BRIAN SIMS

EP 007 / 25.11.2020

FROM FORMULA 1 TO FOUNDING THE

MOTORSPORTS INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION; REFLECTIONS FROM AN INDUSTRY ICON

Founder of the most powerful organisation in motorsports, The Motorsports Industry Association, and former Commercial Director of the Benetton F1 team, Brian Sims is this week’s guest. Brian shares with Mission Makers the story of how he got into motorsport, his reflections from an epic 4 decade ride in the sport including the time he met Nelson Mandela and Max Moseley and his thoughts on the current state of industry including the important discussion of women in F1.

 

It is not every day that you are able to speak to an individual who has truly mastered their craft. Brian Sims however has done exactly that. After starting out as a Xerox salesman Brian went on to secure some of motorsports most profitable sponsorship deals. Amongst his many successes the ground-breaking multi-million-pound deals that brought FedEx, Gillette and Marconi into F1 for the first time stand out above the rest. It is this impressive resume, which explains why many consider Brian to be one of professional sport's most successful sales exponents. Brian has now turned his attention to teaching the next generation about the skills required to become an effective salesman.

 

One of the core pillars to Brian’s sales ethos is that of identifying opportunities. During our conversation, Brian explains how exasperated he gets at people’s passivity in the face of true opportunity. As he explains, “opportunity is great but unless you do something about those opportunities they will just float away,” he goes on to add, “you have to be prepared to make opportunities work for you.” Brian knows all too well the value of capitalising on chance. As Brian goes on to recount, it was in fact an encounter with former head FIA, Max Mosely that propelled Brian into the world of motorsport and F1 in the first place.

 

Brian has since been involved in a number of sports including Rugby and Cricket, but motorsport remains his first love. As the conversation draws to a close he explains how he is looking forward to the day where a female can line up on the grid but as he is quick to point out, at the end of the day the focus, regardless of gender, should always be on increasing the overall quality of the sport. 

 

It is that emphasis, of slowly moving the needle one notch at a time and demanding better from yourself regardless of what you do, that really sticks with Mission Makers. 

  

The full conversation with Brian can be found on the video below and on the Mission Makers podcast on Spotify and Apple.

 

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Lessons To Fuel Your Mission

  • Humility goes a long way

  • Learn from everything in your surrounding

  • You don't have to be a champion to be a winner

  • Who you know is just as important as what you know

  • Change brings opportunities no matter how uncomfortable

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