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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone heard anything on the 2004 TV package on Speed TV? Is it going to happen, or has the withdrawal of Mitsubishi killed it? I know that AFR's participation hinges on a TV package per Major Greg's post.

And what happened to Hot Wheels? Did that deal fall through? Steve was close to announcing the deal at SEMA, but then it vanished.

Is Mitsubishi going to at least have a contingency program? It has to be pretty hard for teams to sell any sponsorship at all with all of these things up in the air. Come on SCCA, help us out here. Even if you don't have answers at least let us know that you are working on it.
 

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Yes it is very frustrating not knowing what is going on in "our" club.
We pay our dues and have the right to know what is going on. I'm thankful that Greg and Chris try to shed some light on all this.
The SCCA officials need to follow up.
I know Special Stage never intended to, but has become the voice of the members. Probably because most of us gather here.
Sue is busy trying to continue where Kurt left off.
Nevertheless,.. we should be informed.

Whiplash RallyeSport
 

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400 flat to crest
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>Yes it is very frustrating not knowing what is going on in
>"our" club.
>We pay our dues and have the right to know what is going on.
> I'm thankful that Greg and Chris try to shed some light on
>all this.
>The SCCA officials need to follow up.
>I know Special Stage never intended to, but has become the
>voice of the members. Probably because most of us gather
>here.
>Sue is busy trying to continue where Kurt left off.
That could be read in a number of ways...............


>Nevertheless,.. we should be informed.

" Plus ca change, plus c-est la meme chose"
>
>Whiplash RallyeSport





John Vanlandingham
Seattle, WA. 98168

Vive le Prole-le-ralliat

Black Rocket Rally Tires
http://www.blackrockettires.com/
 

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Hi

In this case I think you need to take it easy on Garret. He doesn't have any control over what is going on.

The production costs of the TV package are paid by sponsors. Until those sponsors make a decision on what they are doing then there is nothing for the SCCA to say. Even if Garret knew what was going on he couldn't say because no sponsor wants their decisions leaked before they have a chance to announce them themselves. This is especially true if this isn't the only sponsorship deal the two parties have together. Why piss someone off who has already committed to support another part of your program?

The same goes for the series sponsor. Most sponsors don't want preliminary information leaked because if the deal eventually falls through then they look bad and are in for public criticism and second guessing. If Garret were to go public with even too much of a hint than it could kill the whole thing because it would destroy the trust the sponsor placed in him.

I know Garret would like to say more. I'm all for open communication, but when you are talking sponsorship the potential sponsor sets the communiction rules of engagement. Some sponsors don't mind speculation and discussion prior to a deal but most do.

As far as we go, If there was a factory out there that committed to supporting the TV package to the same level it was last year and fielded a top level car for the full open class season then we would have been there too. Unfortunately, it didn't happen and now it is probably too late for us anyway.

We have not written a check for TV for next year, nor has anyone asked us to, nor do we plan to now. I would think that if a TV deal was going to happen then someone would have given me a call, since we are the only organization who has publicly said we would pay to support one given the right circumstances, but maybe I am wrong. I have no idea what anyone else is doing or planning to do. All I can tell you is what is going on with us and that is it.

Greg
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Greg, I appreciate your openness and honesty. I hope to see the AFR Focus on the stages next year and it will be a real shame if it is not out there.
 

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The first week of Jan is the Los Angeles Auto Show, and the week after that is the Detroit Auto Show. I'm inclined to think that if nothing is heard by then, there isn't a sponsor or TV shows for '04.

On the plus side, if there's no TV package, then SCCA can return the TV rights to the organizers, who may be interested in putting a show together themselves. If REIR can do it, so might some of the ProRally organizers.

Bill
 

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I think its pretty unlikely for anyone to expect the organizers to have the resources or desire to deal with a TV production given the 50% increase in insurance costs for the coming season.

Given all that is occuring within the "manufacturer" community, I think theres a fair bit of skepticism regarding the support the organizers were promised in October before Mitsu pulled the plug.

I no longer have the inside track on most of this information but do keep my ear to the ground, and none of the trembles I've heard have been particularly encouraging to this point.

Brad
 

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Brad

While we have not written any checks for TV we are in the process of writing a check for the the PRPP. Regardless of what happens with our car we are going to participate in the partnership program and give the same amount to the organizers that we said we would in Topeka. This is about the 5th time I have made this statement here so I don't see where you are getting your information.

