Sandra Siegloch was head of Porsche Community Management for almost 15 years: for the Porsche Clubs worldwide, she was the contact person and the face of Porsche AG. A constant source of ideas, it was she who provided stimuli for the strategic development of the international Club community. Todays networking within this community would have not been thinkable without her passionately embraced internationalism and her enthusiasm for the Porsche brand, the Porsche Clubs and the people involved in them.
Of course, after 15 years there are many wonderful moments to look back on – regional Club events, numerous encounters and friendships. Even if you tried, you could never list all these moments and do one hundred percent justice to everyone involved. “Nonetheless, every single one of them is equally special”, says Sandra, who feels a great sense of personal gratitude: “For the joy, the enthusiasm, the passion that I was able to experience all around the globe.”
From the beginning, she placed her main focus on international meetings. “I took up this issue at the time because it was important to me to internationalise the Club community and expand the network.” The result: there are now more than 700 Porsche Clubs and 230,000 members worldwide – more than ever before. More than anything, however, a close-knit community has emerged. “This would not have been possible without the passion, will and commitment of the Club Presidents and members”, says Sandra. “And I think it’s great that Clubs all over the world have joined in – with their coordinators, their events, whether big or small, their concern for their members and their great interest in sharing across borders.”
She is thrilled that any official Porsche Club worldwide can now contact any other Club and be welcomed with open arms. “Whatever the country and even without previous personal contact – simply because both are officially recognised Porsche Clubs.” And she has no doubt that the shared Porsche Club corporate identity has contributed to this growing sense of common identity across borders: “The uniform appearance of the Porsche Clubs with their official Club logo has had an important impact in terms of international recognition – something that takes effect even when those involved don’t know each other personally.”
One of the great highlights for Sandra Siegloch was the international Club Presidents’ Meeting in Cape Town, not least because she sees it as reflecting the great esteem in which Porsche AG holds the Club community. “We were able to join the international presentation of the 911 Type 991 at our meeting and got our own ‘wave’ – that really was unique,” says Sandra. “For the Club Presidents and their board colleagues, it was an absolute once-in-a-lifetime Porsche experience.”
Sandra Siegloch always tried to incorporate the latest Porsche vehicles at international events. “After all, the Clubs are always about being close to the brand and the product.” In Cape Town it was the Porsche 911 Type 991, in Portimão, Portugal, it was the Porsche Taycan. “Even at the European Club Presidents’ Meeting in Mallorca we had a fleet of Porsche vehicles on site to allow the Porsche Club representatives to experience the latest vehicles at a very early stage – live and in colour.”
Her term of office also included two major anniversaries: “60 Years of Porsche Clubs Worldwide” with the special exhibition at the Porsche Museum, and the Porsche 911 Club Coupé specially configured together with Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur in honour of the Clubs. “The Club Coupé in Brewster Green was our way of creating a small but very special community within the community – with the 12 owners of this vehicle.” As she sees it, this demonstrates that the enthusiasm of the Porsche Clubs actually “goes much deeper".
And then there was the “70 Years of Porsche Sports Cars” anniversary with the big Club anniversary convoy ride to Zuffenhausen and a special gala evening for the Porsche Clubs. “I’ll never forget that moment when the entire Club community rose to their feet to thank Dr. Wolfgang Porsche with a standing ovation that lasted for minutes,” recalls Sandra Siegloch, still full of emotion. “That evening you could really feel how close the Porsche Club family is to the Porsche brand – there’s a truly deep sense of identity there.”
As a Club strategist, Sandra strongly believes there is a strong bond between the Porsche family and the Porsche Clubs. She sees this as being part of a tradition, too. “Porsche is unique not only in that it is the only automobile company in the world that is still inextricably linked to the founding family, but also in that brand enthusiasts and customers – above all the Clubs – can actually meet members of the Porsche family,” says the outgoing Club boss. “And this is a tradition that we at Porsche Community Management maintain wholeheartedly.”
In 2012, this commitment made it possible to set up a completely new event format together with Karl Steiner of the Porsche Club Graz, the tourist association of the Zell am See region and with Dr. Wolfgang Porsche as patron: the “International Porsche Days Zell am See”. “Here we have a unique opportunity to bring international Club members closer to the home of the Porsche family.” This is also an important step for the Porsche Club scene in terms of getting close to the brand and its origins. The “International Porsche Days Zell am See” are planned for September again this year after a three-year break – depending on the Covid-19 situation, of course.
