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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been chewing on this mentally and the MotorTrend article brought it out. The question is a loaded one and is 2 part...

With the manufacturer involvemnt reduced to the MOPAR effort and Subaru's, factory support of Ramana, a couple other drivers, more contigency and onsite support we are at a bit of a crossroads as far as factorys are concerned.

It seems we have three levels of factory involvement, none, support, and factory teams. When I say support I mean a factory effort that is helping to support one more more drivers (atleast 60% but not more then 90% of their budget and helps the supported privateer attract more sponsors), a large contigency package, possible event/series sponsorship, and onsite factory support for people racing said manufacturers vehicles (parts and or advisers). The factory team level is pretty obvious, thinking Mitsu and Subie in 2003.

Getting to the questions now:
1) Which do you want to see and why?
2) Which do you think will be best for rally today and in the future and why?







I think we need factory support right now, build up some inner program brand loyalty beyond subaru and mitsu. We need to also help build up the driver pool by drawing more drivers and provide an enviroment where the hobbyist can race but those that want to make more of their rally carrer a chance to win recognition, build more connections, and lets face it, make some money back.


Thats what I want to see and what I think will be the best.


realzing the can of worms I opened, flame suite on and fire bottle pin pulled.....
 

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Factory support.

I was bummed when the factory teams left, but this year, I have seen more competition (well, it seems that way at least, even though Pat has been winning). Maybe it is just because alot more guys could win now.

And what looks like alot more support for the privateer driver.

America needs TONS more privateer support, I wish it wasnt just Subaru and Dodge though.
 

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"I think it will probably take a little more coordinating between the SCCA and manufacturers. It also needs to find out what spectators want."---- Good quote


1. Advertise the events
2. Make it spectator friendly ---- They bring the sponsors
A. Easy acces and directions to spectator pens
B. More then one spectator pen per stage
C. Super Specials
3. One make series
4. Good purses

Everytime my friends or family come to a Proevent --
"Where is parking and how do we get directions to the stages?"
"This doesnt look professinal at all!"
"Whos winning the event? "

If a marketing group took over rally it "could" be huge........ Sponsors are extremly hard to get in this rally atmosphere
 

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Factory support has to be the best bang for the buck. Subaru can always get spiffy footage and claim "wins" without spending nearly the same amount of money as their ProDrive effort. They are far ahead of where they were the last couple of years, getting beat all the time and being the target of negative attention and misfortune. The "support" also wins the most fans among the competitors and organizers. Competitor numbers and event development, not spectator numbers, are what will bring US Rally to the magical threshold that it will need to get major media to take it seriously.

All the kids know about rally. They don't "know," but they've at least heard the word and not thought about peace symbols and burning draft cards. That hasn't brought serious sponsorship committment so far. There is no shortcut to big attention. It'll take a lot more solid work on events and outreach to serious, wealthy and/or profligate competitors.

Spectator-wise, we need to stop thinking of NASCAR as the model and think more about golf. In golf, it's all about the mindset of the competitors and their groupies. Tight-ass money people that they are, golf is all about wealth and people obsessed with the good life. National club-rally competitors are in the same income bracket as the plaid pants crowd, but they are perhaps more accessible as individuals. A great new dynamic segment of a coveted demographic -- rich people and the not-so-rich that are willing to spend money on a flashy product.

Currently untapped except by Subaru.

andy
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Viva la ProleRalliat!
 

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RE: success

Like the article says, if the sport becomes mainstream/popular, the indies will bail, that's the allure.
---
The NASCAR model took 30 years to become successful but it was a multi-faceted approach that made it work.
Always pay out something.
Reward the faithful.
If nothing is happening, Make something happen.
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As far as the venues, TV made it popular and to support that popularity took a lot of co-ordination and community support.
State police making traffic pattern plans.
Roads widened and built.
Hot dogs in, sewage out.
Radio broadcasts and on and on.
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When I first ran a race along with these guys I was struck by how the crews QUIT at 5pm after practice. We pleaded with the track to leave the paddock open and they looked at us like we were nuts.
Then when the race was over, the trucks were loaded and GONE!
Penske and all the road racers have changed the way that is now and the crews work around the clock like we used to but the difference is that they get paid so much more than they were before (most SCCA road racers still get nothing).
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I'm sure a lot of the independent NASCAR guys long for the old days when you didn't need a 20+ million dollar budget to run the series, could have only one or two cars, have pick-up crew guys around the country to fill in along with your one or two regulars and so on.
Were are those guys now? Gone completely (too many to list) or stepped up, usually to get out of the seat and own the team (Hendrick, Ganassi, Reiser).
Be careful what you wish for.
rz
 

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RE: success

In Australia, Subaru sponsored a one make series (run inside the ARC) for the 2.5RS equivalent there.

