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EP 009 / 09.12.2020


Farah Nanji: 0:00  


You're listening to the Mission Makers show, a podcast that inspires humans to get into the mindset of success. My name is Farah Nanji, and I'm the founder of a business in the Motorsports industry that explores leadership lessons from things like Formula One. I'm also a DJ and music producer in the underground electronic scene, and a public speaker on key topics like resilience, building high performance teams, overcoming learning difficulties and stimulating creativity. And to tie it all together, I love writing thought provoking content as a journalist for these industries, which are so unique in themselves. On this show, I'm sitting down with some of the most inspiring and driven people I've met around the world to talk about their processes, their failures, the lessons they've learned, and how they're truly making an impact for this world.


Today's episode, we're joined by one of the world's most accomplished and experienced sports marketers and sponsorship consultants, Tim Silvey. Tim's line of work, Has seen him manage accounts for some of the world's biggest companies across a number of sports, including Formula One and Formula E. And he recently launched his own web based racing community called MotorMouth, which has gone from strength to strength, so much so that they've got superstars like Mark Webber on their podcast. In this episode, we talked about the key to securing sponsorship, the future of females and motorsport and overcoming obstacles that are out of your control. Just before we begin, if you're interested in watching the video version of this podcast, head over to YouTube and type in Mission Makers, Tim Silvey to see the show. Hey, Tim, how are you?


Tim Silvey: 1:41  


I'm very well, how are you?


Farah Nanji:  1:43  


I'm great. Thank you. Having a good morning?


Tim Silvey: 1:46  


Yh not bad, various zoom phone calls, where I seem to be living at the moment, but that's the way of the world.


Farah Nanji: 1:53  


Thanks for joining us today and just wanted to have a deep dive into what you do and how you discovered your passions in life. You've been really successful at what you do, and I think it's quite inspirational, particularly, some of the experiences you've had with the sponsorship side of things. So let's dive in. I guess the first question then, is, when did you really discover what you're passionate about in life?


Tim Silvey: 2:26  


Um, I mean, I guess it goes back to I think up until university, I had no idea like, not a clue. And University really, I only did something to do it, because I had no idea what I was going to do with my life. And then I guess, after uni, I came out and did well, during University Actually, I did a gap year in the States. Not a gap year is one of those industry years where they send you off somewhere and I chose to go to the States, I think out of the 300 or so in my year, there were only two or two or three of us that decided to go abroad. So I went to Orlando and did a year working with Universal in Orlando. And that really opened my eyes to work making money. And I guess I found a passion then for work, not schoolwork, I always struggled with schoolwork and education and the education system. And I totally get the value in it. But I struggled academically I suppose. And when I found that you could make money. At that time, I didn't have my qualification. I never ended up getting it to be fair, but that's when I discovered that you could make money through you know, hard work and being passionate about something that I suppose that changed things and from there I started trying to figure out how I could do more work and less school work less uni. And so I ended up leaving University and I suppose blagging my way onto a graduate scheme with a company called Michael page a big recruitment firm doing sales which sort of ignited I guess, a passion for selling and conversation and and how to talk to people in business and then and then the motor sport side of things came a little bit later. But I started out in sales for recruitment more out of you know, just finding something to get my teeth into that I could add some money rather than a passion for that person for that industry.


Farah Nanji: 4:35  


And so and the motorsport came after? How?


Tim Silvey: 4:40  


Well I'd always had an interest in most sports. I wouldn't say it was a huge passion at this point. But when I was working for Michael Paige, I have a family friend who I played cricket with a guy called Jonathan banana ski who at the time was was quite a big player in sports sponsorship mostly around Formula One He offered me a three month internship at the company which at the time was called Advanced sponsorship limited and later became BSL world. And so I took it up on it and thought, you know, I'm much more a student sport than I am recruitment. So I went to work with him for three months, three months turned into six, six turned into a year. And during the first few years, maybe two or three years, I was working in Formula One which sort of started the interest in motorsport. And we were working with Panasonic with a title sponsor the Toyota f1 team at the time, and and sort of worked my way up through the ranks there and went on to work with ICICI Bank and the Renno Formula One team in the days of PK Junior, and Fernando Alonzo and his world championship winning years. And I think by the time I left, I'd done various bits and pieces with different brands and motor sports and other sports like golf, a little bit in athletics. And I become a director of that company relatively quickly. And worked there until 2012, with some comments in the Middle East at Yas Marina circuit, and various other bits and pieces, but I suppose that which would have been when I started there 2005 that that was when my, my sort of interest in motorsports cropped up and the passion started. But it was very much on a business perspective rather than necessarily the sporting side of racing.


