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Who’d have believed that a mousetrap company sponsoring a rally car would be an amazing success? From the ‘only in Australia’ files ….. In the 1955 Redex Round Australia Reliability Trial, an entry from AW Standfield meant very little amongst the 175 other starters who had entered for this rugged 10,500 mile endurance event. Advertising on cars entered for motorsport, once forbidden by CAMS, was common and most competitors were happy to spell out their sponsor’s name on the panels of their car to help finance the big drive around the country. In a previous story on RallySport Mag we described how Ford had support from Colibri cigarette lighters in the 1974 RAC Rally of Great Britain, and gave out thousands of lighters at spectator points, service breaks and rally forums. It wasn’t the most generous of financial support (cash would have been far better), but at least it got the sponsor’s name before the public. Unique, yes, but giveaways had been done before. Back in the 1950s, AW Standfield manufactured mousetraps under the “Supreme” brand, which was recognised as the leading mouse and rat trap manufacturer in Australia, turning out 44,000 traps per week. Since 1944, when the company was established, the family business had sold more than 64 million mouse traps. Obviously the business knew a thing or two about marketing (as did Colibri), and 54-year old Wes Standfield, the company’s CEO, decided to take the opportunity to promote his business even further. With his sons Ron and David as crew members, they packed their 1953 Standard Vanguard sedan, resplendent in “Supreme Mouse Trap” stickers, not with just the spare parts that the Vanguard would possibly need on their long and arduous journey around Australia, but with thousands of giveaways in the form of – you guessed it – mousetraps. By the time the Redex Trial was over, the Supreme name was displayed all around the country, sales went through the roof, and rats and mice numbers tumbled. It was a great bit of marketing that proves the point that sponsorship can come in almost any form.
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