NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. – When Florida businessman Rod Wortham founded Race Face Brand Development ahead of the 2017 season, his goal was straightforward.
Wortham wanted to change the landscape in racing for drivers who might not think they have a shot at the top levels of the sport.
Two years later, that mission is beginning to become a reality.
Wortham’s marketing, branding and advertising agency has steadily become a respected force within the industry, working to propel both rising stars and recognizable names up the ladder with scouting and additional support from well-known NASCAR spotter and development coach Lorin Ranier.
Drivers like NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series young guns Sheldon Creed and Anthony Alfredo, rising midget and late model star Jesse Love and NASCAR K&N Pro Series East point leader Sam Mayer have all worked with the Race Face program as they’ve built their careers – each to impressive results.
The Race Face Brand Development network includes media skills-training programs, webinar coaching, career blueprint mapping, charity opportunities and marketing work among its array of offerings for drivers of all ages to utilize, as well as video driver updates and more through the RaceFace.TV platform.
For 59-year-old Wortham, the impetus to build such a brand-development system stemmed from years of involvement in the sport and time spent watching many faces he felt had the talent to make an impact never be able to make it to the level they needed to get to, be it for one reason or another.
“I think most of it came about due to the way that motorsports, in general, has changed. It’s no longer the best drivers that always make it,” said Wortham, the former owner of the Young Guns Inc. memorabilia company. “There’s a certain amount of financial wherewithal that you have to have. Everyone is looking for the next Jeff Gordon, and to be able to attract the type of sponsorship that’s needed to be able to compete at that level, you’ve got to have the total package. You have to be talented on the track, but you have to be talented off the track, as well.
“I wasn’t a driver, so I figured that the best way for me to get involved was to help these young drivers hone their race craft off the track and to build out everything that they need.”
While Wortham’s program started out with just two of the aforementioned names, it quickly expanded, largely on the strength of old-fashioned word-of-mouth efforts.
“It actually started just by helping a couple of drivers. Our first ones were Sam Mayer, who was one of the drivers that Lorin scouted for us, and Jesse Love,” Wortham recalled. “Once we started to realize that, with support, we were better in numbers … we started adding on. The goal was to add five or six drivers over the next couple of years, and that happened really in about five months. Lorin really was a big part in assisting with that growth and none of what we’re doing would be possible without him.
“As we built this up though, people began to realize that being a part of the Race Face driver group could give you an off-track advantage, and it just continued growing from there.”