It’s tough. Even Bongiovanni can admit that systems integration — building software and hardware for Fortune 500 clients — is not the sexiest business in the world. So Bongiovanni sells it in a far more exciting way.
Micro Strategies has a team of drag racers, led by Bongiovanni, whose handcrafted Ford Cobra Jet speeds down straightaways around the Northeast at up to 160 miles per hour.
And although it may be tough to see at such great speeds, the logo emblazoned across the side of the roaring race car that reads “Micro Strategies” has been very good for business.
In fact, Bongiovanni feels it’s been the highlight of a marketing strategy that has helped his company increase its revenues from a little more than $50 million to almost $90 million in the past four years.
“We certainly have picked up a fair number of opportunities just from people we’ve met at the race track,” Bongiovanni said. “And from a branding perspective, we get a fair number of inquiries.
“When we do a business function at a race track venue, we get a better turnout than when we ask everybody to go to a hotel,” he said.
Bongiovanni founded Micro Strategies 30 years ago. One of his first clients was the owner of a small tire retailer who was looking for a computerized inventory system that would allow him to check what tires he had in stock from the comfort of his cash register.
Now, the Rockaway-based company has about 125 employees and a client list that ranges from small businesses to massive corporations.
Systems integration, however, has never been in his first love.
Biogiovanni is a self-described “car nut” who attended his first drag race about seven years ago. At the time, he was looking to develop a relationship with a business contact at IBM who was active in the sport.