When Ford UK pulled out of rallying in the late 70's, or had industrial issues, they'd always turn to semi-works or factory supported teams.

They would give them complete cars, technical advice, and parts. The teams bore most if not all of the operational events themselves (or through other sponsors).

Ford always had other private sponsors involved, even in the factory cars, so from the public's perception there was no change to the livery either.

I think Subaru is doing the right thing, sponsoring the series, helping teams out with parts.

But I wish they would also sponsor 4-5 semi-works cars. Supply the cars, and maybe some parts. I know that isn't the expensive bit, that gas, tires, towing, travel expenses etc really add up, but it would take the sting out of it.
 

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Maybe I'm off base, but it seems like these are the wrong questions.....
The question: Why would any company want to invest in US Rally?
The answers:
1) Make it a going business of some sort
2) Work it for advertising benefit to sell something else

I think it is a big mistake to focus on the auto manufacturers' role alone for support. We look at the sport overseas and think that is the business model. It is only a viable AND DESIRABLE marketing venue for the manufacturers because it is already a successful fan draw. Look at ANY racing series in the US; the investement is made to the level of perceived advertising benefit, whether it be NASCAR, NHRA, INDY cars, or the local dirt track.

If this is your desire (big advertising $$), then the event organizers need a lot of support in the first place, to be able to make the events accessbile, fun, and safe. One post already addressed this well with notes on parking, access, etc.

AS far as new drivers, as the sport becomes popular, many more talented drivers than needed will be drawn, like ice cream on a hot sidewalk draws flies.

Your point may be to understand how to support these folks; if so, then I suggest factory support. The support path helps develop one of the other essential ingredients, an ingredient more important than drivers: teams run on a viable business basis that will be around for years and years and who will be the venue for the drivers to show talent. The factory support path is one source of $$ for teams/businesses to use as operating cash for start-up, and to ongoing cost to some degree. (You won't go to Wall Street and get venture capital for a racing biz!)

Another ingredient of the series needs to successful equipment supply businesses. We are fortunate that this already exists, supported by the world rally scene. What we can contribute to most in the US in this regard are a group of rally shops to support a bunch of good cars. We are partway there with a number of good shops already. But these shops have to be paid. Right now, it is mostly by private individuals who want to go rallying. SO, the privateers can stay in the sport to a limited degree with some factory support, but they are really going to have to develop some sponsorships on their own and keep pouring in their own $$ for a while. (An investemtn of passion rather than business sense!)

The whole question of factory support vs. factory teams is a moot point at this time IMO; the series needs to develop as a business for this to become a long term pertinent issue.

FYI: MY PERSONAL VIEW? This is a sport for me; I run what I can afford, and expect to be one of many funding the situation, without any other $$ source. SO the fully club approach is what I favor, which can thirve quite well without any factroy input, except to keep roducing cars that we can butcher! (I already am in business and don't need another one!)

>realzing the can of worms I opened, flame suite on and fire
>bottle pin pulled.....

No flaming from here! Good question, oft asked and rehashed!

And I find the point made by someone that we should be approaching the golf crowd to be very astute and creative thinking. They DO have lots of $$ and will spend it rather irrationally on sports. BUT, don't be naive; the rally crowd is not the general golfing crouwd. Their is a wide cultural gulf between the 2 groups. Getting dust on one's clothes is highly undesirable in golfing......

Mark B.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Mark, you made a good point and more or less one I didn't.

Personally I'd love to see companys like Greddy or Garret get involved on the sponsorship side of things. Rally doesn't need one type of sponsor, it needs as many as it can get. So just looking to an auto maker is wrong when there are so many other options out there. But here is the thing, while rally as a buisness needs just money period to help expand and promote itself, to help propell itself into the mainstream media eye its not the only thing IMO. A committed factory support effort from many factories IMO would devellop the product, just not try to sell it.


