WALKER, Minn. — The scene over Memorial Day weekend at the Leech Lake cabin in northern Minnesota was hardly out of the ordinary: college buddies, presumably with drinks in hand, watching a sporting event.
The afternoon’s billing was a NASCAR Xfinity Series race featuring Brandon Brown’s No. 68 car. The sponsor on the hood of Brown’s Chevrolet Camaro? That was Midwest Moving Company, the Fargo-founded firm Matthew Dorso launched with the help of Anderson and Dylan Connell, all Minnesota State University Moorhead roommates.
“We had a little Memorial Day bash and we had all of our old college friends fly into town. We got a cabin out at Leech Lake and we’re all huddled around a small TV at the lake cabin,” Anderson said. “We’re all screaming at the TV and having a good time.”
Brown, an up-and-coming 27-year-old driver on the Xfinity Series (NASCAR’s second tier of competition), did his part. The man behind the wheel of the No. 68 car used a late-race tire-changing strategy to finish fourth after starting 32nd in the field of 36 racers.
Brown’s charge to the front of the pack was as much a win for himself — it was his second top-five finish of the season — as it was for Midwest Moving. With Fox Sports 1’s cameras focused on Brown’s maneuvering, viewers had ample opportunity to catch a good look at Midwest Moving’s logo, which was splashed across the Camaro’s hood and rear bumper. The audience averaged 999,000 viewers, peaking at 1.16 million, according to SportsMediaWatch.com.
“We had a lot of screen time too,” Anderson explained. “We were looking at a lot of the other corporate giants out there like Menards and stuff like that. I think we had just as much, if not more, screen time than them because we were an underdog so they were kind of focusing on us.”
From Fargo to Charlotte
Anderson credited a fortuitous meeting with landing Midwest Moving’s logo on Brown’s fourth-place finishing car.
Dorso founded Midwest Moving in 2017 and the company subsequently expanded, opening a location in Rochester, Minn., and another in Charlotte, N.C. The company has since added a fourth location in Greeley, Colo.
With Anderson and Connell on board, Midwest Moving’s original Fargo-Moorhead area location began to run itself. “We built Fargo up pretty self-sustainably (to the point) where Matthew was able to leave town and start our third branch out in Charlotte,” Anderson said.
Once Dorso landed in the Tar Heel State and began networking, he connected with Brown’s Brandonbilt Motorsports team, leading to the sponsorship deal. “He knew some people down there who ended up knowing the driver personally,” Anderson explained. “Matthew was able to talk with him and work out a deal on sponsoring the car.”
Getting on the hood of Brown’s Camaro wasn’t a tough sell when it was pitched. “Our partner down there called us and he was explaining it,” Anderson said. “He told us what it was going to be and we were all in before he even said it because of how awesome it was and how rare of an opportunity it was.”
Flying the (checkered) flag
The sponsorship has generated considerable buzz for Midwest Moving, Anderson said, from clients and partners alike. “People that I’ve done business with in the past and haven’t seen in a while say, ‘Oh yeah, you’re on that NASCAR,’” he commented.
With 26 regular season Xfinity Series races and an additional seven playoff races (Brown’s 309 points have him sitting just outside the projected 12-driver playoff field), Anderson said a full-season sponsorship would be “a little bit too expensive for a local moving company.”
Still, the NASCAR sponsorship may become an annual expenditure for Midwest Moving. “As of right now, it was just the one race,” Anderson said. “We’re hoping we can do it kind of as an annual thing once a year.”