Transfer of Emotion with Rick Ricart

September 16, 2022
A natural storyteller. When your family has been in the automotive industry for decades, you’ve seen some things and have some story. Rick Ricart joins the guys to talk about his family’s legacy, how cars and driving are cool again, and NIL deals with Ohio State football. Plus he tells some great stories from his time in the automotive industry.
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What we talk about in this episode:
Intro with Michael Cirillo, Paul J Daly and Kyle Mountsier.

5:20 Ricart Automotive has always learned into troublemaking, from when Rick’s grandfather and founder of the company was called an instigator by Automotive New in 1961 to how Rick’s father would write jingles based off of popular songs in the ‘80s and run them as ads until they received a cease and desist letter.

6:46 Rick realized he wanted to be a car dealer when he worked for his dad selling cars one summer during college. That began his journey to where he is today.

12:35 Many people know Rick’s uncle, Rhett Ricart, who was chairman of NADA in 2020. Rick shares an Uncle Rhett story about borrowing one of his cars.

24:15 The NIL (name, image, likeness) rules for college athletes are something that Ricart Automotive takes part in. Rick talks about early adoption and how they saw marketing returns because of that.

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Michael Cirillo: 0:00This is why all old people get grumpyUnknown: 0:09

This is Auto Collabs.

Michael Cirillo: 0:11

This is my thesis because they had to mow their lawn with like barber shears. And then we have self propelled lawn mowers and also for the fact that we were just talking and Paul's like, No, he wasn't a player. He's a YouTuber. Like, I think that infuriates old people cuz they're

Paul Daly: 0:32

like, You are an old person at heart for sure.

Michael Cirillo: 0:35

I'm an old person at heart, but you're like, we've arrived at a place in the world where we're like, no, they they do YouTube for a living for money for money in their underwear at home opening boxes. Like if you said to somebody that made it through the Depression, they open boxes that make 25 million a year with three keralites I made by I opened and closed boxes for 10 cents an hour. Yeah. That's unbelievable. I don't know what this has to do with Rick Ricart right? Now

Paul Daly: 1:06

frustrated as a resident non old person,

Kyle Mountsier: 1:10

millennial, and I'm mad.

Paul Daly: 1:13

I open boxes every day, but I gotta pay for those boxes. Yeah, but I'm saying he's complaining about Amazon delivery. Right? Oh, wait, they said stuff right to your house. He just ordered your thing. Well, look, today's guests is anything but a grumpy old man Rick Ricart's in my mind is is just a progressive, fun. Tell it like it is right? Not afraid to get in a little bit of trouble, right? We tend to gravitate toward those people. But honest people are gonna get in trouble. That's the bottom line. If you're honest, these days, you're getting in trouble. You're getting

Kyle Mountsier: 1:48

in trouble. Absolutely. You know, I've seen a lot of of Rick kind of around social media and what they're doing. I can't wait to ask him about the stuff that they're doing with NIL. I remember one of my my only, like, interpersonal story of of Rick is at Digital Dealer this year, when we asked him to kind of be like, on video, we're doing some video recording. And, and he didn't have time to do it. But he was wearing a button up shirt. And he saw both of us were in like, and T shirts. And he was like, huh, so like he shows up later in the day for his keynote with a T shirt. And he's like, Yeah, I just figured if you guys could do it, I could roll it to Let's go.

Paul Daly: 2:30

Kind of troublemaker we're all about. So I met I met his uncle Rhett Ricart who would who might be a more familiar name to some people in the industry as the chairman of NADA during the pandemic and, you know, just kind of like a legendary personality. So, we and you know, Rick is his nephew, so we need to ask some Wncle Rhett stories is what I'm most excited.

Kyle Mountsier: 2:49

There you go.

Paul Daly: 2:51

All right. grumpy old men aside. We hope you enjoyed this interview with Rick Ricart. Hey, Rick, it's been a while coming. And it's here. Now. Thank you so much for giving us some time today. The auto collabs audience is gonna be great.

Rick Ricart: 3:11

Absolutely. Paul, great to see you. As always. Kyle, everybody. It's a pleasure to be on.

Paul Daly: 3:15

Yeah. All right. So there the Ricart name has like, it's kind of like give shockwaves through the industry. I feel I feel like, you know, between what you're doing with the stores now, you know, between what Rhett has done is Chairman like during one of the most tumultuous times in the auto industry. I feel like I see and hear the name everywhere. Can you tell us a little bit we'd like to talk about like the beginnings of everyone's experience in the industry? How like, what is your earliest memories of getting into the car business? And kind of when did you feel like you fully adopted it as your own.