Farah Nanji: 6:33  


So a couple of questions about that. Going back a bit more towards the beginning, we touched upon struggling with school. So what subjects did you find difficult? 


Tim Silvey: 6:42  


Math, specifically, I'm hopeless at math. And I've never been. I was dying. I was diagnosed with dyslexia quite early, which is rare for that time when I was growing up, dyslexia still wasn't really a thing.


Farah Nanji: 6:58  


How old were you?


Tim Silvey: 7:00  


I can't mean I was pretty. It was a prep school. So I was probably seven or eight or something like that. And I had specialist lessons by a lady called Mrs. Struthers who really, really helped but numbers was my real nemesis. And I, even to this day, I'm hopeless that if I try and work out numbers in my head, everything goes blank, everything gets jumbled up, I just can't do it. Thank God for Excel and calculators. But that was where I really struggled with anything mathematical. English was okay. But I mean, I didn't excel at anything at school outside of PE and I was alright at arts. But there I struggled with all of it, you know, I got very few GCSEs and didn't do well at school from an academic perspective at all. I struggled with everything.


Farah Nanji: 7:46  


And so what subject did you choose to study at uni?


Tim Silvey: 7:51  


I chose business with Hospitality Management. And, you know, the hospitality side was it was something I had a small interest in, I suppose. But it was more, I had to take what I could get, because, you know, being such a product of an academic system that I didn't really get on with, I didn't have good results. So I couldn't be too picky about where I went or what I studied. And so, you know, I took business and hospitality management, and it was fine. Like I say, I didn't end up getting anything great out of it. I can see the value in it for people going into certain industries and so on. But for me, the big turning point was doing that industry year and discovering that I actually enjoyed working and enjoyed earning money. And I immediately knew then that I wanted to work, I didn't want to do education anymore. And I wanted to work for myself and try to create business opportunities for myself. And the education I got through working with Jonathan at BSL was amazing. And that led me up to 2012 when I decided now's the time to leave, working for somebody else and start up on my own was quite interesting. 


Farah Nanji: 9:11  


A lot of what you say resonates with me. When we met I told you I have dyspraxia which is sort of a motor coordination delay, but  I struggled severely with maths and physics and chemistry and particularly the science subjects. And I only found out quite later on, at 15 so I guess since then, it's been trying to figure out how to channel some of that and how to navigate around that. But I'm just interested to know a little bit about what helps you navigate through this stuff.


Tim Silvey: 9:52  


Um, I do I mean, the math side of things I have to work on because I find it so difficult, you know, like you, I, it's, it's not, it's almost not a case of trying to relearn it or anything like that, because it's just not in me, I just can't do it. Even basics, you know, it astounds my wife, when we go through our budgets at home, and, you know, she starts saying numbers to me, and I just switch off, I just, it's not, and I can really focus, I can concentrate on everything she's saying, and it just doesn't, it doesn't even go in, it goes in, it just jumbles up. So it's, it's acknowledging that I've got that issue, and finding the best way to deal with it. And the best way I can deal with it is Excel. Because, you know, I've made myself as good as I can possibly be using computer software that's going to support me, and then, you know, fortunately, through the likes of Excel, you don't necessarily need to be a mathematician to get numbers to do what you want to do.


Farah Nanji: 10:50  


Yeah, that's true. I'm very grateful for things like percentage calculators online, and tools, which are very useful. A lot of people came to this TED Talk and a lot reached out particularly mothers and children who have been diagnosed now, but they just don't know how to manage the energy sometimes and some of the side effects like, anxiety, particularly when you're in school, which is such a pressurised environment. It's quite heartbreaking for children, what's going on with school. So you talked about being paged in the business aspect of Formula One. It's fascinating from a business perspective. Just tell me a little bit more about that. What are the particular parts of business that you really gravitate towards?


Tim Silvey: 11:41  


I mean, I guess the sponsorship side of things just because it became my, my day job. So, you know, right through the most educational days of, you know, 2005 2012, with BSL and working with big brands like ANZ bank, and Panasonic and TDK and HSBC, and so on, it became that that side of brand marketing became interesting to me. And in those days, sponsorship was still pretty much. I mean, it'd been, it had been around for many years, obviously, but it was still in its infancy and very traditional in the way most sport activated sponsorships. And it's been interesting for me just to see the journey of old school sponsorships, you know, like ING bank came in with a three year plan, whack a massive logo on the car, do as much awareness as possible big awareness play, you know, make a huge splash, year one, consolidate year two, exit year three, and it's exactly what they did. And there their brand recognition went through the roof. That doesn't really happen anymore. It's much more about storytelling and, you know, engaging with an audience rather than just splashing a logo everywhere. But it's definitely that side of sports, particularly most sports that I enjoy is that is that is the brand side and how and why brands get involved with platforms like motorsport?