You can look at the issue of development two fold. On the one hand we are attracting a lot of talented drivers these days to our series. But on the catch side, those talented drivers are beating the pants off of the American drivers a lot of the time. There is good competition in American rallying but the sad fact is that there are only a handful of drivers that can truly compete internationally at a national championship level. To get more sponsors of any kind, to make rallying more of a buisness to get to that elite motorpsort level we all know rally is, to make it so rally drivers can have a shot at MAKING money, we need to develop the product more, and thats where a factory support effort would mean so much more.


More thougths after work, I'm late as it is!
 

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It's weird that this thread comes up now, because I just floated a alternate manufacture proposal to Sue, Steve Johnson and the PRB last week. I'll see if I can't clean it up and post it for the rest of you on SS.

Regardless, something needs to be done or we are going to lose much of the momentum that has built up over the last couple years. One only needs to look at the STPR entry list to see what I mean. A good chunk of championship contenters couldn't make it becuase of car issues (US, Burke, Havir to name a few), and number of other guys who should be aren't even in the fight (Jardevall and O'Sullivan for example). The remaining competitors are on a dicey run till you wreck it program, which could boil the championship down to a win by attrition. It's pretty sad when the guy leading the championship might have to skip the next few events because of funding issues (I hope he works out a sponsorship).

This sport will never grow if we can't consistantly field high level teams at every rally. As a member of one of those teams, I can tell you that it would not take a huge amount of money to really stabilize things and allow us to compete at every event. $500k split over 10 teams probably would get most of those teams to every event.

Imagine the following guys competing on a near equal level, at every event, all season long: Burke, Lawless, Richard, Styles, Martin, O'Sullivan, Pastrana, Witorczyk, Mitchell, Utecht, Lagemann, Havir, Choinere, Shephard, Gingras, and whoever else I forgot. Would that not be one hell of a show? Heck, even the SCCA could promote that. It would cost less than one full open works car,and would be just as or probably more exciting to the fans.

Dennis Martin
[email protected]
920-432-4845
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Exactly Dennis!


Its nice to know that as a young rally pup, that just spectates, takes photos, and occassioanly crews (I want to drive but tuition and food eat up a lot of the budget) that I kind of seem to get it.

Like I said in an earlier response, there is no question the sport needs more money available to competitors, this is undeniable. The point I think some people don't take into consideration which you did Dennis, is what kind of money would be best for the sport.



Somone spoke of a spec/one make class. While Group N could be considered a Spec class its not entirely. One hurdle that I think people undervalue or trivialize is whether it should be RWD, FWD, or AWD. IMO FWD would be easier to sell to a manufacturer and would make for a more interesting class. If we could find a manufacturer that would donate some cars to some drivers, and help make some cars available to other competitors in that class (maybe help find some sponsorship for drivers in the class) all that would be left from that manufacturer would be a season ending purse and the brains to advertise it (Can anyone say Mazda Rev It Up type events the week before a rally?).


Having a factory team in and of itself is not going to bring people into dealerships by any measureable amount, having a rally team and the brains/balls to market that team/program WILL BRING PEOPLE.


I just spent the day watching as many people go by and look at a rally car as angetting inline for shots with an import show modle and autographed posters. Younger people are starting to get rally, someone needs to make them aware of the sport. With so many people intrigued a competent marketing department could make returns (including the marketing) happen.....
 

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A cheap 1 make series would be perfect............just look at the ford ka championship and the Pug 206 championship .........when I was in england ....I had the chance to talk to alot of the younger rally drivers my age "in the ford ka championship/pug championship" It so affordible and they also get really good prize money.......excellent tv coverage ....... and the best driver wins "not the car" I asked them how much it cost to run one .....:eek: one told me about 600 pounds per race ....... I spend about 4k per race and thats just a pgt car........ Only a few young drivers can afford that


No one is going to shell out money .........unless they get a return in there investment........... There is a fan base for rally ...... IT really has to do with spectators and tv coverage .... The more you get of the two ............the more sponsors that will be interested in rally = more teams sponsored = More cars = more competition = everyone happy This is how it is for every sucessful motorsport

Just look at how many sponsors jumped on drifting.........It wasnt because of the drivers racing in it ......it was because of the amount of spectators that showed up to the event
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Rally and drifting do share some similarities. Both have 90% of their core fan base on the internet (maybe not as much for rally but if they aren't on the internet I'd wager they have a friend, family memver, or team member on the net), both have their roots over seas, and both have incredible potential for growth.