Rick Ricart: 3:45

And I first got into the car business, like legit, was felt like felt like I was working for the company. Not until I was 21 years old. And I say that because I had spent some time before I turned 21 working as punishment. Like, you know, I'd be like in high school, you know, like, I break curfew, right come home after midnight that my dad went out to do with me be like, Alright, you're gonna get up tomorrow morning and you're going down in the maintenance department and you're checking in at 9am And like, I like paint the light poles on a Saturday like I do like the manual labor side. And what was really cool about my dad is he didn't he didn't bring work home like his mic. My grandpa's does. My grandpa founded the company in 1953. Yeah, my dad told stories. Yep. Paul, Paul Ricart Senior, a dad's technically paul the second Paul the third. And I actually had a son Paul, the fourth who was born on my grandpa's birthday. So really cool, which is April 27, or fourth 27 are the greatest engine ever made. So you got so it's kind of I guess we're kind of boring for regardless but yes, 10 the blue was meant to be actually I didn't know it was meant to be until I until I started To get my feet wet, but when I was young, like my dad didn't come home and talk about his day at work for the day at the shop, I know my grandpa did and he didn't like that growing up. So when I grew up, my dad would talk about math and science and music. He played guitar a lot. I

Paul Daly: 5:14

know. All of your old ads, I was gonna ask me guitars Rs.

Unknown: 5:19

Like, yeah, what's his thing? So in the early 80s, he came up with kind of the tagline the moniker the word deal and all the marketing stuff he was doing. And he would write jingles. And he would play guitar to whatever the popular song was at the time. And back then, you could kind of rip off a song and put it on the broadcast TV stations, it would run for four to six weeks before you got a cease and disease Letter saying, Hey, Eric, that's actually part of our secret sauce. Even my grandfather was an Automotive News in 1961 being called an instigator by other Ford dealers in Columbus for selling so much outside his PMA because you weren't supposed to back then. So we've always kind of had that push the envelope.

Paul Daly: 6:01

Oh, this is so much sense all of a sudden. And

Unknown: 6:06

so my dad taught me how to break the rules early. And he got he put a commercial in the air, but it plays so many times I've already had so much impact before we had to go change one note in the song and rerecord it, put it back on the air. And he went through that whole process. So I had to figure out with today's media with the world of YouTube and the internet, and you can't upload a song that you don't have the rights to it won't play for 30 seconds, or it just automatically algorithm in the box. Take it down. You know, so. So little anyone 21 31. So, so 21 is what I really figured out I was going to give us my second summer. So actually it was I was 20 I was about to turn 21. And it was that kind of second summer and I decided not to stay in. I was going to school in Dallas, the first couple summers I stayed in Dallas and worked and then I decided, You know what I'm, I kind of want to go home for the summer and work. And I asked if I could go home and sell cars, right? And of course, you know, sure whatever. We just had bought a Chevy store, they had sales consultant positions for the first time. And so I went and and what I found out is in three months, I could sell enough cars make enough money, I didn't have to have as much as I can have a fun job or not really work through the rest of the time of the school year. And I didn't know that that's what I wanted to do the rest of my life yet. You know, I was I was decent at selling cars, but I didn't know anything about the whole rest of the industry. And, you know, part of me was thinking I could you know, those pipe dreams are 20 year old hats. I didn't make it to the NFL college football didn't quite work out. No one called from Hollywood to see if I wanted to take a leading role. So I'm like, going like like I'm like I'm like majoring in marketing. At this point, kind of realizing maybe I need to figure out what this family business is all about. And I've always loved cars and trucks and motorcycles and everything. So that's when I decided after I was good at selling cars, I'm gonna take it more serious. And I took my last year of school at Northwood University. Yeah. Back then back then you had a choice. You didn't just have the Midland Michigan campus. There was also a West Palm Beach campus you now so I was also smart enough to realize I used to post grad here. Yeah. So I milked the post grad year in Palm Beach, getting a wonderful year education of the car business and a textbook before I came home, and then that's when I was 2223. Came home started back in sales worked my way through sales, finance managers, secondary finance system, new car managers, Sales Director, GM eventually GSM. So yeah, that was a that was a fun journey. Because you think about the bulk of my journey. It was 2003 to 2012 to work my way to get to that kind of where I felt like I made it. And so a lot of those years were economy declining recession, gas price stuff, right in the man. I felt like that. Yeah, so I felt like that was a big advantage for me. Like I learned how to be a manager in 2005 6789. Like yeah, for used car manager, right. Yeah. And my uncle always says your battle hardened because now all of a sudden 2012 comes, I get I finally get an executive seat and I've got a position in the company to where I can influence the whole thing. The economy is coming back in this business got really easy. And all of a sudden 12 13 14 15 Six I just looked like a hero. So it was fun. It was fun but then I love it