Farah Nanji: 13:07  


I mean, the sponsorship landscape has changed massively. Since the early days, there is a lot more brands have to do when they do become a sponsor, or even the teams have to do. Give us an example of a very difficult sponsorship deal that you managed to turn around. 


Tim Silvey: 13:26  


I mean, there's been several one and, you know, brokered various deals over the years. I mean, in more recent history, I've done a lot of consulting with a sports marketing consultancy called Right Formula in London. And, you know, with them, we've worked with many brands, like we've worked with Epsom and Hilton, and the likes of those that sponsor in Formula One, and they all have their different challenges and different requirements and different objectives. You know, some people like Epson, for example, might do it for showcasing their products and introducing their products to their network of distributors. And that's the road they want to go down. Or it might be that they want to do a very consumer facing point of sale and promotion, utilising assets that they've, they've got, whether it's, you know, personal appearances and so on. Whereas, a brand like Hilton might be more interested in awareness of its Hilton honours campaign and how can they attract new members to the Hilton honours campaign and give those members amazing experiences through the assets that they get in Formula One for example, and we did some really cool fun events with the likes of Hilton and in in all sorts of locations. Leveraging some of the assets that we got from from McLaren often hospitality, which is still a major focus for brands you know, there's, there's brands I work with, even now who their main focus is hospitality even though it's exposed quite traditional form of sponsorship it's it's an important part of it and Particularly if you're a b2b brand, you know getting a group of, of customers or prospects in a room trackside, giving them amazing and amazing experiences is still hugely important. But obviously of late with all the things that are going on around the world with COVID, one, nine, everybody's had to change tack a little bit and, and forget the hospitality side of things and get even more creative and start thinking digitally and, and how they can use their assets to, to a digital audience and, and move away from physical activations. But it's an ever changing landscape. And it'll be interesting to see when things go back to normality, what brands do and what they take from this downtime and in, in the industry to take forward as learnings that they can, you know, develop when racing gets back on track and away from all the esports and virtual racing that seems to have taken its place temporarily.


Farah Nanji: 16:03  


I was going to ask you about your thoughts on sponsorship in the COVID, landscape and beyond? Obviously, a lot has changed. So have you felt like a lot of brands are now not willing to sponsor anymore? I mean, it was already quite an expensive sport to sponsor in itself but have you noticed a cut back?


Tim Silvey: 16:23  


Yeah, I mean, that definitely, you know, there are brands out there that are either, I mean, on the whole, there are ways that you can, perhaps defer payments, or look at ways of using your assets differently. And, you know, there's, there's nothing to say that, you know, if you can't do a physical driver appearance at a racetrack or at a venue, you know, why you can't take that online. And, but, you know, certainly there are some brands that wants to try and either get some money back because they haven't used the rights that that they've got to maximum effect, or move those rights to next year, or move the money that they could potentially save from this year, because of the lack of assets, move some of that cash to next year. But there's not that many that I'm seeing who wants to pull out altogether, you know, some might want to pause. But the general consensus is that what can we do during this downtime, to keep things ticking over? That's fair contractually for both rights holder and sponsor, but keeps them in the public eye, or whatever their objective is. And let's pick it up again next year, if things return to normal next year, you know, we don't really know what what next year is going to look like in terms of hospitality and so on races yet so and formulary, which, you know, starts in season seven will start this year, you know, we don't know what position formulary will be from an activation on track perspective, even towards the end of this year, so that it's mixed. But you know, I think if you're a good marketer, you know, there are opportunities here, it's not all doom and gloom, and there are ways to use it in a positive fashion.


Farah Nanji: 18:19  


I'm sure you get asked this question a lot, but do you have any tips for racecar drivers? Sponsorship is such a big thing for them? What can they do to stand out a little bit? Aside from the hospitality side of things. 


