New Stewart-Haas Racing partner ITsavvy’s CEO and founder Mike Theriault may not be familiar with the lyric by Jay-Z, “No one on the corner has swagger like us,” but swagger is just how he described SHR driver Clint Bowyer and his company.
As the business-to-business company is set to be the primary sponsor on Bowyer’s No. 14 Ford for the second time this season at ISM Raceway (Nov. 9-11), could it be a match made in heaven?
“Clint has that edge about him that we like. It kind of fits who we are,” said Theriault, the leader of the company with $8 billion in inventory and 46 distribution centers across the United States. “There are big competitors in our space. We have to have some swagger and confidence as we talk with companies. Clint has that engaging personality and swagger.”
The company’s relationship with Stewart-Haas Racing actually began earlier this year when its colors were featured on his No. 14 SHR Ford at Richmond. The ITsavvy color scheme and logo will again adorn Bowyer’s machine at ISM Raceway on Nov. 11.
Stewart-Haas Racing is not the first partner that ITsavvy and Theriault have developed a relationship with, but the move to NASCAR has been a good, albeit unique, one for the IT company.
“A friend of a friend said they knew some people over at SHR, and they thought it would be a good fit for our company,” said Theriault, who started the company in 2004. “I was open to it and looked outside the box for different ideas to develop our business. He made the introduction and we had a phone call and both sides saw the opportunity and capitalized on it.”
For ITsavvy, being a business-to-business company where speed and attention are critical aspects just as they are in NASCAR, a partnership with SHR seems like the perfect fit. Not only does ITsavvy allow Stewart-Haas to maximize its performance in the IT space during the hustle and bustle of a 36-week schedule at tracks across the country, but it gives ITsavvy another strong testimony as it enters into a new sport.
Although the deal with SHR happened in 2018, just how did ITsavvy go from its start in 2004 to being one of the fastest growing resources for Integrated IT products and technology solutions 14 years later?
Theriault began from scratch and focused on three things: building relationships, offering the right products for the best solution, and providing a high level of service.
“In 1979, I started my business and sold it to a competitor, before leaving there and starting ITsavvy in 2004,” Theriault said. “In our business it all comes down to relationships and offering the right products for the best solution, providing a high level of service and getting those clients to the point where you become their trusted advisor. You’re becoming a one-on-one expert for them in the IT space. We’ve developed 1,000s of clients. We have offices in 10 cities in the United States. It’s a roll-up-your-sleeves and get-it-done-type of business.”
By adopting that great attitude, the sales personnel are at the forefront of ITsavvy’s operations.
“Our client executives are our front line,” Theriault said. “They’re the ones that are working hard day in and day out to find clients. Pretty much every company out there is buying our product. It pays to be involved in NASCAR as there are a multitude of large companies within the sport. Our client executives are the ones that are forging the initial relationship with new partners.”
Partnering with Stewart-Haas Racing has paid off for Theriault and his team as they’ve been exposed to the number of companies with large IT budgets that are not only buying computer products but wanting to expand their operations. Theriault knows that things move quickly in the IT space, and it’s important for him and his team to begin to develop those relations.
While ITsavvy desires to expand its partnerships to other businesses in NASCAR, Theriault has a long-term vision for the deal with Stewart Haas.
“After spending time with Vice President of Sales Mike Verlander, Co-owner Tony Stewart, and Clint (Bowyer), I knew it was a relationship that could be forged,” said Theriault. “We’re looking to have more races and certainly have a multi-year partnership. From a personal standpoint, I love this partnership because I’ve been a car guy from a young age. I felt like it was a great relationship for our company to start and am really passionate about our involvement with the folks at SHR.”