Paul Daly: 9:40

right? But then right the battle hardened all of a sudden comes back around. Right and now you're you're actually prepared you've seen times of you know less than than times have more and then times of extreme challenge. And like that, that is the season dealers have gone through this the pandemic really with this mentality of like, like, we're going to navigate the situation for what it is, right? And then even in the season of profit, they're like, Yeah, we're gonna get the money now, but no one's really saying like, it's not gonna get hard again, right? Like everyone kind of knows the season ones that we're going back and forth.

Rick Ricart: 10:15

Oh, absolutely. I mean, you think about the tough decisions we had to make in March of March of 2020, when we didn't really know what to do. And honestly, that was such a big impact of how, how are we going to handle this that the first thing I did when I found out this whole COVID pandemic is going to significantly impact businesses and they're talking about shutting stuff down. I went and bought a leather cowboy hat I call my bandit hat, and I became the character like, I don't really know how to fight this thing, either. But we have all these people looking at us, the families in our community and our and everyone that works for us going, are we going to be okay? I'm gonna throw on this leather bandit hat, put the face mask on and go, we're gonna be just fine. The bandits here, it's not messing with us. And that kind of mentality, kind of mentality, you know, you got to create that like, like character is at the same time. My My uncle was the man, he got inducted into the chairman roll for NADA in February of 2020. I was just been in Las Vegas. He gets the roll. He's all excited. He's supposed to travel 200 days that year. And within 30 days, boom, COVID hits, and he calls me and he goes, you got it back home. Are you good? And I'm like, we got this. And he's like, because I gotta go, you know, to DC and try to help the rest of the dealers. And yeah, he's in that's in other States of America. Because Mark was, well, everything like that. But he's, he's a he's awesome. He absolutely was the right person to have in that seat at that time. The dude doesn't sweat. Like he's one of those guys. Ice water is running through his veins and the smiles on his face all the time. And if he and if I didn't think that being a real politician would put so much stress and strain on him that he'd be miserable. I'd vote for him to run for president. Like he was really that that like, he's, he's that he's that type of

Paul Daly: 12:05

Senator? Yeah, right. Yeah, he did. We were gonna ask if you could just tell us one uncle Rhett story from growing up. I know there's gonna be

Rick Ricart: 12:21

I'm gonna, I'm gonna pick one that he won't be mad because NADA just

Paul Daly: 12:25

called. Because you're serious about representative NADA as he really is.

Rick Ricart: 12:34

So I used to take out cars quite a bit. And my uncle lived right down. So my uncle live right down the street from us. We lived in the same neighborhood. So you know, I, my my cousin, like my cousin Jared, who's my business partner. Now he's Co Co president with me, Rhett's son. I go down to his house all the time. And I remember being I don't know, we're 1617 years old. And he always joke. So if we took something that on trade, sports cars, something hot, he would bring it home and put in his garage for a couple days, like most dealers. And I drive by there's a black Z06. So a little bit in the late 90s, when that first run of Corvette Z06 has come out. And I see this black Corvette in there. And I walked in the house and the keys are on the counter. And he's out of town. And I look at my cousin. And I'm like, and we used to have this. And we used to have this this loop. So you head out the neighborhood you make a right it's about a 2.3 mile loop. We literally thought we were helping Motor Trend scores I like Yeah, cuz you remember the back road and track and always had the quarter mile times 60 times, we would find what the numbers were for the cars and they go out and verify. Yeah, like we were hoping

Kyle Mountsier: 13:45

to do in market research. So perfect.