Tim Silvey: 18:39  


I mean, it's difficult, because there are so many drivers out there, I think if you can find some sort of niche that other drivers don't have, it helps. Some drivers have that niche through by default, and it could be it's probably not a popular thing to say. But if you're a female racing driver, it's a useful niche. You know, Jamie Chadwick has done incredible things. The birth of the W series has obviously helped but you know, having a female racing driver is not at the moment is not the norm. So that offers something that many male racing drivers don't have. And, and anyone with a point of difference, even the likes of you know, Charlie Martin, who's the trying to be the first transgender racing driver to reach them on. It's doing tremendously well, at the moment, she's created an amazing platform for herself to promote inclusion and diversity in motorsport and promotes trans awareness within the sport. And that's been a useful asset for her, not just in terms of raising awareness of something she's passionate about, but you know, it has other benefits which can relate to sponsorship. But, you know, if you don't have that, those sorts of assets at your disposal, then you know, it's just finding a point. difference. But at the end of the day, it's you just got to work extremely hard finding sponsorship is a full time job. You know, that's why there are sponsorship agents out there. And I was one for a number of years, you know, finding sponsorships, you know, linking rights holders with, with brands, and it is a full time job, and you've got to have the commitment to it, you've got to have good collateral, you need to have, you know, really impressive presentations that stand out from the rest. You need to show value, you can't just scattergun approach, you know, every approach needs to be tailored and bespoke to whatever brand that you're talking to. And that has to be relevant to that brand. You know, there's no point advertising to a b2c b2b brand and telling them that, you know, going after mass awareness in, across social media towards, you know, consumer facing products is the way to go, it's you need to study the brand that you're approaching and make sure that you're, you're offering to them adds value to that brand. But also, I think, I still see so many young drivers and people trying to make their way through sponsorship, just doing the usual, I'll put your logo on my car, give you 10 hospitality passes to a race, I'll do a speech at your company headquarters, all that sort of stuff, which has been done to death, and they need to find more creative ways to sorry about the pinging my emails game, and to, to to sell themselves. And there are so many different creative ways that you can do it. But you have to think out of the box and see what your assets are. What can you offer a business, whether it's a local company that wants to just target local people? Or if it's a huge multinational global organisation? What are the objectives of that business? What are their KPIs? And how can you slot into their marketing plan? 


Farah Nanji: 21:48  


Differentiation is 100% the key. It is a good time for women in motorsport. Absolutely. But it's been a long time coming. What are your thoughts on the recent stuff at Williams?


Tim Silvey: 22:08  


And first of all, I think it's really sad, because Williams is such an important part of Formula One. And it's, it's a huge shame. I mean, it's not entirely a surprise, the rocket partnership, it would be interesting to know what actually happened there. And, you know, they seem to leave very abruptly. And, but I don't know, I mean, I just think they've done the right thing, you know, putting it up for sale or investment, I just hope it can get saved by someone that cares for it. And can return it to its former glory. But I think the more bhakra See, will probably jump all over Claire. And, you know, it'll be, you know, down to her leadership. But I'm sure that it's a lot more complicated than that. And now, there'll be many factors that have contributed to their relative demise over the last few years, and it has been a few years, you know, they've not been strong for a while. But it's usually sad. So I've just hope that they find someone who can invest in them and bring them back to their former glory, because it's, then they're certainly needed in Formula One, and nobody would want to see them go. So yeah, it's a big shame.


Farah Nanji: 23:30  


Yeah, it's a shame. I do hope that whoever takes it on does at least keep the Williams name.


Tim Silvey: 23:37  


It will have to surely.


Farah Nanji:  23:40  


That was quite shocking. To just see that happen overnight. So another question I'd like to ask you is, you've obviously built up your career and been quite successful. You run your own things now in a new setup with MotorMouth mouth as well. Do you still face any hurdles? If so, how do you overcome those? 


Tim Silvey: 24:08  


Yeah, I mean, there's, there's always hurdles to new business. I mean, from a motormouth perspective, we started it in, I guess, really started focusing on it last year 2019. And the challenge with motormouth, for me is, it's not a profit making organisation at the moment, it's it will be hopefully one day, but at the moment, it's something that we've got to build up an audience for and monetize it and turn it into a profitable business. But there's been many, many hurdles in this sort of startup journey. And while I've started a company before, in Sylvie sports, and a company called EMC before that, they were slightly different. They were sort of service companies. So service sports is basically just a consultancy business. For me to to put myself out to brown And agencies and consultancies to consult through a vehicle, just a limited company. And you know, we've done projects to still be sports. Like at the London Olympics, we went to 50 staff for about a year all on a contract basis. And then we shrunk that down to me, after the end of the Olympics, and then grew again at the next event, and so on and so forth. But it's a service offering. So it's, it's easier to start that kind of business as long as you've got some sort of expertise. So that's all been relatively smooth sailing but motormouth was a different proposition is something I've never done before starting a business, finding co founders, finding co founders have relevant experience. And, and trying to build a brand with zero startup cash, I mean, literally nothing. So you know, we had to find ways to create a logo, create a website, build an MVP, build an app, you know, get a name out there, whilst competing against huge other organisations, and then find some cash to continue it and keep it going. So you know, get joining the investment bandwagon and trying to find people who would invest in our vision, and help fund the company in the early days so that we can create a roadmap for the future and finding investments. Hugely challenging as anyone will know that it's done it. And, but we, you know, we're pleased with progress. And the app is up and running. It's available everywhere, the websites up and running. We've got plenty of content on there. We've done video content, and obviously got the podcast, which has been a bit of a surprise, success. And it's been tough, I guess the biggest hurdle, biggest challenge is probably the money side. And just keeping that money going for as long as possible, and getting the investment which we've done, but we're going into around 200 investment now, and not the best time to be doing it. But in the middle of you know, towards the end of last year with Brexit and then straight into Coronavirus. So that's been challenging, but it's heading in a really positive direction. So there's a lot that I've learned and I think, you know, you don't go through this startup journey without hitting hurdles every day that you have to try and navigate.