Hans-Peter Porsche, one of Dr. Wolfgang Porsche’s three brothers, also has a special interest in the Porsche Club community – so it was no coincidence that it was he who was responsible for one of Sandra Siegloch’s great moments: on the opening night of the “Porsche Parade Europe” in Slovenia and Croatia, he asked Sandra to come up on stage and presented her with an award for her ten years in Club Coordination. This was an unusual experience for the well-travelled event manager – after all, she was usually the one on stage presenting gifts, awards and honours herself. “That was a very special moment for me! Indeed the whole parade was superb – what a great team effort by the Slovenian and Croatian Porsche Club!”
Team effort is something Sandra sees as being particularly important – and one of the outstanding features of the Porsche Club world. “It’s impressive how the Porsche Clubs support each other. In the Club community, everyone is a team player – and that goes for Club Presidents and board members as well as volunteers.” This is one of the most important lessons she has learned over the years: “If you want to achieve great things, there has to be a team effort.”
And that applies equally to her own team, Sandra believes. “We all just stuck together and everyone took responsibility for their area.” At the beginning, she would still attend the big Classic events, for example. “But it was important to have specialists on board for this. It’s essential to have the right people taking care of the right issues with the necessary expertise – that’s precisely how we have ensured that the international Classic scene is now stronger than ever before.”
Sandra has always been fascinated by the diversity with which the Clubs pursue their passion, whether at the “Singapore Parade”, French events such as the “Paradis Porsche de Saint Tropez” or the “Porsche Parade” organised by Porsche Club of America – which she has always regarded as an absolute pioneer. “What I have always liked about the USA Parades and the Porsche Club of America in general is the relaxed, uncomplicated way people deal with each other. Everyone is just interested in Porsche,” explains Sandra. “There is this straightforward, non-judgemental respect for everyone who wants to live out their enthusiasm.” Another thing that makes the USA Parades special for Sandra, who is originally from Tyrol, is the involvement of spouses, families and children. “The Porsche Club of America has always managed to accommodate every type of enthusiast, consistently include children and youngsters – and on a huge scale, too.” The official PCA Junior Programme is particularly special to her. “It’s a wonderful initiative!”, says Sandra.
15 years of Club work – a period during which the Club world has seen enormous change, not least as a result of the work done by Sandra Siegloch and her team. It’s a job she has never felt was a burden, but one that enabled her to enjoy every moment of her life – including every mile she spent driving and every hour she spent flying to Porsche Club members around the world. “The Clubs have given me 15 years of magical moments. Not only have they enriched my working life, they’ve become an important part of who I am.”
Her departure is the end of an era. Does she feel nostalgic? “Yes, I will miss the Porsche Clubs.” But she is also looking forward to attending one or two Porsche Club events privately in the future and meeting her Club friends again. “My heart will always belong to the Porsche Clubs and I would like to thank all Porsche Club friends for the wonderful time and the great collaboration: it has been an enormous pleasure for me.”
As of March 1st, 2021 Sebastian Mertke took over responsibility from Sandra Siegloch. With the next edition of Porsche Club News we will provide you with a portrait and interview of Mr. Mertke. He is at your disposal at any time from now on and looks forward to your contact.
The well-known Porsche team of Global Community Management with long-standing staff Mathias Menner, Stephan Griese and – back since January 1st – Paul Gregor are responsible for the regions, Clubs and events as follows:
Manager Global Community Management
Tel.: +49 (0) 170 911 5353
Project Manager Global Community Management
Responsible for Porsche Clubs in North America, Europe, China, Middle East and Russia
CMS and websites, international projects and events
Tel.: +49 (0) 170 911 0737
Specialist Global Community Management
Responsible for Porsche Clubs in Latin America, Asia Pacific incl. Japan and Australia/New Zealand
Factory tours, Porsche Club News
Tel.: +49 (0) 170 911 4997
Specialist Global Community Management
Responsible for Porsche Classic Clubs worldwide
Porsche Club Trophies, Club materials
Tel.: +49 170 (0) 911 2122