I can't speak for Subaru but last time I talked to James he assured me that they were doing the same and that their contingency program was not in doubt. I would, however, be surprised if any money came from Mitsubishi. I do know that Garret is working other sources for additional participation in the program.

Greg
 

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SCCA can not say anything until the legal department has finish their paperwork. Crossing every "t" and dotting every "i" and that the sponsors have made a full committment for this year and sign the contract. Until then no one there can speak unofficially. Since they may put out the wrong information if something has fallen through and they may not know about it at that moment. There should be a officlal announcement; either the first or the second week of January per what the SCCA rally department.


Denise McMahon
 

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maybe we should give Ray and Harris a call to do the TV show for the SCCA Pro Rally, they do a great job at the Ramada for a LOT less money
if the show is cheaper to make their would be a greater chance of getting the funding for the TV
Greg Pachman, thanks for your honesty and communication, we would luv to have the Air Force on board
Leon
 

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It is not entirely the cost to make the show, it is the cost to air it!

Additionally, you can't compare the cost to make one show for one rally to the cost of having to fly everyone around to 8-10 rallies, it adds up quick.
 

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Well actually in this case I would say that no news maybe good news-at least we have not heard "no sponsorship deal"!

Greg, does AFR need to run a USA brand car or could you run one from another manufacturer-foreign built car, Toyota, FIAT, etc.?
 

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As a background my company provided the onboard cameras for last year's Prorally.

There are a number of factors here which are not being discussed which have a large impact on the future of the TV show. I have also heard that Subaru will still support the series in a meaningful way. However that does not mean that their effort will look anything like what we saw last year. And as we all know Mitsu is gone.

The TV show was produced by a company I do a lot of work with. They transformed a competent show in the past that was of interest to diehard racers into a more marketable product. Speed Channel was very happy with the transformation. The producer Arlen Lehman is a veteran of many racing shows and is involved in the very successful CORR off-road series. He ended up putting in approximately double the number of hours which were originally planned in the budget.

The equipment we used for onboards is the best available. We have used the same equipment for other events such as the Olympics, Superbowl, MLB World Series, CART, and even the World Series of Poker (believe it or not the hole card cams are literally the same ones we used on the cars). Other efforts, including World Rally, don't use anything better. We introduced using infrared night vision on night rallies. We even experimented with a 5 gram helmet cam on Tim O'Neil's helmet. (BTW, none of those specialty cameras were orignally budgeted for nor were they actually charged for either, from my perspective they were an investment) Like World Rally we used multiple cameras per car. We worked with the teams to maximize their sponsor's visibility on the onboard cameras. We used a dedicated crew to install and maintain the cameras. These people specialize in on board race car cameras.

Rally needs a TV show that ultimately sells cars and accessories, and not just to the die hards. Can the show be produced more cheaply? Sure. But I am not aware of anyone about to step up and fund a TV show directed only at people who read this board. And that is certainly not a slam on you guys.

Now is the time to contact every sponsor you know and tell them it would be good to support the TV effort.

Finally, what's my next car I'm buying? A WRX.

Jeff Silverman
 

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Same sentiments from me - welcome to the fray and thanks for your efforts this year. Great work. Sounds like you're on side, except for not buying an Evo...

ACP
Flirting with the laws of physics.
 

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> The same goes for the series sponsor. Most sponsors don't want preliminary information leaked because if the deal eventually falls through then they look bad and are in for public criticism and second guessing. If Garret were to go public with even too much of a hint than it could kill the whole thing because it would destroy the trust the sponsor placed in him.

One could argue that disclosing that there would be an announcement at SEMA and then PRI show (and not making either) has caused the SCCA to look bad, attract public criticism and 2nd guessing.

Glenn
 

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I think you have to check your sources, on the cost of the Ramada show. That show costs about the same to produce as each of the Pro Rally rounds, plus the air time. The only place Harris and his crew might have saved $$ is because he did not have to fly ton of people to Laughlin and rooms were only $25/night. Each show probably costs $30-$40K per event to produce. Some might say that is way too much.
Just ask someone that produces 2min rally video with stolen footage and music how many hours they spend on the 2mins of vid.

With all that said, should we rely on the manufactures and other funded teams to pay for the TV so we can have a show? We need to go find the money elsewhere in corp america.

