Orrcon Steel will celebrate ten years in the V8 Supercar Championship Series in 2011 after announcing today that it will continue as a corporate partner of Ford Performance Racing for the next two seasons.
Today's announcement confirms Orrcon Steel will remain as the naming rights sponsor for the Ford Performance Racing Falcon campaigned by Mark Winterbottom, who placed third in this year's Championship Series.
The new arrangement makes Orrcon Steel one of the longest running non-automotive naming rights sponsors currently in the championship, with 2011 marking 10 years in the sport for the steel distributor and manufacturer.
Orrcon Steel is an established Australian Distributor of a broad range of steel products and is a quality manufacturer of tube and pipe. Currently one of the leading players in the Australian steel market, Orrcon Steel's fundamental strength lies in its people, with a solid foundation of tube making knowledge, industry experience and broad distribution network.
Orrcon Steel Managing Director Leon Andrewartha said being involved in V8 Supercars not only builds the awareness of the brand but also provides a great national platform to strengthen and build relationships with steel users.
"It is great to be involved in V8 Supercars for ten years," said Andrewartha.
"We started out with Larkham Motor Sport and that was fantastic for us as a business.
"We have now got a very strong relationship with the team at Ford Performance Racing, which allows us to utlise a great sponsorship platform.
"Ten years is a long time to be involved in a sport like V8 Supercars, the partnership has been very rewarding for Orrcon Steel as a business and we hope to continue the association for a lot longer."
Since making its debut in the sport with a single car entry at Larkham Motor Sport in 2002 with Mark Larkham, Orrcon Steel has focused on setting the standard in sponsorship activation with the focus on customer relationship development.
"The motorsport program is designed to represent the very best of Orrcon Steel's culture, we want to convey the competitive spirit that defines us on the trackside as well as in the marketplace," stated Stewart Smith - Orrcon Steel's Manager of sponsorships.
"To our customers, we want to convey our dedication and commitment as a business, we want our customers to connect with the Orrcon Steel culture. As a company we want to be seen as dynamic, motivated, innovative and competitive.
"The steel industry is a competitive one, and as a business, it is important that we stand out in the public eye and in the top of customers' minds. There is no better platform on the Australian sporting landscape than V8 Supercars and it fits perfectly with the steel industry."
Across the company's time in the sport, Orrcon Steel has enjoyed various amounts of success with their teams and drivers, including Larkham Motor Sport's highest placed championship finish in 2004, Mark Winterbottom's first event win in 2007 and his runner-up finish in the 2008 championship, Ford Performance Racing's two pole positions at Bathurst, Jason Bargwanna's most recent podium finish and Steve Richards leading home FPR's first one-two in Darwin in 2008.
While many other sponsors in the championship have seen drivers come and go, across their ten years in the sport Orrcon Steel has only had five ambassadors for their business - Larkham, Bargwanna, Winterbottom, Richards and Brazilian Max Wilson.
Larkham, who since retiring from the sport has become the pit lane face for the Channel Seven telecasts, is delighted to see Orrcon Steel remain a part of the sponsorship make-up of Australia's highest profile motor racing series.
"In the modern era of sporting sponsorship, Orrcon Steel has become the envy of many," said Larkham, who first introduced Orrcon Steel to the sport in 2002.
"To justify ten years of major involvement in V8 Supercars means just that - justification. It has to be measured, and it has to deliver.
"I have worked with many, many sponsors over my time in motorsport, and some high profile brands, but hand on heart, no-one understands how to exploit their investment in motorsport better than Orrcon Steel. In this regard they are the envy of pit lane, that is a fact.
"I particularly enjoyed my time with Orrcon Steel. Like all good relationships it started with a handshake at my race workshop in 2001. For me the real key moving forward was the quite intimate integration of the race team and Orrcon Steel to achieve mutually beneficial objectives.
"My relationship with the management and staff at Orrcon was the best sponsorship relationship I've had, and I trust after ten years it has also served them well. In fact when we started way back then, everyone thought Orrcon was some sort of telecommunications company. Now there is no doubt, and top of mind recall of Orrcon simply means 'Steel' - well done."
Orrcon Steel's re-signing with Ford Performance Racing will see their partnership extend to six years having joined the team at the start of the 2007 season.
"It is not only 10 years for them in the sport, 2011 will also be their fifth year with us as a team, one of the real keys in this championship is having consistency," said Edwards.
"It is not just consistency of the drivers but also the consistency of the partners you work with. We both understand each other and it is fantastic that they are continuing with us for a further two years.
"Orrcon Steel are really the class act when it comes to sponsorship activation in the V8 Supercar Championship. Every other sponsor in the paddock looks towards what Orrcon Steel does enviously, as they leverage their sponsorship so well. They put on the best corporate hospitality and best experience for all of their guests."