Rick Ricart: 13:49

So yeah, so I'm legit. I'm 18 years old backcountry road black Z06, I'm flying down this road wide open fourth year, and some little rodent of some kind was crossing the street. And it got the front clip of the car like crack that little front Eclipse spoiler. And, you know, we get back to the house and I'm like, God crap, like the one thing I mean, I can't let them know I took the car. Especially can't let them know I wrecked the car, not wrecked, but damaged. And we had this little body shop was around the corner that that the the kids went to the same high school as my cousins were buddies with them. And I snuck the car on the back and I was like, I need you guys to fix this fix this car by Monday. like Rhett's coming back in town, I'm in big trouble. And sure enough, they didn't fix the car in time he gets back in town he finds out and I remember my dad being like, hey, you need to come to my office to talk to me in the office in the basement of his house. And I go down there and my uncle sitting there. And I looked at my dad and I'm like what's going on here? And it's like, don't look at me you need to talk to him and Rhett starts ripping me apart. I mean, I know you've heard stories of us doing this stuff in the 60s because they told us about on the early 70s They were taking Cobra jet mustangs and stealing tires out of my grandpa's Parts Department to put them on the cars to drag race and taken the tires off before the next morning before the before the store opened and they were doing that stuff too. And he's yelling at me about you can't do that these days, you can't do these things. And I remember looking at my dad, and I'm like, he allowed to yell at me. For the first time of my life. My Dad Yeah, like, Come on dad. Like you should be yelling, why is this guy doing this? And then he looks at me and he was like, No, this situation you're listening to him. And then it's funny because I didn't realize at that moment that that was going to be something that became a pattern in my life. Because when I was when I was 21 years old when I that first summer I sold cars My dad had moved to Florida and he was living in South Florida actually never worked a day with my with with my dad. But but he said when he basically was like your your your your go home and you listen to your uncle, your uncle's your boss, your uncle's your dad back home, like and so that was kind of a weird adjustment at 18 to be like, man, like my, my dad was kind of hard on me would yell at me. But man, my ass like that was not fun.

Paul Daly: 16:05

I would not what I can imagine when he shifts into that gear. It's like, yeah, so I asked blast radius mode.

Rick Ricart: 16:11

Yeah, so I think he owe me. So I think it also scared me enough that over the next 15 years, he'll be caught me like once or twice, he just got burned out. I was so sneaky. I was I've driven everything. And I've driven everything, like I'm in Grand Theft Auto. And now I look back, like when people are like, you know, how do you drive some of these cars on a day and you don't really drive that fast. It's like, I've done it. This is,

Kyle Mountsier: 16:35

this is what I love about automotive, like, you know, like, you're in it, you're in the top level executive seat at the Auto Group. And it's like, no, we in auto we have fun, I'm thinking back you'd like this is just the extension of, you know, your dad, you know, using the songs and and four to six weeks. And it's like, it's fine in the nooks and crannies to be like diligent understanding, like, that gave you a lot of industry, understanding you understand all those cars you like you're doing market research, even though it's fun, right?

Rick Ricart: 17:06

I mean, it's the, you know, the, I'm gonna kind of interrupt your workflow because you know, Simon Sinek's book, what is your why? Yeah, I went through that whole process. And, and obviously, it can't be income, and it can't be family trying to family business. My why is the Ford GT the car. Because what it what it represents from competition from what Ford versus Ferrari in the 60s, to the 3 different generations of, of technology in the engines, to the fact it's a commodity, we can buy and sell, we can service it may customize it, modify it, race it, you know, it creates so much emotion, we're an emotional business. I don't remember who said it. But sales is nothing more than the transfer of emotion from one person to another. At the end of the day, that's the whole car business is nothing but selling, we're always selling the dealership selling ourselves selling the cars, selling the parts, selling the service, selling our community. It's a nonstop transfer of emotion. And those, those cars that bring that additional emotion to our marketplace, are what wakes me up every day. I love it. I'm 42 years old, and I play with Hot Wheels every day. And

Kyle Mountsier: 18:13

we've been talking about this a ton recently that this is actually like, when you look back in automotive, like when the when the the combustion engine when the when a motor car first came out, it was like this thing to be seen. And it was something that that positioned you and then in the 70s and 80s You saw it come back with like the muscle car and and the car was really something to be sought after. And then we're seeing that trend actually happen again, right where because of like EV transitions and all this new technology, we're seeing the pop culture narrative be driven by automotive again, which is a really like it's a new thing. I mean, I'm looking at like what you're doing in because I think you're you're doing some like NIL stuff even with with with Ohio State. And it's like, yeah, pop culture is is again realigning with automotive in a way that it maybe didn't in the 90s and 2000s. Right.