Farah Nanji: 27:25  


Absolutely. A couple of questions about the startup journey. I guess the first question would be, what was the inspiration behind it? And are you still consulting?


Tim Silvey: 27:36  


Yeah. So I am still consulting. And I consult between three to five days a week. So the motormouth stuff happens very early in the morning, which is fine, because my kids wake me up at 5am. And it happens very late at night after they go to bed. So and often weekends, but it's a challenge to juggle it all. But I wouldn't have it any other way. And it's, it's, it's been great. I mean, the whole motormouth thing was started, the original idea was back in about 2017. And it was born out of the fact that I go to a lot of motorsport conferences. I'm not black, but most of that black blackbutt forum, and various others, innovate auto, auto sport, bits and pieces, and so on. And sports business. And the one thing at that time anyway, in 2017, ish, was, there was nothing, there was nowhere to go, to really dive into your most sport world, in an engaging way, you know, you had auto sport fine. And, you know, most sports and those guys do a brilliant job, but they're publishing and so on. But there was not really a community and it was still a very closed industry, you know, for me, one driver and so on. I still, you know, hidden behind helmets. Social media, even just a few years ago, isn't like it is now. And we as a fan wasn't getting access to all the content that I wanted to, and I didn't want to have to sift through Twitter or Facebook to reach that content. So we thought, let's create a platform that can bring the community together more and create a voice in a different way, not in a sort of techie or very, I don't know like nerdy Formula One way. And it's a very light hearted look at motor sport. It's fresh. We don't claim to be experts in how aerodynamic grip works, or what winglets you need on the end of a wing. And we take a light hearted view on it. So you know, we try to carry that through our podcasts and video content that we do is a light hearted take on motor sport, but with a serious element in that it is our passion and we want more people to be involved with it. So motormouth was born and we built a basic app. A website and we did a podcast with a guy called know who's number one it was Kevin O'Keefe who at the time it just got a race seat with Fernando Alonso's team, fa racing. He was our first podcast guest which we did on a whim. We have a podcast that helps support the app drops in awareness and that sort of grew from there we had Calvin Fletcher in Episode Two who's British tea tea champion, but also Strictly Come Dancing winner. Not many people knew as a racing driver outside of a paddock. So that was quite fun. And then it's grown from there. And since then, we've had people like cool Todd Croft, the Nicky shields Mark Priestley, to innovation Novell, who was released this morning, actually, and various others we're up to Episode 30 on the podcast and just last week, we got inside the top 10 on Apple for our category, which is really exciting at number four, so hopefully we can continue that. So it's grown a lot over the last couple of years. But like I say, it's it's um, it's it is a challenge when you're, you're you're doing on a shoestring. And while we've made money, we've we've, you know, we've got investors, we've got about eight or nine investors is still peanuts compared to what the big boys are playing with. So, you know, it's a longer road map for us, but it's all heading in a positive direction.


Farah Nanji: 31:15  


Very interesting. You talked about the fact that finding a co founder is quite a challenge. So did you go the network route? 


