Racer Sabré Cook: How Social Media Revved Up My Racing Career

sabre' cook racing
How Social Media Revved Up My Racing CareerCourtesy Sabre' Cook

In the realm of motorsports, the pursuit of a professional career on the racetrack has always been synonymous with a relentless demand for financial backing. While in most sports, dedication, consistency, and perseverance can often propel individuals toward success, the world of racing requires additional financial resources that won’t allow for success without it.

For example:

Imagine you want to play basketball for your local team. You need to practice and train as much as possible to ensure you will be at your best, make the team, and help the team win games. BUT the cost of acquiring a basketball, proper shoes, and the court rental all amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars just to practice…


You can’t afford the substantial sum to practice, but other players trying out for the team have enough financial resources to do so. So, you decide to work incredibly hard at what you can do: study game footage, workout hard in the gym, complete mental and reaction training. Anything and everything you can afford to do- you do it. Yet, you never get to practice the actual game of basketball.

You go to the basketball tryouts, and shocker… you don’t make the team.

No matter how much passion you have, how hard you work off the court, if you don’t practice the game, you simply won’t become a great basketball player.

Playing professional basketball is your dream though, you want it more than you want to breathe.

So, what’s the solution? You find a way to raise the money to practice.

sabre' cook racing
Sabré Cook races in the Porsche Carrera Cup for Kellymoss.Courtesy Sabre' Cook

Sponsorship Beginnings

Thankfully I was very blessed to have a family that could help me get started in karting and found creative business solutions to keep me karting as I progressed.

Then at the age of 12, I started on the journey of learning about sponsorship and how to acquire it. My father being a former professional motocross and supercross rider himself, he knew what it was like to canvas for sponsorships and partnerships. However, the differences in cost between motorcycle racing and car racing were substantial, and the sponsorship and technological resources were ever-changing. Together, my father and I tried, failed, learned and tried again on how to navigate the process of getting and keeping sponsorship.

Slowly I began to acquire product sponsorships, then smaller cash sponsorships, and hard-earned prize money from winning pro kart races. However, nothing substantial enough for me to do a car race.

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Sabre Cook (37) was the lone American to race in the W Series in 2021.Clive Rose - Formula 1 - Getty Images

Through family and network connections, I was introduced to an amazing individual that had his own car and race team. He came to watch me in a karting race, which I won, and that was it, he offered to put me into one of his race cars! So in April 2017, I finally did my first car race at Summit Point Raceway in the Sports Car Club of America series.

Now that I had a taste of what had been my dream for so long, I knew I was going to have to find a way to stay in the driver’s seat and achieve my goals. So, that’s what I did. Through lots of trial and error, challenges, mentorship from amazing people, failing, and trying again I began to acquire larger and larger sponsorships and understand how to bring substantial value to my partners.

There’s one key component though that I look back and realize I wish I would’ve invested, utilized, and understood much sooner—social media.

sabre' cook racing
In addition to her racing career, Sabré Cook has earned a mechanical engineering degree from Colorado School of Mines.Courtesy Sabre' Cook

Social Media – A Irreplaceable Tool in Today’s Sponsorship Landscape

Now when I was younger Myspace, then Facebook, were just becoming more popular and the tool of social media wasn’t the grand machine it is today.

Aside from being a racecar driver, I’m a mechanical engineer—I’m a very Type A, analytical, introverted person by nature. So, the idea of posting my life on social media day after day had my skin crawling. With complete transparency, I can say it’s still not an activity I particularly enjoy doing. But that’s life! Doing things that drag us out of our comfort zone, things we don’t like to do, are actions we must endure to achieve our goals.

I made every excuse in the book trying to get out of it…”It’s a waste of time…I have more important steps to take to be successful… It’s so vain… It takes too much time…. It feels so frivolous… It’s not serious work and I want people to take me seriously… I should use the time to focus on more important things…”

In this day and age though—social media is important, it’s vital to your brand, and it’s one of the most powerful and free tools you have. For those of you trying to raise money and making the excuse you don’t have the time or money to invest in it- you literally can’t afford not to.

Just start. You don’t need a fancy camera, people to help post, edit, etc. You just have to start and be consistent, like any activity you want to get better at.