Paul Daly: 19:09

It didn't No easy it didn't. Yeah, Knight Rider. Yeah. Right. Like,

Rick Ricart: 19:13

I mean, there were too many. I mean, the late 90s Like, I mean, the cars were, the fastest stuff was like 300 horsepower, and they were kind of bland. It's just like, it's kind

Paul Daly: 19:23

of weird in the 90s. Everything got like everything was domesticated is what happened.

Rick Ricart: 19:28

Like the car scene sucked. But music was incredible. Like, there's so many parts of the 90s that we look back and we're like, we thought the 90s I grew up in the 90s I thought that it sucked as I was growing up, but um, I would look back like that was the funnest decade. I

Kyle Mountsier: 19:41

mean, like you got Jordan. We didn't have enough time for auto.

Paul Daly: 19:44

Yeah, I mean, the emergent

Rick Ricart: 19:46

pop the Cowboys winning Super Bowls and the gap group. I'm sure. We'll get back to that. But if you think about it now, like but like you said, we're in this land of the hybrids and EVS and there's all this emotion You know, we're also in this big resurgence of the four by four an off road world. And I mean, every dealer in the country has got lifted, lifted pickup trucks on their lot, and we're all fighting to get as many wranglers and Broncos as we can. And there's this new sense of adventure in America. And I think COVID helped accelerate our great interstate system, our national parks, the hills in our backyards. The the all the drives that we have in the rides, and you know, the power sports industry, boats RVs. And especially motorcycles are doing fantastic for us, because everybody wants to get out and ride they want them to

Kyle Mountsier: 20:35

do it. I got a text from sauce. That was like, Hey, sorry, my wife and I were out for a drive. Like that was the text not like, we're going to do lunch? Yeah, it was the first time I was like, wow,

Rick Ricart: 20:47

yeah, people are going out driving now to then find their destination. were five years ago, it was, hey, we got to get on Google Maps. And let's go get ice cream at this place. That was like, You know what, let's just head to that area that we wanted to see. And we'll see if we can find something to eat. And you worry about the destination at the end. And it's all about the journey. And that kind

Paul Daly: 21:07

of loses everything. You're on autopilot, doesn't it?

Rick Ricart: 21:10

Yes. Yeah. You know, I don't want to I don't want the autonomy. I don't want to go in and say here I'm gonna set my address and just sit back and it takes me they're like, I'm on a train right? Like I'm on the way in the movie while I get that. Forget that. Forget that. I want to I want to downshift by accident. To hear the transmission do something that shouldn't and remember how to drive?

Paul Daly: 21:34

What do you think of that new Dodge EV concept with a with the echo with a resonance chamber and the sound coming through it? I'm curious, I'm curious because you're like,

Rick Ricart: 21:44

I can't do it. I can't do I listened to when I turned it up. I'm gonna have to listen to it in person, but it's I don't think that's the direction that we want to go. I think the biggest

Paul Daly: 21:53

thing is like what if you put a rumble pack in the seat and then the steering wheel and you can flip it on and off? Like that'd be visceral. I mean, you have an electric partly

Rick Ricart: 22:01

I've got electric so we got the Livewire I'm also right. driving a f150 lightning now I just got my Platinum lightning yesterday. And it's got this propulsion sound button that on the interior when you hit the accelerator, it gives you that kind of jet engine propulsion noise to let to let you know you are accelerating fasten that off. It's dead quiet, but it doesn't make any noise on the outside yet. I have a feeling Dodge is going to have the option to turn that on. Turn it off. Oh yeah. Do you want to die? Do you want to increase the intensity of the cat sound or do you want to make it you know just still have a little bubble? I think the biggest mistake they made in the whole thing and I'm not and I'm not downing G Primo part because we don't sell them I want to one day but they they should have not put the all electric Charger as the trim. They should have done something different with the Charger. The Challenger okay, because now what are people going to Google Electric Charger? What are they going to find? They're not gonna find far right from a market. Yeah, from a marketing standpoint, ethic fail. That's the first thing I thought of like, oh, like electric cars. That's unbelievable. Electrify America, Apple, Google Verizon, Samsung. They're gonna dominate in search. Dodgers.