Tim Silvey: 31:28  


I smashed LinkedIn, I love LinkedIn, I spend a lot of hours on it every day, so I know where my skill sets lie. And that's talking nonsense. And I guess, selling the vision of motormouth. So you know, I can talk about it until the cows come home, and I can, I can talk around it and those people and, and try to sell the dream of it. But what I'm terrible at is technology, I suppose not in not in the sense of, you know, social media or anything like that I get, I understand how the social media landscape works. But what I don't understand is how you build an app, or how you build a website, and not just a WordPress or a hybrid app, you know, an actual app with code. And so I knew I had to find a CTO who had that experience. And if a bug got thrown up, you know, whether it was an API breaking or submit some other technical term that I wouldn't understand he'd be able to go now to fix that. And so I started the search, and I found a few people. But then the challenge was to find people that bought into the idea of motormouth, and had a passion for motorsport and technology, and had the right skill set, and would also work for free. And so I found a guy, Frank, and we chatted, we had several drinks, and we decided that we could work together, he wanted to charge me a very expensive day rate to start with, and I convinced him to do his work for nothing. So he has, he has an equity in the company as I do. We don't pay ourselves. And he's been on the journey for over a year. And he takes care of everything on the technology side, and he's an absolute genius when it comes to apps, websites, technology, artificial intelligence, robotics, everything. So that's been really useful. So he was a great find. And then we've had other people join along the way, Harry, who presents the podcast with me, I think, again, we were probably through LinkedIn, I would have thought, and he was one of the first people I spoke to about joining on the podcast and, and we clicked straight away and have a good rapport. So I just got lucky with him. And he has a different take on everything. He's a lot younger than me, he's 22 even though it looks a lot older, he's hairy, bitty. So he and I do lots of video and podcasting together. And so that was lucky. And then, and then we also found, again, actually, I think not through LinkedIn, probably a mutual introduction, a guy called Dan mode up, who is also a shareholder who runs an agency could be wonderful, which is a marketing agency. And we partnered with them to do all our marketing. So we've got some really good people around us, very fortunate that they work for nothing, which I suppose is all part of that startup life.


Farah Nanji: 34:21  


So I'd like to ask you, what footprint do you want to leave on this earth? What do you want to be known for?


Tim Silvey: 34:31  


Tough question. And I guess. I mean, I have sort of two to two lives really one is the consultancy and one is motormouth, which has really become a passion. I mean, I guess from a consultancy perspective. I want to make sure that I do do good by the brands that I'm working for, but equally for the teams that we get involved with and you know needs to be given taken and I'd like to be known as a as a marketer in Motor Sport and Sport, I guess, but mainly motor sport and one that has the best interests of the brand and team at heart and hopefully has a degree of expertise in and I've been doing it for 15 years or so now and hopefully I've become decent at it. So I'd like to think that, you know, that that is an area that people would think I was okay at. I guess on the motormouth front, you know, that it's, because it's a bigger thing. It's, it's a, I guess, it's easier to, to see where I'd like that to go and what Mark, I would like it to leave, and it's bigger than just me, you know, there's other people involved. And it's become a thing that, you know, people follow. And I'd like to think that in years to come, however many years, it takes that that becomes a global platform that allows people to build a community online, through whether it's the app or, you know, following the content there or the website or listening to the podcast, but we build a community of followers that that looks forward to our updates, and, and can engage with other fans and teams and drivers. And that it becomes, you know, a big thing. And you know, that that's what we want to mouth, we just want people to have a platform where they can have a community that they can call on for whatever purpose it serves them for, and, and create a long lasting, profitable business that that we can be proud of. And


Farah Nanji: 36:45  


I wish you all the best with that with that mission. Last couple of questions from me. It's interesting, because you didn't enjoy school but you’ve gone on to become successful. Do you feel like surrounding yourself by really inspiring people, particularly athletes who have a different mindset has had an impact on you? And if so, how's that? 


Tim Silvey: 37:15  


Yeah, I think athletes and businessmen, I mean, I spent a lot of time with racing drivers, I managed racing drivers for about six years, and worked with various people from Formula One down to more grassroots categories. And they're definitely inspiring in their own ways. I mean, they're a funny bunch. With the podcast, we're talking to more and more racing drivers. And, and it's become, I mean, it's very clear that the guys that I used to manage and the ones that we interview now, the one thing that stands out in their careers is their single mindedness. You know, when you ask them, what would you be doing? Or, you know, if you're not a racing driver, what would you be doing, and they all say, I have no idea because there was never anything else, you know, that all of them have said, it's racing or nothing. And that is all I wanted to do. From the moment I can remember about anything that I wanted to do in the future, it was just racing. So it's quite inspiring to hear their stories of single mindedness. And I wish I'd had that vision when I was young, even, you know, into my 20s, I was clueless, and I wish I'd had that vision to be able to be so single minded about what I wanted to achieve. So that, you know, I could Fast Track myself onto that place. And, you know, working with business people from various organisations is always inspiring. I mean, you know, I do a lot of work, like I say, with the right formula, and Robin Fennec and the senior leadership team, they're fantastic. And Robin is really becoming a leader in the paddock and other sports now through the stuff that he's doing in overripe formula, and, you know, working with the likes of them is fantastic. And the people that we get to meet through the consultancy is interesting, and, you know, you end up working with very senior people that raise teams and different brands and organisations, you know, CMOS, CIOs, and so on. And you can take a piece of knowledge or advice from all sorts of different places, and it's, I'm inspired daily, but even by the, you know, that the people who are still on their journey like Harry, who does the podcast with me, you know, 22 years old, talking to single mindedness, you know, he's, he's unbelievable, he knows way more than most sport than I do. And, you know, his drive to succeed is huge. And, you know, the fact that he's doing what he's doing, you know, he's a radio presenter, he's a DJ, he's a podcaster interviewer, and, you know, I learned from him. So, I think you can pick up inspiration and knowledge from all sorts of different areas, no matter you know, whether it's someone right at the bottom or someone right at the top.


