above paths at the same time. I have no idea if they'll work. It's just what I would do. (take this with a grain of salt, I have only been very marginally succesful with sponsorship). Although, you have alot to offer someone if MTU approves & you guys have the organizational skills to see it thru.

Also- verify that MTU doesnt have any issue with said advertising/manufacturer involvement. I have no idea if they would. But better to find out before hand.

I hope this helps.

JC
#595
www.gnimotorsports.com
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Some great feedback so far. Let me clarify a few issues. I have already presented this to the enterprise committee and, generally, it was met very positively. From the school's perspective, they have a number of concerns, largely based on the argument that "Oh, we already have SAE programs. Why do we need another?" There currently exists no full-scale racing program, and with Tech's prestige, combined with the massive interest in rallying, it makes no sense this hasn't already been done. The other principle concern, as I mentioned, deal with funding. The school essentially offers to give you X amount for a startup fund, but also they want to see support from outside contributors; the whole idea of the enterprise program is to receive sponsorship/funding and in return, provide sponsors with design, manufacturing, and testing services. So the two issues I need to address are: convincing the school rally is not just "another" SAE program, and demonstrating a possibility of support from outside entities. Thank you again, keep the advice coming!

Heath
 

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Heath, you need an OEM to help you. If you know anyone who worked on FutureTruck and got a free Exploder from Ford, talk to them. They will have some good contacts and good knowledge on how to go about it.

Once you have at least one corporate sponsor, the school will take it more seriously, too. Big companies love this sort of thing. Free publicity...although you might need an angle to make it more attractive PR-wise (make the car run on E85?).

Good luck.
 

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Heath:

Run this like a business, which means you need to fill in the slots:

CEO

Marketing Staff:
Business Manager (leads mkting team)
Marketing Manager
Sales Manager
Promotions Manager

Engineering Staff:
Engineering Design Manager (leads enginneering team)
Suspension Enginner
Drivetrain Enginner
Brakes Engineer
Safety Engineer

Service/Tech Coordinator
Events/Logistics Planner

Driver/Navigator.

One person can play multiple roles, the important thing in my mind is when you divide up the roles and responsibilities you'll see all the different potential areas of investment (potential sponsors). Go after every area including non-automotive related sponsors. A bank, or money management institution would be a good investor and coach for managing the balance sheet, running a positive cash-flow, and bartering for services and supplies...

This idea has very legitimate cross promotional possibilities with and outside of the auto/engineering world.

Great Idea!
Good Luck!

Mike
 

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The University of Pittsburgh ran a Trans Am car back in the 70's. You might want to use this fact to convince skeptics,


Paul Jaeger KC8YRY
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For a Good Time, Call PRIMO!
 

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At POR in 70? 71? 72? maybe 73? I remember seeing a Studebaker Lark with Farleigh Dickinson University sponsorship (although maybe it was a joke).

Kent Gardam
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the feedback guys! This is all very helpful. The most striking suggestion so far was Eric's recomendation of pursuing an alternative fuels idea. Nothing promotes better PR than "green" engineering. Thanks everybody!

Heath
 

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>Thanks for the feedback guys! This is all very helpful. The
>most striking suggestion so far was Eric's recomendation of
>pursuing an alternative fuels idea. Nothing promotes better PR
>than "green" engineering. Thanks everybody!
>
>Heath


I would pursue bio-diesel as well. There are a lot of diesel engine opportunities in both the US and World-wide, there is a lot of research into cleaner burner, higher revving, hydraulic/pneumatic valvetrains, and other advancements in diesel engine technology going on right now. Plus it doesn't hurt having a VW Golf TDI with ~200ft/lb torque right out of the box for a 2WD Rally car :)

And of course, bio-diesel is considered "green", and as you said "green" is good PR.
 

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You lived in 420 ECH? I lived in 420 ECH freshman year. Next you're going to tell me you lived in 402 ECH your next year!
 

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>You lived in 420 ECH? I lived in 420 ECH freshman year. Next
>you're going to tell me you lived in 402 ECH your next year!

So THAT'S where that smell came from! :)

No, I lived on down the hall (428?) my second year. 402 is close to where Mark Buskirk lived tho.

My studies at Rally U were...uhh...well... Let's just say that when a season pass for Mount Ripley (Rockley) is only 120 bucks and you've got a dirt bike chained up outside the dorm (for the other 72 hours when there is no snow), its hard to concentrate on studying. Didn't have a car freshman year, but I had a dirt bike, and the railroad bed going thru town used to be legal sorta.

My second year is when the true rally education took hold...hitting rally roads in my Corvair.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well I hate to break it to you guys, but I live in Maggot Hall and we did in fact $hit on 90 guys this past Winter Carnival...big time. :) We layed waste to Mama's Boys in broomball AND the human dogsled. Either way, it really is awesome to see how many people have ties to Tech. And yeah Eric, no kidding about hard to study. I'm president of the Cycling Club, wheel my Jeep with the Four Wheelers, and practically live at Ripley. That, PLUS rallying, amazing my grades actually aren't too bad! Again, thanks for the help guys; I think this is a good thing for Tech.

Heath
 
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