The problem with rally is that nobody in a major market area has done anything to promote a rally similiar to what was done with the D1 Drift event in California, which arguably was the match that lit the pool of fire that has become drifting. Nobody has gone to as extensive promotional lengths as the D1 people did. I still say if people know about it, and have a place to watch it, they WILL go watch a rally.


Colorado Springs does an entire weeks worth of events. There are car shows, soap box derby races, banners, signs, ads in the newspaper, and other events around PPIHC. Heck in cooperation with Falken we will even have a drift event ran with the PPIHC.

With the current state of affairs we likely won't be able to mount the marketing campaign a manufacturer could. To promote and grow rally we need a manufacturer to go, if we are going to rally we are going to cash in. Heck I spent a weekend at the NHRA Sport Compact nationals event that was sponsored by MOPAR and in half of the MOPAR ads they plugged the rally program. Almost every other hour if not hourly we'd hear about how comprehensive the MOPAR line and MOPAR race program was, in the 5 series they mentioned each time SCCA ProRally was the second one listed EVERY time. Those kinds of efforts on a larger scale will make it worthwhile for manufacturers, manufacturers just sit there and go I spent $2 million and got nothing, they never think if I spend $4 million and will get back $8 million.


I remember reading GM spent $2 million on the development of their ECOTECH motor just on engineering and computer modeling before they ever built the motor. That figure doesn't include how much they spend sponsoring race teams (think millions and millions), or doing the on hands R&D on the motor (again a couple million more atleast). One of the sport compact series press regulars said he figured that GM spent 20 million getting the team together and the cars built and would spend about 1.5-5 million a year per car, just to sell about 400,000 more cavaliers.....


For less then 2 million GM could basically buy a spec class, get cars to teams to get the class going, and fund start up teams plus put out a nice purse and put together a faily comprehensive marketing campaign as well. It probably wouldn't sell 400,000 more cavaliers but it would probably have a similiar if not better return per dollar ratio.....
 

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<<<FYI: MY PERSONAL VIEW? This is a sport for me; I run what I can afford, and expect to be one of many funding the situation, without any other $$ source. SO the fully club approach is what I favor, which can thirve quite well without any factroy input, except to keep roducing cars that we can butcher! (I already am in business and don't need another one!)>>>

I totally agree. I've noticed on this thread that a lot of people are saying, correct me if I'm wrong, but "What are you (factories, manufacturers, etc) going to do for me?" They owe us nothing, so why are we always asking for something? Isn't it up to us, the organizers, competitors, volunteer workers, hams, EMT's etc, to show them that we are capable and worthy of putting on events good enough for them to take an interest in us? I, for one, don't particularly care for this "gimme, gimme, gimme attitude, especially when trying to get them to part with seven plus figures for us to go and have fun at their expense. This isn't the first time I've seen this "gimme" attitude. Thoughts anyone?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I see your point on the "gimme" perspective.

I kind of look at it like this, figure out what we want from them, then figure out what we need to do to get them to where we want them. Yes there is a gimme aspect to it, but its kind of what do i want you to give me so I can figure out how to get you to give it to me.

As a fan and spectator, not really a competitor, I just want to see rally in the US grow, the Gimme factor for me is give them the money so I can watch more guys race more often. I just want there to be a healthy rally series for me to keep following and viewing so that if things align I can compete. The fact remains that to get a legitimate championship and series we need top guys running atleast 8 if not all 9 events.

Right now the difference between ProRally and ClubRally is the expense and seed liscense needed. If we propell ProRally higher and leave ClubRallly as more of a hobbyist low cost series, get ProRally to help fund the costs of ClubRally to have more and more affordable ClubRallys.


