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Q+A with Stefan Ph. Henrich

Meet our Director of Marketing & PR

Meet our Director of Marketing & PR

Director of Marketing & PR Stefan brings a lot of Hyundai experience to our team, having been spokesperson at Hyundai Motor Europe for 12 years prior to joining our motorsport activities. His deep understanding of how Hyundai does business proved invaluable as Hyundai Motorsport established its award-winning promotional activities with markets around the world.

Stefan, what does your role as Director of Marketing & PR cover?
I manage an international team of experts heralding from several different disciplines within motorsport. We take care of brand exposure and experience, as well as both finding and managing sponsors and technical partners. The team has also worked to set up a well-established agency network, allowing us to manage all internal and external communications, as well as event experiences, on a worldwide scale.

Why is marketing and PR so important in motorsport?
Marketing and PR are crucial assets to any organisation. In motorsport, everything just operates at a much faster pace. It’s not just the speed of the cars on rally stages and racing circuits around the world; we also have to be fast in communicating to our stakeholders. We have to manage very different and complex target groups, such as internal audiences, promoters, fans, journalists, partners, sponsors and agencies.

How has this evolved since the beginning?
When Hyundai first announced its return to WRC, there was no PR and Marketing team in place. We had to build our communications and marketing strategy from scratch to provide a foundation of information on our activities while helping to promote our N brand philosophy.

Over the past six seasons we’ve created and strengthened our brand experience through our WRC hospitality and co-drive program, which we have expanded into WTCR and WorldSBK; our work in WorldSBK has since gone on to win the European Sponsorship Award for Best Use of Sponsorship across Multiple Markets. With customers winning titles around the world in Hyundai Motorsport machinery and our maiden WRC manufacturers’ title, we’re continuing to enhance and promote Hyundai as one of the biggest names in motorsport.

How has Hyundai Motorsport’s maiden manufacturers’ title and its success with its Customer Racing program strengthened the Hyundai brand?
Of course this is difficult to prove with tangible facts; nevertheless, seeing the success of the N-brand and its products, we can be very proud of having contributed to that part of Hyundai’s history.

The close link of N-Thusiasts to our motorsport programs around the world delivers evidence that there’s still some truth to “win on Sunday – sell on Monday” philosophy. We also continue to look towards road-going technical developments and adjust our future motorsport programs accordingly to stay on pace.

What was your first exposure to motorsport and how has this influenced your career?
I used to work as a technician for a motorbike manufacturer. During this time, I often tested bikes in different development phases. The next logical step was to become involved in competing on racetracks!
Motorsport, in competition as well as being a spectator, was my hobby and not directly linked to my professional career. However when the chance arose to bring my job skills into building the motorsport business for Hyundai, there was no question that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity.

How did you come to work for Hyundai Motorsport?
I joined Hyundai Motor Europe when it was first founded in 2001 and served in several positions, before eventually becoming Company Spokesperson. I became involved in the motorsport project at an early stage. As a motorsports enthusiast (and former hobby racer), it was a great opportunity for me to contribute to building up this new company and help it take its first steps in the WRC business.

What has been your proudest moment?
There have been many milestones for our organisation in the past years. It’s difficult to pick just one particularly proud achievement. Any time we unveil a new car is a special moment but just seeing how our team has evolved and established itself in such a short space of time gives me a great deal of satisfaction. In addition to the i20 Coupe WRC, our customer racing offering now includes the i20 R5, the i30 N TCR and the Veloster N TCR. Seeing our TCR cars take a double class podium at the 2019 Nürburgring 24 Hours was a special moment in Hyundai Motorsport’s history.

What do you do in your free time?
Establishing a work-life balance is very important to me, as it allows me to refresh both mentally and physically. So when I do get some free time, I love to spend it with my family. But if time allows, I do still manage to find some time to visit racetracks and classic car meetings as well.

Enjoy the highlights of a thrilling 2019 edition of the Nürburgring 24 Hours


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