Kyle Mountsier: 23:25

Oh, that's amazing. All right, we have to we had we needed to ask you before we get on because we're marketers at heart. And like we've been begging people to, like work within these new NIL regulations. And we just had that explain what NIL for minutes is name and name in an image likeness, right, where college professionals can now seek sponsorship dollars from any type of business. Right? And, and that there's such an opportunity because Automotive is so baked in the community. And many of these college communities are so baked into the fabric of the community. So I'd love to like we just wanted to pick your brain on what what that's been like partnering with. Have you partnered with Ohio State and other colleges before? Is this kind of new since NIL? And, and how's that like been in the relationship with the community?

Rick Ricart: 24:13

I'll take you back July 1 2021, was when NIL rules went into effect. So the NCAA deemed in May of last year that the it's unconstitutional to not let these players use or the image and likeness to benefit for themselves. July 1, the law went into place and the world completely changed because prior to July 1, even the Ohio State University will tell you that the biggest enemy to the NCAA that they have to look out for is relationships with car dealers, because it's the most obvious low hanging fruit. Everyone remembers all the players throughout the years that they'd see the car rolled into the practice facility with the dealer tag, somebody snaps a picture next thing you know the team's losing bowl games right? So they got to be very, very careful when Urban Meyer so we did have a relationship when Um, Jim Tressel was the coach of Ohio stages with the coaching staff help helping them with a couple cars, but not to the players. And then when Urban Meyer was hired, the very first thing he did was say, call every car dealer and tell them to come get their cars back when there are no relationships. So we were totally cut off. We buy our tickets like everyone else, everything was like, they're like, we couldn't be connected at all. July 1 hits and then No, at first, I'm just sitting back going, what what's going to happen with this? This seems kind of goofy. I hope, you know, they don't expect us to be giving cars away. And I don't even know if that makes sense, necessarily. And then I started thinking about it. And we started looking at, you know, well, wait a minute, nobody is doing anything yet. Could there be an early adopter? Is there a way to make a media splash and and the other unique thing I'm in a very unique situation because Columbus, Ohio. We don't have a lot of big influencers here. When you think about influencer marketing, we have some they have okay in numbers of followers, but anybody that's a real big time influencer. They're in Miami, they're in LA or in New York, they're in Vegas. They're not if they fact most people that become celebrities or professional athletes that come from Columbus, Ohio end up living somewhere else anyways, it didn't even come back. So we don't really have a talent pool to choose from. It's very deep in the influencer world. We had an opportunity. The very first NIL deal that we put together was actually with a high schooler from Texas. His name was Quinn Newars. And there'll be the starting quarterback for Texas this year. And I got hooked up with Quinn's dad. And he had just announced he was coming to Ohio State he was going to he was going to not go to his senior year of high school in Texas to enroll early. There was a chance he was going to compete for the starting job. Because Ohio State had not announced that CJ Strout was a starting quarterback yet. And I reached out to his dad and I said what is what is when drive back back back home? He said Well, he's got a older ford f 250. I said, How would you how would you like a new F 250 to drive while while he comes here? And he says I think he I think you'd like that. So he comes in? I think so it literally I had this white superduty that I was driving as a demo, I built this truck for myself. It was an F 250 tremor. The cool part about the tremor is you don't have to put a lift kit to put to put 40 inch tires under it. You can just do a little couple body modifications. So I had lifted the truck big tires, it was that big seven, three big block gas engines by supercharged it. So I had that 650 horse, right?

Kyle Mountsier: 27:30

That as a 19 year old not a problem. But listen, it's killing

Rick Ricart: 27:35

me on gas. I'm spending 200 bucks a week on gas. So it didn't bother me to get out of this truck. So I'm right here and it'll be a big sponsor. Plus he's not driving anywhere because they go from the complex. Yeah, yeah, practice facility.

Paul Daly: 27:46

I mean, I'm gonna tell him where that is either.

Rick Ricart: 27:52

So we end up putting the deal together at the same time this Quinn was also working with a kombucha company in Texas, and a sports marketing agency that we're putting together we mean million dollar deals for for him in fact, he's he's signed this million dollar autograph deal in, in, in the conference room of our, of our offices. So So So needless to say, because of the because of that, big national media started, started paying attention. Those companies refused to comment, but when the New York Times and some of these other Forbes reaches out to me, I'm like, Heck yeah.

Paul Daly: 28:36

Articles. You get my last name, right. Are I?

