Meet Robert Champion, the creator of SubieEvents LLC and the event director for the countries largest Subaru festivals. He turned his love for the humble car brand into a career that's taken him around the world and you'll never look at a Subaru owner the same way again.
When did you first develop a love for cars?
My earliest memories of playing with cars start around the age of four, but it’d be safe to say since birth.
What is it about Subaru that made you fall in love with the brand?
There’s something unique about the driving experience and capabilities of a high-performance Subaru. When you start to find friends that share that same excitement, the love deepens. This started 17 years ago with my first Impreza 2.5RS. Before I knew it, I was getting waved at by fellow enthusiasts and finding myself in conversations with people who would later become friends that I still have to this day.
What is SubieEvents LLC and how did you create this company?
Going into 2010, a friend offered me the opportunity to acquire the rights to WBM for pennies on the dollar. The event was the largest in the nation and gathered 1,500 enthusiasts. Fast forward to 2018 and SubieEvents LLC played host to 26,000 Subaru enthusiasts across six Subaru enthusiast festivals in different regions, each under their own brands: Boxerfest, Big Northwest, Rocky Mountain Subaru Festival, Subiefest, Subiefest Midwest, and of course the biggest of all, Wicked Big Meet.
How has your life changed in the 10 years you’ve put on events for Subaru enthusiasts?
I’ve grown to realize that gathering community is my life’s calling, be it a sushi night for friends at my house or hosting 8,000 Subaru enthusiasts at a race track in Connecticut. It’s easy for adults in this day and age to live unhealthily in isolation, but the Subaru community has provided me with some lifelong friendships and community. My purpose within these events is to pay it forward indefinitely.
How would you describe a Subaru enthusiast and how do they differ from other gear heads?
I notice substantially less ego and a huge emphasis from most on the word ‘community.’ There’s an old saying that still rings true: ‘Come for the cars, stay for the people.’ No one is trying to be better than someone else – they just want to be with their own kind.
What does your typical day look like and what percentage of your year is spent on the road?
I’m pretty much glued to my laptop writing software updates or on the phone with any of our 200 event sponsors, either at the office in Denver or in a coffee shop in some city, somewhere. Given that the events are all over the U.S., it’s easy to live the digital nomad life. During the summer, we’re basically on tour with events two to three weeks apart, so sometimes I’m only home for a week at a time.