Farah Nanji: 39:50  


Yeah, absolutely. 100% agree. I think everything has to happen at the time it's meant to. It took me longer to get to the point. It's the journey rather than having the dots all aligned. The last question, you talked about women in motorsports and you’ve obviously been in the industry for a while. So I’d just like to ask you, do you feel like brands are really putting the money in supporting talent and developing it? And secondly, how long do you think it is really going to be before we see someone like Jamie or Tatiana get a seat as a driver?


Tim Silvey: 40:33  


So I'll take the second part of that first, I think I think it'll be a while. And I think WCS is amazing. And we interviewed Katherine bomb, you're the founder of it. And a few beginning of this year, yeah, beginning of this year. And her vision to create the series was amazing. And I think the reason I think it'll be a while is because it's so early in its lifecycle. So you know that their vision is to create more female drivers, more inclusion, and more bums on seats. And then hopefully, by having more females in the sport, there's more chance that one of them is going to push through into Formula One and become World Champion, or, you know, whatever it might be, but it's so early in the life cycle. So Jamie, and it may be too early for Jamie in that life cycle to get to Formula One, you know, I can't tell how old she is early 20s. But, you know, is it too early, she's got a clock up a lot of super licence points, which WCS does give you now. But it's probably too early. I think maybe if we look at the W series in five or 10 years time, when there's been more females through it, and participation has increased. And the future Formula One World Champion female race is probably, you know, looking up to people like Jamie right now, I might be starting out in their karting career or may not have even thought about racing yet. But I started watching the W series and seeing the impact it's had to my view on it is that it'll be, it'll be it'll be a while. But there's no reason why it couldn't come. And if we continue increasing participation in female motorsport, then hopefully, someone will come through and, and, and, and rate and racing Formula One, but like, say, I, I don't think it's going to be imminent. Although Jamie is working with Williams, I believe she's still working with Williams. And so you know, whether we'll see her in a test capacity on a, you know, Thursday or Friday or something, perhaps. But yeah, I think a full time FOMC is quite a long way away, but we're heading in the right direction. I don't know. I mean, I reckon you're probably looking at. I mean, I don't think it'll be within the next 510 years. In all honesty, I don't know, I'd love to be proved wrong. I just think that there's, I feel like there is a lifecycle that it needs to go through. And we've started that, and we're only just touching it. And, you know, the girls that are in it now are all quick. But at the moment, are they quick enough to jump into an f1? Car don't know. And that's, that's not a slight on them or anything. It's just, I don't think that participation in female sport has been going on long enough to allow it. But like I say, there's young girls that are watching the current crop, get that awareness. And I think those are the ones that push through, you know, maybe in 10 years time who will have the opportunity. But having said that there are some great drivers out there. I mean, we know Abby, Jamie matters, pal is raised in IndyCar, you know that the top, top, top races. So I'm hoping I'm proved wrong, but I think it is just a little bit early.


Farah Nanji: 43:51  


Yeah, it will depend on how quickly they can catch up to the current level to drive an f1 car, but some of these guys have been in f2. So you think then that the next progression will be f2? At least they will be on somewhat of an equal playing field.


Tim Silvey: 44:16  


Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I mean, it'd be great to see it'd be great for the sport, I'd love to see you know, a female driver in Formula One. And and I hope it is sooner rather than later, but it's got to be justified, you know, and they've got it shouldn't just be because they're a girl You know, that's that's not what anybody wants, including the girls that are involved in w series, you know, they want to be their own merit. And you know, hopefully we see it soon. But like I say, I think I think it just needs to go through a life cycle. And let's see where it is in five years and hopefully you know, there's like I say, there's a young kid out there who's watching Jamie performed so well now and will will grow up aspiring to be like her, which so many kids are I mean, I went to brands to watch one of the W series races and Jamie was like Like a celebrity, watch his celebrity, but she was like, it was like Lewis Hamilton arrived. You know, all the young kids wanted to talk to her. They had their little racing overalls on his little five year olds getting her autograph. So it's doing the job that it was intended to do. It's definitely increasing interest and participation in females. Female sport, which is, which is exactly why it's there.


