The Power of Relationships: Family in the Fast Lane
Everyone knows our batteries last a long time. You know what lasts longer? The relationships we build.
Whether it’s our 22-year racing relationship with Joe and J.D. Gibbs or relationships with Dealers, we believe in building on those ties.
In this ongoing series, we examine some of the relationships that continue to shape the Interstate Batteries brand.
The Joe Gibbs Connection
There are two people at Joe Gibbs Racing who know him by another name: Dad.
J.D. Gibbs was 23 years old and Coy was 20 when Joe made the jump from pro football to pro stock car racing. To make the jump, Joe was cold-calling sponsors, and one of his calls connected him to Interstate chairman – and future friend – Norm Miller.
“Our very first phone conversation, I don’t think I’ve ever had one like that. We must have talked for 45 minutes,” Joe said. In following meetings, Joe explained the scope: There were no drivers, no car shop and no cars. JGR, at the time, was just a dream – but one that Norm believed in.
Interstate became JGR’s founding sponsor in a gesture of faith – and business savvy. After all, many of the battery dealers Interstate had were (and still are) big fans of NASCAR and pro football.
Over the years, Joe and his sons learned the ins and outs of racing and how to run a family business. J.D. started out as a tire changer at JGR, and both brothers drove for the team. Today, J.D. is president of JGR while Coy owns and runs the motocross team, JGRMX.
J.D. has found several keys to running a family business, from using each family members’ gifts to purposeful communication. Communicating takes work, even if you’ve grown up in the business, J.D. said.
“Like any other business, success doesn’t happen by accident,” he said. “In addition, it’s important to make sure your children understand that just because it’s a family business doesn’t mean they are guaranteed a spot unless they work diligently, invest time and care for the business.”
Since 1992, JGR has run a car with the Interstate Batteries logo. The relationship goes beyond the paint scheme. When Interstate held an incentive program for its Route Sales Managers across the nation, JGR hosted the grand prize: a go-kart racing weekend with Team Interstate™ drivers.
And off the track, Joe and Norm’s friendship continues – whether they’re going on vacation together or working together in the I Am Second® ministry. And J.D. said that’s part of successful business, too.
“Finally, lots of prayer is always essential with any business.”