Think of your social media platforms as a magazine or portfolio that’s completely free for you to create. This magazine/ portfolio can be seen globally by potential sponsors, partners, fans, etc. and shows them firsthand the value you can bring and your personality.

7 Steps to Success Through Social Media

1. Build Your Brand.

The first step in sponsorship is understanding your brand and brand values so you know what companies best match up. By posting regularly on social media you can give your personal brand true depth. Rather than just saying one of your values is “hard work” you can show fans and companies through genuine content how you are working hard. It goes back to the whole “action speaks louder than words.”

2. Build Your Network

Specifically, platforms like LinkedIn create an unbelievable opportunity to connect to business professionals. Through your sponsorship research, when you decide on a company that you’d like to connect with, the chances of finding some of their key decision makers on LinkedIn and being able to connect with them is quite high! Simply trying to connect to as many C-suite position employees of potentially desired partners will help you build a subtle relationship with them until you’re in a position to discuss a partnership. One of my largest partnerships this season was sparked from a LinkedIn connection!

3. Build Your Fanbase

There are 4.9 billion social media users worldwide. There’s no other free resource where you can connect to that many people and share your story. Think about how many people you can inspire and include in your journey? The more fans/followers you have, the more value you bring to a potential sponsor. What’s one of the first questions I get asked by potential sponsors: “How many followers do you have?” Also, the bigger fanbase you have, the more people you have that would be excited to purchase your own branded merchandise.

4. Additional Source of Income

Influencer and brand ambassador roles are obviously extremely common now. As an athlete/driver don’t be afraid to engage with brands that might be looking to do social media promotion with you but not direct sponsorship on your racing program. Social media can be a great “trial run” for them to see how you fit into their brand and how you bring value to them. Getting paid for social media promotion is also an additional source of income to help cover living expenses! The less you have to travel for work, or work a typical 8-5 work day, the more time you have to find companies to partner with on your racing program and more time to test/practice/train to improve your on track performance!

5. Consumer Insights

Posting your own content and then observing how your followers respond to it is a great way to learn what people like to see or don’t like to see. It expands your understanding of how to connect with your audience. Many social media platforms have insight tools that let you collect valuable data for your partners/sponsors to help them understand how to better engage with their desired demographic—another selling point for your partnerships!

6. Expressing Yourself & Media Practice

Brainstorming and producing content is always a creative challenge. It teaches you to have an open mind and consider others’ perspectives and wants. Understanding how to optimize what would engage a consumer and how a company wants to present their product takes great creativity at times. Plus being in front of a camera, learning to present, paying attention to the details on how to convey information are all key media skills you will need to be a successful professional in sport and business. Companies love well-spoken representatives!

7. Showcasing Partnerships

Your current partners love it when you promote them to your loyal followers and fans. Social media is the easiest and most effective way to do that. Plus showing you have loyal partners that you’re actively working with instills confidence and intrigues other brands that might want to work with you.

Use Your Resources – All of Them!

The marketing, business, media, and communication tools you learn from social media and sponsorship work are invaluable. Think of it as an all-encompassing business internship. These skills will transfer to so many other aspects of life after racing. It’s the best hands-on education you can get all while pursuing your passion!

Our job as drivers and athletes is to adapt and create the best result possible with whatever situation and resources we have. Social media is a resource. So why not use it?

The addition of focused social media efforts has proven to be a transformative force to generate partnerships in my professional racing career. Social media has challenged me to innovate and taught me the power of strategic growth and promotion. This tool that initially I was so resistant to has become a medium through which I inspire, engage, and propel my racing aspirations forward.

Follow Sabre' at:

Instagram: @SabreCook
Facebook: SabreCookRacing

YouTube: @Sabre_Cook
X (formerly Twitter): @Sabre_Cook

LinkedIn: Sabre Cook

Sabré Cook, 29, is a professional racing driver and mechanical engineer originally from Grand Junction, Colorado but now residing in Indianapolis. She progressed from a successful professional karting career into car racing in 2017 and has raced in SCCA, Road to Indy, F4, F3, W Series, NLS, MX5, WRL, Porsche Sprint Challenge, and now Porsche Carrera Cup North America with Kellymoss. Alongside racing, Sabré earned her Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines and has worked for Infiniti (Nissan) Global, Renault F1 Team, Formula Mazda, and Paretta Autosport in IndyCar.