#fiatyamahateam Interview Tiziana Di Gioia
File under Racing Interviews
Author: Mike Werner
Location: Le Mans, France
If you want to succeed in a MotoGP racing team, you'll need a top racer, someone like Valentino Rossi or Jorge Lorenzo. To attract top racers, you need sponsors with deep pockets.
Sponsors don't hand out money, and say "there you go, hope you win, let me know". They need publicity, since that's what it's all about. And to generate the publicity, it's not only a sticker on a motorcycle or Rossi's leathers. There are whole events associated with any race.
VIPs, potential customers, etc, are all invited to the team's hospitality tents. Big promotional tours are organized. The sponsored rider is paraded in front of cameras, endorsing, or at least showing the sponsor's colors. T-shirts, baseball caps and other pieces of merchandising are handed out by the 1000's. The person who, at the sponsor company, that has to deal with all this, is the Sponsorship Manager.
The person as the Fiat Yamaha team who is responsible at the Fiat side (each sponsor company will have an equivalent) for the sponsorship, is Tiziana Di Gioia. Here's her interview, for a job that many would dream off, but only a rare few can have.
Q. "In your job, do you travel around the world, following every race?"
A. "Yes, every race"
Q. "How long have you been doing this job?"
A." Okay, I started in sponsorship in 2005, and then from 2007, I started working on these sponsorships. This is the fourth season for me for this kind of work. "
Q. "What are your functions"
A. "I am in charge in all things regards the sponsorship from the contract rights until the activation, which means on site during the race weekend (and also in the office), and to work on the communications, the web, merchandising, competition, and all the stuff regards the communications and activation. On site, we try to manage some special activities, like with the Fiat cars, like touring to the race in the days before. For example in Japan, we went to the race with a Fiat 500, and made a tour with the cars around Tokyo, or like here in Le Mans, one day in Paris with a Fiat car. So road tours, guests, guest bloggers and other stuff regarding the visibility of Fiat."
Q. "Do you take a Fiat car on a tour for every MotoGP you go to?"
A."Not always. First my job is to manage the whole sponsorship from a contract point of view."
Q. "Which is your favorite race circuit?"
A. "I have maybe not one, but there are some preferred races because when you are in the race, you spend time in the paddock but also in the evening you can go out from the paddock, so it's nicer to see some nice place around where to go, eating and spend some fun hours during the evening. For example, Laguna Seca is a very nice circuit and the other one for me is Estoril."
Q. "You will undoubtedly meet lots of famous people, VIPs, tell us a bit about the people you meet in your job, apart from Rossi and Lorenzo, who you see every day."
A. "Yes, for example in Italy, Brad Pitt, in Laguna Seca there was Tom Cruise, an Italian singer Lorenzo Jovanotti who is one of the most important singers in Italy at this moment and a friend of Valentino. Some soccer players like Materassi, a player for the Italian world champion team. So many different VIPs".
Q. "Do you ride a motorcycle?"
A. "Yes, I do, I ride a very nice Yamaha XJ6 - white."
Q. "How many kilometers do you travel by car when you visit the MotoGP races?"
A. "Usually 300 to 400 kilometers per week, sometimes also 600 kilometers."
Q. "From all the places you've visited so far, which are the ones that impressed you the most?"
A. "Tokyo impressed me a lot, and Japan in general, because the beauty of the things I've seen, like a temple, or buildings, but also because of the culture of Japan. The new technological culture, fashion, new and contemporary. For example, in Akiabara in Tokyo, where you can see all the buildings lightning, with the girls dressing like Mangas, but I've also seen Nara and Kyoto. I've met a geisha, I've seen a geisha show for the spring, to say welcome to the spring. Japan is the best place I've seen."
Q. "In all this so far, what has been your most memorable occasion, and your worst."
A. "I was lucky, because there has been no negative experience. I remember every place, every experience, as unique and fantastic. When you are inside the tour and the race, it's very hard. You have no time. You may get up at 5 o'clock in the morning, and go to sleep at 3 o'clock in the morning. And you have great responsibilities, because I have to be careful that every goes according to the program. So it creates an anxiousness. But when I come home, I'm happy and I look back to the days, and everything went the way it should have. It's great."
Q."So no bad experiences, like bad hotels".
A. "Yes, it happens..." (Ed Note: and she smiles.. since we had a slight experience in our hotel that day)
Thank you Tiziana