Rick Ricart: 28:41

Exactly. So I'm thinking we're just gonna get impressions like crazy and sure enough, I got people friends calling me from all over the country. I'm in their local newspaper because this is big NIL deal. And it read like we gave them a million dollars, but it was really Yep, do and the crazy part is Quinn unfortunately four months into the season when when TJ Stroud was not only a starting quarterback, but was a Heisman Trophy, candidate and all that stuff. He basically realized that he would have a better opportunity to enter the transfer Porter leave no hard feelings at all. We had it in our contract, you simply you know, we terminate the contract, we get the truck back at that point, and we get to resell the truck, and he moved on to Texas and didn't cost us anything. In fact, if you know what the truck market was, like, last year, the truck actually went up in that. We didn't even have to write it. And then we got to sell it in December of last year and make a little bit of money. And I still chat with Quinn and his dad. And you know, it's just great, great family. I wish him all the best in Texas. But because of opening that door. I got to go to a practice at Ohio State. I got to find this running back number 32. That blew my mind and I'm like, Who's that kid and they're go that's treyvion Henderson and I reached out to Trayvon on the next day he was the second deal I put together Are these one of my favorite people in the world? No, we just, we just resigned him for this season. I got him in a red Camaro Z01. He's the baddest running back in the country. He's one of the smartest, most humble, cool kids. I mean, it's not any kid. He's a man.

Paul Daly: 30:15

entation we got

Rick Ricart: 30:17

Garrett, Garrett, Garrett Wilson in a truck. He's now on the New York Jets. He's unbelievable guy also. And then now this year, we have Jackson Smith and jagah had a pretty good Rose Bowl, he should have a breakout season a wide receiver. Not that he didn't last year with 2000 yards. But then the one Jones is coming on board. And he's a he's a lineman whose man, he's 684 100 pounds or down to 370. Now he's leaned up. But he's got the biggest smile he's wearing for the commercials for the acting. Jack Sawyer, who's a local guy,

Kyle Mountsier: 30:49

this is what's cool about this, right? Like, I think I think some people probably have a hard time drawing a straight line, like you get the opportunity to obviously have them in commercials in the smile. And there's a local representation, like the fact that these guys are going to be in national news multiple times over the next four to five months, and probably the next two to three years. Like, just like just on like the blocking and tackling of SEO, if you don't know what's happening here, for the Ricart stores, right? Every time you get tagged, every time you get mentioned every time like it goes so much past, just like dropping a car. And and and it does wonders, I'm sure for your staff to be associated, like, there's probably exponential things that you probably can't draw a straight line to revenue to, but at some point will will will turn like massive numbers in for the stores. Um, maybe you can draw straight line to revenue? I don't know.

Rick Ricart: 31:43

No, no. In fact, the greatest marketing you can do, you can't measure ROI. And that's why so few people do it. That's why when digital marketing became a thing, 12 years ago in the automotive industry, that so many people immediately cut traditional media budgets, they cut TV, they cut doing branding things, and they're like, we're just gonna put our money in this direct ROI, tier three and four, where people are literally in the act of trying to buy a car and that's when they're finally coming as snipe them off. Yeah, yeah. And you have to it doesn't work that way. It has to build upon itself. So we truly believe in a four tier marketing system. We're at the very top is that stuff that really is the measurable, it's the PR, it's a community based, it's the giving back. It's telling our story, it's helped it's making our world a better place. And it's making that those emotions rates. And I'm sure we could look at impression shares, there is way, there are ways to quantify is there sort of impact happening in the world of social media, you think about likes follows engagement. So you can watch that total kind of cloud cloud score rise when these types of things happen, you can see. And I just from a focus group standpoint, I can tell you in the past two years, since we've been doing a lot more community stuff through the through COVID through NIL. And getting I'm getting recognized a lot more, but not just people recognize who I am. They know what we're doing. They're telling me about it, and they're mentioning players by name. And I'm using those players platforms with their 25 and 50 and 200,000 followers to help promote our local non Nonprofits and Charities that have been growing exponentially at the same time. In fact, soon as we get off this podcast, I'm the chairman of a group called A Kid Again here in central Ohio. We provide monthly adventures to children with late with life threatening conditions. Those players made appearances at an event on Monday night to raise money for the foundation. This is an NIL foundation that I sit on the board of with Cardale Jones and Brian Schottenstein, which is one of the big families here in Columbus. And we're helping raise funds to give to these players to help Ohio State can take on a Buckeye fan obviously love Ohio State football season ticket holder my whole life. Love the fact that in fact that they win the national championship this year I'm gonna straight up ask which date for Rick like bro, you know what I've been doing? I think a part of recruiting now. Me like as a superfan, it feels awesome. And then at the same time to be able to use those platforms and watch our world become a better place by helping our community because all car dealers know we have a responsibility with for what we do, the amount of revenue that we create the tax money that we generate, the people that we employ, the lives that we change, to continue to give back and be stewards of our community and to make them a better place every day. And if you're not, your business isn't going to thrive for a long time. Because just like how we talked about the emotion of automotives back and people like power and off road and adventure and all those things. They're getting their driver's license again, these younger generations. They care more about how a business gives back and how they help their community than how many records they want and how many years that they'd been number one. They don't care what your selection is. They care about what you did for them. Neighbors. Wow, remember that

