As one of the most important fixtures on the World Rally Championship calendar, the team behind Rally Australia needs to get everything right. This includes course prep, marketing, sponsorship deals, and more.
As Rally Australia’s major sponsor for three years running, Kennards Hire is proud to assist in the country’s largest annual rally event.
Offering sponsorship - and logistical support
For the final fixture on the World Rally Championship calendar, Rally Australia requires not only the nouse of track designers and the marketing team to deliver a world-class event, but also the backing of a major supplier who understands the requirements of such a large-scale operation.
“Through this sponsorship, we are able to show we are capable of supporting big events like Rally Australia,” says Shannon McClure, Marketing Coordinator at Kennards Hire.
Kennards Hire provides the Rally Australia team with everything it needs – from fencing and buildings to toilets, scaffolding and even recommendations on course layout. Delivering the equivalent of six football fields’ worth of equipment for a single event isn’t easy, but it’s a task that Kennards Hire is well suited for.
“Kennards Hire is solutions-focused and has the expertise to give these big events the right equipment for their needs. We have the logistics and supply chain to get large amounts of material delivered efficiently, by the experts.”
Bigger and better than ever
After almost two decades of successful rallies, Perth cut ties with Rally Australia back in 2006, forcing the team to search for a new home. For several years the operation struggled to find its ideal fit, but in 2011, the north coast of NSW beckoned. Coffs Harbour has played host to the event ever since.
For Wayne Kenny, Senior Executive and Clerk of Course at Rally Australia, this year’s event – held from November 15 to 18 – was the most successful yet.
“This year’s Rally Australia was without doubt the best event we’ve run on the east coast,” Kenny says.
“We attracted more spectators – over 83,000 over the full period of the rally – and the majority of reports back have been very positive.”
The partnership forms one big family
While still in its infancy, the partnership between Rally Australia and Kennards Hire is one built on a shared vision and appreciation of motorsport.
“There’s this ‘one family’ element to our work with Rally Australia – it’s not just a supplier–customer relationship,” Stempniak says.
“Their vision aligns with Kennards Hire’s core values, and that’s why we really are one family when we interact throughout the event.
“We have a lot of really passionate rally guys who get into the event – they really want to be there. And it’s generally the same crew who’ve been there from previous years. They are excited to be part of the event and to help deliver it.”
For Kenny, his Rally Australia team appreciates how everything just ‘fits’ perfectly when working with Kennards Hire.
“Working with Kennards Hire is very, very easy,” he says.
“They understand what the event is all about. We provide a massive bill of quantities prior to the event and tell them ‘this is what we want.’ That includes everything like toilets, fencing, scaffolding and sheds.
Contributing to the local economy
Konrad Stempniak, Head of Major Projects – Operations at Kennards Hire, says the event is a great injection into the northern NSW economy, not only from the spectators but from Kennards Hire itself.
“We use local contractors wherever we can,” Stempniak says.
“We spend a lot and contribute to the local area – we eat all our meals in town and even some of our freight guys are locals. We use local amenities, local facilities and ofcourse local accommodation.
“We also work with a variety of key stakeholders such as Destination NSW, Forest NSW, the local Coffs Harbour City Council – our goal is to help promote the area and boost the economy.”
Echoing Stempniak’s sentiments, McClure says being naming-rights sponsor for Rally Australia goes beyond equipment hire.
“It’s about that positive experience we’re trying to give the community through our sponsorship and the additional activities we have at Rally Australia," he says.
"The event is a great platform, and it allows us to focus on being involved with the wider Coffs Harbour community.”
Kenny agrees. “It means so much to Coffs Harbour to have an event of this stature,” he says. “The economic benefit of this rally into the city alone is in the vicinity of $14.5 to $15 million.”
Building for the future
This year’s event was a huge success, and both Stempniak and Kenny are excited about what lies ahead for Rally Australia 2019 and beyond.
“This year’s event ran very smoothly,” Stempniak says.
“There’s always a lot of planning and details behind the scenes that go into making sure the execution is smooth, swift and efficient.”
That will also be the goal for Kennards Hire in 2019. And Rally Australia believes their partnership with Kennards Hire can make next year’s event even stronger.
“We get a lot of feedback from competitors, teams and officials,” Kenny says. “So for 2019 we are looking to make it bigger and better, and above all a stronger event to finish the World Rally Championship season.”