Farah Nanji: 45:20  


Yeah, absolutely. I think if we look back, it was Susie Wolff and others. Having Claire, on the business side of things, is interesting. It's just one or two and there wasn't much access to these guys. I think what Susie's done is phenomenal actually, with just opening it up in a different way.


Tim Silvey: 45:45 


Yeah. Absolutely. She's been amazing. And she's obviously now doing incredible things in Formula Three is the boss over at venturi. So you know, Suzy has been a massive ambassador for female motorsport and you know, she's, she's the one that I remember, you know, that that you think, okay, women will get into Formula One, but like you say, there's been relatively few. So with so few, you know, how, what are the chances of finding someone that is going to go through and get into Formula One is so slim. So that's why the W series is so important. Let's get more women in the sport and then one of them will come through, it's just a matter of time.


Farah Nanji: 46:24  


I read a crazy statistic today. 20-28 88% of karter's are female. So I think that 8% years. Yeah, it was a lie, you know, when you only got 20 seats for Formula One track. Yeah, really tough one. But anyway, we can only keep spreading the mission and talking about it, getting people's perspectives and just championing. I think what Katherine sounds is really good for getting that exposure. So what's next for you?


Tim Silvey: 47:01  


Um, I mean, I guess what's next for me is it's going to be on the motormouth front is just continue doing what we're doing bashing out podcasts, increasing our footprint, pushing people to the app. And increasing what we're offering you. We've got loads of ideas that we're going to roll out through the platform, not just on podcasts, but across the website and the app as well. So there's tonnes of tonnes of exciting plans we've got on motormouth and the podcast, we obviously want to get to number one, in our category. And second,


Farah Nanji: 47:39  


What's the category?


Tim Silvey: 47:40  


We're in sports news. So like I say, we've got number four in sports news last week, and we want to get higher, and then we'll probably switch across to the sports category, which is where the real big players are, you know, like Peter crouch podcast is smashing it usually at number one in that category. But you know that calibre, we've been really fortunate to get an amazing calibre of guests on the podcast, so touchwood that will continue to happen. And with those calibre of guests comes a natural following. So I'm excited to see where the podcast will go. And then on the other side of things, I just continue on the consultancy stuff, because that's, you know, where my passion is, is sponsorship. So we'll continue working with brands, working with agencies and consultancies to keep the sports sponsorship world taking over and coming up with creative ways to to engage with brands and make sure that they're extracting all the value that they can whatever their objective through, through sport. And so really, it's just on with the status quo and touch words. We continue to grow motormouth into a bit of a beast that can take on the big boys.


Farah Nanji: 49:01 


Absolutely. Well, we'll definitely be sharing the links to motormouth when this gets published, thanks a lot for your time. It's been an absolute pleasure just catching up and hearing a bit more about what you do. What I found insightful about Tim's story is that he didn't have it all figured out by the time he went to university. And I think that resonates with a lot of people, and particularly at this moment, when education has been so disrupted because of the pandemic. I think that if students can find a way to be part of a working environment, and that's not going to be easy, but if they can, you know, get those opportunities and hunt for them, they'll probably learn a lot more from actually doing then by observing. And also another aspect that really resonated a lot with me was that similar to me, Tim overcame many learning obstacles as a result of dyslexia. But he still found his own unique ways to be a part of the Motorsports landscape and innovate in that landscape. And sometimes you can't help the hand that you're dealt with in life and learning difficulties affect around 10% of the world's population. But I don't ever think that we should view those as weaknesses or barriers to any industry and instead more as a performance gap that can be navigated around or worked hard on and actually something that in some ways can play to your advantage because you do look at the world in a different way and you come up with your own unique and you know innovative ways to actually process in those environments. And sometimes that can actually play to your strength.


Thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to listen to this episode. I hope you're leaving with some great inspiration that can help you with whatever you want to achieve in your life. If you enjoyed today's episode, be sure to subscribe to your favourite podcast platform so you can be notified when a new episode is posted. It would also mean the world to us if you could rate and review the show and share it with your friends so we can reach as many people as possible. If you want to reach out to me as well you can get in touch directly @DJ.N1nja on Instagram and Twitter. That's DJ.N1nja and also @missionmakers on social media. Thanks so much again for listening. Until next time, Mission Makers stay safe and have an amazing week.

Lessons To Fuel Your Mission


  • Nothing beats hard work

  • Humility goes a long way 

  • Weaknesses aren't limitations, more performance gaps 

  • Education comes in many forms and isn't limited to academia


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