For many of us who watch F1 and other motorsport events, the speed and excitement of the races capture all the attention and can overshadow what happens behind the scenes. What few casual viewers realize is how competitive the sport can be, and how the highest levels of motorsport racing can be about more than just the drivers’ skill.
But Scott Taitleman, who used to race motorcycles and co-founded the small business Daedalus Motorsport Management last year, is on a mission to change that. We talk to Scott about how he started the company, his mission to shake up the world of motorcar racing, and how he uses World First USA, Inc. to save on costs when he moves money around the world for international races.First of all, tell us about your background in racing and what drew you to it.
I used to race motorcycles in the 80s. I always loved motorcycles and started racing at the regional level, even winning a national endurance race during my first year. That’s where everything about my love of motorsports started. It was such an incredible rush learning about racing and being part of the process. But sometime after, a friend I was racing with died during a racing accident. It was devastating for me and a real wake-up call. I decided that I was going to pack it in for now and see what I could do next. But even after moving on to other things, I still really enjoyed watching the sport. It’s a religion for so many people. It gets in your blood.
How and why did you get back into the sport of racing and turn that it into a small business?
I was working in public accounting at a Big 4. But then in April of last year, I found myself engaged in a texting frenzy with a good friend of mine who is a driver. He had won in literally every type of car he ever raced, including while competing against many of today’s F1 drivers. He was frustrated that he couldn’t get into a premiere race because he lacked sponsorships, while another driver lucked out despite being less skilled. Another friend and I started talking about how we could help him. And that’s how it all started. Racing had always excited me and so I made the decision to chase my dream in motorsports and left my day job. We came up with the name Daedalus Motorsport Management for the company because Daedalus was the Greek mythological innovator, the first inventor in Western culture, and we saw ourselves as really bringing innovation to the world of motorsport racing.What is the mission of your business and how do you plan to change the world of motorsport racing?
Our vision is to help drivers who really deserve the opportunity to race based on pure talent and merit, as supposed to the size of their wallet. There are very few people who are close to the sport and can say, “money doesn’t matter.” Money totally matters in this sport. The number of people who purely get paid to race, as opposed to having to find sponsorships to bring along with them, is only in the dozens worldwide. You can be an absolutely terrific driver, but you will be at the mercy of those who will use you when they need you. We’re really out to change that.
Your business is still very young. How have you managed to achieve success in such a short time?
In motorsport racing, you have to buy your way in, so from the start, our business model and our mission were clear to us. We started off by investing smart, in the areas that would benefit the company so we could put ourselves on the path to success. We’re a small business with three principals, myself and two other co-owners. I come from a business background and am more of a fan of racing. My other two partners have significant experience in motorsport racing, from racing in the World Rally Championships, all the way to Formula 1. That way, our business is able to offer all the necessary elements, from the business know-how, to pre-existing relationships with the right people, to understanding the engineering aspect of the cars.By combining the business and relationship-elements, we’re able to focus on select drivers and also contribute to the development of many races. We’ve had some very interesting opportunities already and are representing some incredibly talented drivers. We think we have that next great driver to come out of the US.
What are your international transfer needs?
We’re always needing to pay suppliers overseas, for things like setting up contracts for our drivers, paying for real estate rentals, paying for equipment like helmets and car parts after a crash, legal services and engineering work. Supporting a racecar driver for overseas races requires a lot of international payments!
Why did you choose a payments specialist over a bank to make your international payments?
We have relationships around the world, which help us get our drivers into world-class races. For example, we’ve had one of our drivers racing in Europe over the past year. That’s why we started to work with World First. We needed to pay our bills in Europe and there’s a big difference between specialists and going with a bank. We found that World First catered more specifically to our needs. A lot of banks in the US look at international payments like they’re a nuisance. There are many banks in the US that don’t even have a branch overseas and don’t perform a lot of business outside the US. They don’t make it easy to do things, like pay a lawyer in another country. And their pricing isn’t competitive, especially for small businesses likes ours.What’s next for Daedalus?
When people think of racing, they think of Formula 1, so one big thing we’re really looking forward to is the change in criteria to allow drivers to earn championship points. This means that instead of having to buy their way in, talented drivers will be able to earn points to race there, opening it up for less fortunate drivers. We’re also working on a number of other racing series and our next goal is developing championship-winning teams at the feeder level. But on a daily basis, the biggest reward is seeing our drivers race cars and – like I have all my life – enjoy the sport.
Every year, World First USA, Inc. helps thousands of businesses transfer money safely and quickly across borders, and we often offer lower fees and better currency rates than a bank. We can also help protect your business from currency fluctuations. Click here to get started.