- Stands Out: Lawn mower racing captures eyes and ears. We call it the E&E Effect. It’s different. As authors Reis and Trout said in The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing, “when you’re competing with the number one brand in a category, don’t make your brand better, make it different.”
- Relatable: Everyone relates to cutting the grass and working in the yard. Bruce Kaufman, USLMRA president says “We turn a weekend chore into a competitive sport”. This context provides a believable platform to connect with your target market and promote your lawn and garden brand.
- Affordable: No need for a government stimulus package. Lawn mower racing offers marketing programs exclusively tailored to meet the needs of growing lawn and garden brands. Think of it as NASCAR on a normal budget. Think of it as outsmarting, not outspending your competition.
- Memorable: When is the last time your marketing caused someone to say with a smile: “Hey, aren’t you the guys who….…?” Well, that’s exactly what trade partners and customers say when you use lawn mower racing in your marketing mix. That has lasting benefits for your brand.
- Engages People: Lawn mower racing evokes the American ingenuity and competitiveness in all of us. Whether you’re a participant, loyal customer of a sponsored brand or channel member, lawn mower racing penetrates the head and the heart. It’s that kind of personal impact every brand craves.
- Social Buzz: This is the Triple C Effect. People think lawn mower racing is really Cool and sounds a little Crazy, so this compels them to Chatter about it, and your brand benefits.
- It’s fun: Who doesn’t like fun? Every brand can benefit with fun as a brand attribute.
- Man Bites Dog: Lawn mower racing is a compelling story to the trade, customers and the media. For 18 years, the media has loved it, gets it, and covers it. And we’re still mowing…..
- Giving Back: Lawn mower racing has supported Huntington Disease, the ALS Foundation and many local charities, fire departments and civic groups. This association reflects on your brand.
- ROI: Lawn mower racing provides a great return on investment. If it didn’t, STA-BIL wouldn’t have been title sponsor from day one, for 18 consecutive years. STA-BIL sales have increased 1200%, a compounded annual growth rate of 16%. Lawn mower racing is a unique and proven vehicle for lawn and garden marketers to:
- Differentiate your brand from the competition
- Support trade partners and gain distribution for your brands
- Generate brand awareness via publicity and drive visitors to your website
- Engage your customers with affordable, brand-building marketing that’s fun
- Energize your employees
The USLMRA: We Mow How to Build Brands ©
Please call 847-272-2120 to talk to Bruce Kaufman about how the USLMRA can help you reach your specific marketing goals and business objectives, or fill out this short form and we’ll provide you more details about our racing series and marketing programs.
Spotlight on Bruce Kaufman, Founder & President, U.S. Lawn Mower Racing Association
Bruce Kaufman did not set out to become Mr. Mow It All, but he now finds himself saddled with that title, and loving it.
As Founder and President of the U.S. Lawn Mower Racing Association (USLMRA) Kaufman is on the “cutting edge” of American motorsports, and while his tongue remains firmly planted in cheek, he can’t help thinking that his unlikely motorsports journalism career was tailor made for him.”
The USLMRA hosts the 19-event STA-BIL National Lawn Mower Racing US Points Series featuring riding lawn mowers with cutting blades removed at speeds from 5-60 mph, and a network of 45 Local Chapters and Affiliated Clubs hosting more than 150 sanctioned races nationwide.
The USLMRA is the nation’s oldest and largest National Lawn Mower Racing Sanctioning Body. There are more than 500 USLMRA members nationwide including Turfinator, Sodzilla, Mowdacious and Prograsstinator. Lawn mowers race in four road course classes with all cutting blades removed: Stock (10 mph), IMOW (20 mph), Prepared (50 mph) and Factory Experimental (60 mph). USLMRA racing is currently televised on Fox Sports Net and has been featured on the Discovery Channel, ESPN2 and on the hit ABC TV show Home Improvement.
“I’ve got the greatest gig in the country,” said the Northbrook, Illinois resident said from “Mow Central” his office also located in Northbrook. “I’ve always been a casual motorsports fan, but for the past 19 years I’ve become highly ‘mowtivated’ to immerse myself in all types of motorsports, marketing and journalism.”
