Through The Esses - Edd Davin's Return Now Infused With Nitro
Page: 1 Links
A Model Crawford In Nitro Colors
© Andrew S. Hartwell

A few months back we told you about the impending return of veteran sportscar racer Edd Davin to the Grand-Am Rolex Series. (Story can be found

We decided to follow up on that conversation to learn what progress had been made in securing a car, a co-driver, and - most importantly - a primary sponsor who could make Davin's wishes come true.

Today, after speaking with Davin, and Mr. Lowell Moore, the CEO of the Nitro Beverage Company, it now appears that Grand-Am fans will have a new car and team to root for, possibly by the last few races of this season.

Nitro makes energy drinks and they have set their sites on capturing a share of the market currently dominated by the Red Bull brand.

We began our conversation by asking if a car had yet been secured. Davin told us that the purchasing arrangement had not yet been completed, but he definitely knew what store' he was going shopping in.

We are going to work directly through Max Crawford and David Cooper at Crawford Race Cars to secure what is presently the #20 car, for our team. We haven't taken possession of the car yet but we are getting closer everyday.

Davin told us that he and Moore have discussed this project for some time now and all of the talk has led to an action plan that is sure to benefit both Nitro and Davin Racing.

Lowell and I came into contact with one another a few years ago. We stayed in touch and I pitched the idea of sponsoring our Grand-Am team to him and Nitro. I told him how motorsports marketing is one of the strongest advertising tools out there with a great return on investment. I told him our presence in Grand-Am would sell Nitro beverage products. Lowell said, That's great. We will sponsor you but&you have to prove to us that your efforts will bring us customers.' And that is what we have been doing the last few months.

We came to an agreement several months ago that we would go in that direction. In order to satisfy Lowell's concerns about motorsports, we went out and chased beverage distributors about the Nitro product line. We have been trying to find distributors who can bring Nitro products into the retail market. It's great to manufacture a product but you have to get it to the customer. We have been looking for the correct blend of distributors to do just that. We have now reached a point where we can tie up a few loose ends and kick this thing off.

We wondered if it wasn't Nitro approaching the retailers directly that would give them the market saturation they were seeking. Moore explained just how a combination of measures is used to achieve the goal.

There are a few ways that you can go about it. As a manufacturer we can go out and solicit the bigger chains, like Safeway, or 7-11 or Circle K, but it is a lot easier to have a distribution company that has the capability of facilitating that, once you have the customer on board.

Another way is to secure an arrangement with a national distributor, one who already has a relationship with the bigger chains. They can add our products to make an additional SKU available to them. For us, we have taken a number of years to do research and development, and learn this business. We've had to go through a maze of different issues to become acclimated to this landscape. With Edd's help, and a couple of years of being out there and learning this business, we have identified the ways in which to make this work.

There is the on-premise market which is your nightclub and restaurants. There is the retail market which would be your convenience stores, stop and shop, gas stations and so on. And then there are your major chain stores. Each of them have different distributors that service them.

Thus far we have been fortunate with this partnership with Edd. We were very interested into getting into the race game. We tested with NASCAR in the Cra