-g
 

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>Brad
>
>While we have not written any checks for TV we are in the
>process of writing a check for the the PRPP. Regardless of
>what happens with our car we are going to participate in the
>partnership program and give the same amount to the
>organizers that we said we would in Topeka. This is about
>the 5th time I have made this statement here so I don't see
>where you are getting your information.
>
>I can't speak for Subaru but last time I talked to James he
>assured me that they were doing the same and that their
>contingency program was not in doubt. I would, however, be
>surprised if any money came from Mitsubishi. I do know that
>Garret is working other sources for additional participation
>in the program.
>
>Greg

Greg:

My understanding was that the Partnership program was presented as an effort from all 3 teams to underwrite the organizers. As it seems that Mitsu will probably not be contributing, I can't imagine either AFR or SRTUSA increasing their participation to cover the amount originally intended to be covered by MMA. Hence even if the remaing two groups provide all that they agreed to, the overall pool of monies will be less than originally intended. This coupled with the rather dramatic increase in insurance costs would lead me to believe that it would be unrealistic for the organizers to undertake the expenses involved with the TV package. The wisdom of the organizers being involved with the TV package is a completely seperate arguement from this.

My contention in the prior post was that the total amount promised via the Partnership Program would not be equalled by the actual amount given. While its entirely possible that additional contributors may come forward, it seems unlikely that any would be inclined to contribute an amount equal to MMA's share as the benefits would not impact a non-competing sponsor in an equivalent manner as they would have MMA. I suppose it is possible that the Partnership Program could be altered to provide said additional benefits to entice an outside contributor, but this would no doubt impose additional burdens and costs on the organizers which would likely not be in the organizers best interests at this time.

I appreciate that AFR is willing to fulfill their agreement, and honestly I'd expect nothing less. SRT-USA presumably has fully funded their contingency program which is good. As for competition, I've only heard that they have committed to Sno-Drift but I've no word beyond that event. Truthfully I don't see alot of value in contesting a full season against a privateer field, beyond using the hardware they have already invested in. I believe the monies consumed by a factory team effort could be better leveraged through greater support of independent teams via parts support, body shell buy downs and engineering support. When multiple factory efforts are present, then it makes sense to use the battleship to fight the battleship, but using a battleship to fight a row-boat seems a less noble cause.

Certainly MMA's departure has created more than a small mess with the Performance Rally scene here in the USA.

Brad Odegard
 

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Brad

Your reply is very well thought out and correct. The total amount that was promised to the organizers will not be the amount given due to the loss of Mitsubishi. That is really the same dynamic that is killing the TV program. There is no-one who has stepped up to fill Mitsubishi's shoes there either. Our share of TV money is a sizable investment in rally but it would not be enough to produce a show on our own. Therefore I am left with no options. In addition, I need at least one strong, full-time, well financed competitor in open class or we would look silly being there as you pointed out.

All I can do is keep the promises I made. I can't control what the other players do. Would we be better off if James, Dick, Garret, DC, Lance and I never tried to start the PRPP? I don't think so. Do I look kind of stupid because the program stumbled so fast? Yes. Do I care that I look stupid? No.

I got into the PRPP because it was the right thing to do and because everyone involved truly felt that it would come off as planned. It didn't. But you can't look at everything and say "well, I better not get involved because what if it doesn't work?" I do everything under the assumption that it is going to happen and I keep working at it until someone or something forces me to stop. It is the only way to do anything or else you would just spend your life being frozen by the fear of failure.

Anyway, back to the point. I am not speaking for Subaru but my understanding is that Subaru will fulfill their PRPP commitments with us. Hopefully a new series sponsor will be signed soon who can add more money to the pot but it still, probably, will not equal everything we would have had. On the other hand, I have never heard of a sanctioning body ever putting a program together to give any money to an organizer to run a rally. David Campion told me he had never seen it in all of his years of participating in rallies around the world. So even if it didn't live up its promise I think we still went a step further than anyone has gone in the past (I'm sure a veteran will speak up if I am mistaken here.)

As we said in Topeka, no organizer is forced to participate in the PRPP. They do not have to take the money nor fulfill any obligations. The choice is strictly up to them. I trust all organizers will look at the situation and make the best choice for their particular event.

Greg
 

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Glenn

Agreed. Which may be one reason we are not hearing much out of Topeka now. Once bitten, twice shy. That doesn't mean nothing is going on. It just means they are going to have a signed deal before anyone thinks of breathing even another whisper.

Greg
 
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