Kyle Mountsier: 35:01

Oh, man, look, I couldn't think of a better way too? to end and like tie that all back together. It's like you've done this before. Rick, I am just, I'm pumped up to learn more about what you've done and the way that you're passionate about community because it feeds the drive in me and what we're doing at ASOTU. And what I think our industry really needs to tell a better story. So I'm glad that you're telling that story from a PR perspective, at least locally, but also nationally, because that's the truth. That's what retail Automotive is, without a doubt through and through all about. So Rick, thanks for joining us today and can't wait for the next conversation.

Rick Ricart: 35:40

Thanks, guys. Appreciate it all. Great to talk to you. Awesome. I

Kyle Mountsier: 35:42

mean literally, do not ever let anyone tell you that Automotive is not a fun industry. No kidding. That's ever because look, we got owner operators that are caring for multimillion slash billion dollar businesses that as they were growing up at age 19, were drag racing the trade ins now that doesn't happen these days anymore. I don't think but like, that's the type of stories that I think you could probably ask anyone in automotive, and that's the reality. But here's the here's the cool thing is like, that's the same energy that he's bringing to the NFL deals that he's doing right now and the way that they are giving back to the community with the Ronald McDonald House. And it's that same energy ingenuity kind of like play out like color outside the lines, energy that I think so many in automotive, and Rick is a great example of that, that he's like transition that into being an incredible businessman, but still coloring outside the lines enough. Michael,

Paul Daly: 36:45

I have a question for you. It better be insightful. What's the dumbest? No, I'll tell you when you're going to be insightful.

Kyle Mountsier: 36:54

I'll tell you, right now, this is not for insight.

Paul Daly: 36:58

What is the dumbest thing you've ever done? While driving your car?

Unknown: 37:04

Or the most

Paul Daly: 37:05

responsible thing? Yes, you can. Yeah,

Michael Cirillo: 37:07

just just kind of my buddies used to do what we call MC boarding. So this is where there's been. Yeah, if I found out my kids were doing this, I would laugh behind the scenes, but also to be very, yes. So this is where you go and borrow a tray from McDonald's. And then while one of your board drives that, like they roll down their driver's side window, and while they drive, you hang on, on the outside, and you go street surfing on the MC.

Paul Daly: 37:41

That's easy invention. I wonder if that was invented in Canada?

Michael Cirillo: 37:45

Well, so we had an idea. Once my buddy Sam had this idea. He's like, you know, the trays aren't, you know, durable enough. So we went to a grocery store. I've no modified because it was the only thing open this late, late at night, we went to a grocery store and he's like, dude, if we get a cookie sheet, it'll last longer. He had these brand new pair of shoes, these brand new Adidas shoes that he had just bought that day. And of course, we were you know, kids, so like, he probably had his life savings into these shoes. He hops on we go MC boarding, we come to a stop. And I have a split second later. He's like, we just see all from his shoes, they just melted to this cookie sheet. So there you go. That's my most.

Paul Daly: 38:32

That's not what I expected. I didn't know what I expected, but it certainly was. Certainly

Michael Cirillo: 38:37

you were expecting the Canadian or did five over the speed limit once.

Paul Daly: 38:43

Five kilometers over the speed limit.

Michael Cirillo: 38:45

Okay, well, okay, your follow up to that.

Kyle Mountsier: 38:49

There was enough of that. But hey, look, if you if you haven't done yourself the favor of following Rick and his store on LinkedIn or any social media, just to get some ideas on how you can press back into the community, run your business at a very high level, be be very on the leading edge of things like NIL or or caring for your community or caring for your employees like I would highly encourage you to do so we hope you've enjoyed this conversation with Rick record. On behalf of myself. Kyle Mountsier. Paul J. Daly and Michael Cirillo. We'll see you next time.

Unknown: 39:23

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