Greetings! My name is Rich Watts. I founded Addicted2DirtPR and Media Management (A2D) in January 2020. Inspiration struck after a couple years of dabbling in the arena to help out some friends by promoting a season-long charitable fundraising cause for their race team. Through a series of events that suddenly resembled opportunity knocking, I realized there may be a prospect before me to turn my efforts into something more. Something that would allow me to help promote the teams, drivers, tracks and supporters of dirt track racing, a sport that has always been a huge part of my life, mostly from the bleachers.
I grew up 15 minutes from Port Royal Speedway. Thanks to my parents’ interest in seeing eventual Hall of Fame driver Keith Kauffman enter a car for the first time, attended my first race there in 1971 at the age of three. The sport got in my blood quickly. I didn’t miss a race at Port Royal for the next dozen years and to this day, I still attend nearly every race at The Speed Palace. Throughout the years I have attended races at numerous tracks up and down the East coast and in the Midwest.
The opportunity I recognized stemmed from my relationships with several up-and-coming teams trying to build their programs. Today’s dirt track racing world is expensive and teams rely heavily on marketing partnerships to be able to race. Typically, every available dollar, not to mention every hour of free time, goes into the race car. The teams that have sufficient financial resources to invest on self-promotion are able to afford public relations assistance to promote their sponsors properly by supplying broad visibility via numerous outlets such as social media and news media. That leads to happy sponsors who continue to support the team and it also leads to additional sponsors who want to make sure they get something in return for their investment. It was clear that the majority of teams didn’t have the time or the skills within their team to self-promote properly. The sport relies on those teams for its existence but they wouldn’t be around long without the ability to fund their programs properly. I saw this as something that didn’t just jeopardize the future of those teams. It jeopardized the future health of the sport.
I have no formal media, journalism or marketing training on my resume. I’m equipped with nothing more than a passion for the sport, some technical skills and over 45 years of being a hard-core dirt track fan. With that, I decided there was a niche I could fill. A niche that could hopefully help those other teams get to the next level…or at a minimum, continue to exist for as long as they so desired. Thanks to support and networking from friends and the racing family, Addicted2Dirt PR & Media Management had a solid first two years, and as the 2022 season approaches, seems positioned for continued growth.
The goal I have for A2D is to bring a level of personal touch that others don’t, while providing a professional public image for the teams and drivers I represent.
Why invest so much time and effort in creating and operating A2D? When you love something, you want to take care of it. I’m just doing what I can to help take care of dirt track racing.