An unhappy customer asked that question last week.
He was referring to NativeEnergy’s sponsorship of Leilani Munter, a race car driver.
“You're promoting RACE CAR DRIVING?!!” he stated, incredulously. “A sport that produces massive amounts of CO2 and further enforces the world's distorted romance with the automobile?”
I get the point. I considered it before I Okayed the sponsorship. Ultimately, though, I asked myself: How does NativeEnergy reach people who are not already converts on the issue of climate change? Anyone who is engaged in any broad effort to speak to the public faces this question: Do I talk only to friendly audiences, or do I face the doubters and the hostiles?
If we only address those who already agree with us, nothing changes. And if we work only with people who already believe in what we do, who is going to change the minds of those who don’t?
Leilani Munter is a proven and committed environmental advocate. That has been demonstrated beyond a doubt. Here’s a link to her site so you can learn more.
Leilani is also a race car driver, and racing leaves an oversized carbon footprint.
So there’s a contradiction. And in that contradiction lies the opportunity: To reach some 75 million individuals who are avid racing fans. My guess is that a fair share of them are not troubling themselves about global warming. That is why we decided that it makes perfect sense to support Leilani and her mission.
Is car racing “bad?” Are 75 million fans damnable? Surely not. Rather, those 75 million fellow inhabitants of our planet present a rich vein of possibility that we want to explore. And explore we will, following the guidance of Leilani, the carbon free girl.
What are your thoughts?
Thomas H. Rawls
Vice President, Sales and Marketing