Kaufman by trade is a public relations and event marketing professional with solid writing chops dating back to his childhood. For Kaufman, writing and journalism are as easy as playing the blues piano, wailing on his harmonica or putting the puck in the lower corner of the net. “I’ve always loved to write, I’ve always loved a sense of adventure and I’ve always had a sense of humor,” said the 1982 Journalism graduate of Northern Illinois University (NIU) who some folks also call “The Sodfather.” “I’m also pretty good at recognizing opportunities and the possibilities they bring and surrounding myself with talented people.”
Kaufman knew in high school that he wanted to pursue journalism in college and as a profession. He also loves music and planning events. While at NIU, Kaufman landed gigs on the University Concert and Special Event Planning Boards and he was off and running. Planning concerts, comedy shows, festivals and special events became a passion for Kaufman. He was then able to parlay this experience into a staff position at the Eastern Illinois University Programming Board while he completed his Masters Degree in Educational Psychology-Guidance and Counseling.
“My career path is basically a story of following my interests, pursuing my passions, working hard, being lucky and being open to the muse sprinkled with a dash of Grateful Dead philosophy, a sense of adventure and a killer t-shirt collection.”
Kaufman knew the owners of Chicago-based Gold Eagle Co before they came to him with a novel idea in the summer of 1991: organized lawn mower racing as a motorsports sponsorship program for STA-BIL Fuel Stabilizer. After a quick trip to England that summer, the U.S. Lawn Mower Racing Association was launched in the spring of 1992 – on April Fools’ Day no less.
“I knew we had a winner within the first week of announcing USLMRA to the world,” added Kaufman. “Our press releases basically wrote itself, which was proven by coverage in the New York Times, Los Angles Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today and the Southern Lawn Mower Dealers Newsletter. Writing about lawn mower racing is like eating Chicago pizza: easy and fun to do.”
The USLMRA is a motorsports sanctioning body. Kaufman is responsible for administrative management, event and television production, national race day operations, staffing, venue relations, media relations, membership, contracts, marketing, sponsorship, board of directors reporting, finance, administration, insurance, human resources and budgeting.
Kaufman has received awards including Gold Pinnacle, Media Relations, International Festivals & Events Association; Silver Pinnacle, Best Sponsor Follow Up Report International Festivals & Events Association; Golden Trumpet, Marketing, Publicity Club of Chicago; Golden Trumpet, Special Event Marketing, Publicity Club of Chicago; Golden Trumpet, Web site, Publicity Club of Chicago; Outstanding Public Relations Tactics – Video News Release, Public Relations Society of America, Chicago Chapter; Gold Award: Sports and Event Marketing, Brandweek magazine; and Outstanding Creativity Award, Inside PR magazine.
During the past ten years, Mr. Mow It All has expanded his experience to the broadcast side, becoming the TV color commentator and track host for the USLMRA TV shows airing on Fox Sports Net and formerly ESPN2 and Outdoor Channel. “Broadcast journalism is a lot of fun too,” said Kaufman. “Knowing the sport and our racers so well and having the gift of gab it makes sense to put my skills to use on the broadcast arena. Plus, my kids think it’s cool to see daddy on TV.”
“I feel so lucky every day, to be doing this,” said Kaufman. “To combine my talents and skills and to promote a good family-owned company like Gold Eagle and a great product like STA-BIL Fuel Stabilizer, I just have to keep pinching myself.
When pressed to give a favorite career story, Kaufman thinks long and hard. “I guess my favorite story the day in June, 2000 when lawn mower racing was featured on the front page of the New York Times. As a writer and PR guy, your story on the front page of the New York Times is a Sprint Cup, Borg Warner Trophy, Stanley Cup and Vince Lombardi Trophy all rolled into one. But to borrow from the famous philosopher Bart Simpson: this is my favorite so far.”
Kaufman married his wife Debbie on Halloween 1987, after a chance meeting on a Friday the 13th at the bar across the street from his office. Mr. and Mrs. Mow it All have three kids, Zoe Ari and Lee and a fire belly toad named Sodzilla. Zoe and Ari race in the Junior Prepared Class. Lee is a bit too young to mow. Kaufman used to cut his own grass, but was fired after the crab grass got out of hand. He still owns a push mower, but like his racing lawn mowers, it has no blades.