The only way the series can grow is with a long term committment of sponsors, and if you have a better idea for growing the series I'd like to hear it. Then again maybe you don't want things to grow, personally I think ProRally needs to grow and get more funding to become better and more legitimate, ClubRally just needs to have more events and lower competitor costs......
 

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>Right now the difference between ProRally and ClubRally is
>the expense and seed liscense needed. If we propell ProRally
>higher and leave ClubRallly as more of a hobbyist low cost
>series, get ProRally to help fund the costs of ClubRally to
>have more and more affordable ClubRallys.
>
>
>The only way the series can grow is with a long term
>committment of sponsors, and if you have a better idea for
>growing the series I'd like to hear it. Then again maybe you
>don't want things to grow, personally I think ProRally needs
>to grow and get more funding to become better and more
>legitimate, ClubRally just needs to have more events and
>lower competitor costs......

I would like to see it evolve this way as well. I think the SCCA model of 2 levels of performance rally has merit and there should be obvious program and financial links between them. Clubrally should be viewed as a significant base from which talented and motivated rallyists are grown and promoted, but user friendly to those with limited budgets and no grander plans.

I think sponsorships at the national level (sanctioning body) should result in a significant part of that money going to the pro event organizers, directly and/or thru things like reduced insurance premiums. In addition I think each prorally should be expected to help fund at least a couple clubrallys. Things like tow funds and insurance contributions to help lower entry costs for low budget club teams would be a huge draw in my opinion.

As far as auto makers sponsorships vs. factory teams. Personally I dont that see any US rally is structured to pit factory team against factory team a.k.a. WRC. We did see some of that begin to occur over the last few years but it seems to have collapsed under its own weight since ther wasnt a viable manufacturers championship series at the foundation. So sponsorship given the present structures makes more sense and is cheaper anyway. But...they arent going to be interested in dropping much money anywhere unless they see the potential for at least one of their current vehicle models running and doing well (to create ad material) AND that translating into more traffic in their showrooms. I think Subaru has figured the formula that works for them on their own. Thanks to Doug's efforts and success I think DC is poised to see a benefit as well. I think it takes time and effort to demonstrate to the other execs that performance rally isnt just a bunch of adolescents playing X-Box games, and despite it being just you and a bear standing in the woods watching cars go by, the amazing action can still create great product ad copy. And ads my friend is where the big business opportunity (consumers) really lies. The large numbers of consumers are reading magazines, and watching TV, not sitting in a grandstand or standing in the woods. But we need to be cautious about overselling this motorsport to manufacturers or we will get the here-today-gone-tomorrow mitsu pattern. This just causes waves that drives up things like costs to competitors but doesnt do much in terms of raising the sports popularity or revenues for manufacturers. Start with small money and cooperative advertising that the manufacturer can use to his/her benefit. Get some brand and sport recognition thru the manufacturers ads featuring the performance of their cars in mainstream media - seriously lacking in the Hyundai and Mitsu efforts and a lost opportunity for Ford with the AFR Focus. We dont want the manufacturers ads to sell to just rally enthuiasts either. Sure appealing to the game enthuiast (kid) might get the parents to look at a car but I dont see that as having a broad appeal. The notion I see helping the manufacturer is the idea that the technology in their rally car that is required to compete in this severe sport is part of every car in the manufacturers lineup. So the G5 SRT4 demonstrates the durable genetics found in the Chrysler minivan or the 300 as well. Not very different than what NASCAR did in the 60's with Ford, Dodge/Plymouth and Chevy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The real interesting thing is is that if the Manufacturers come in and build up enough support within the series through factory supported teams, and we got enough manufacturers involved why not give them a manufacturers championship class or two (AWD and 2WD) for them to battle directly.


There is something to be said for parts of the WRC model, getting manufacturers to help "the little guy" with sponsorship and support and giving the manufacturers a place for them to get the best oppurtunities to reap the rewards of an investment (We at (insert automaker here) just spent 8 months beating the pants off of teams from (insert applicable names here) to win the SCCA ProRally Manufacturers Championship). The whole trick is to get them in at the fundamental support level and then once costs are more managable, the drivers pool is built up, there is an infrastructure for each manufacturer with in ProRally, does the SCCA for here is for all practical purposes your A8 class. If in doing it you can keep legitimate contigency programs on the Pro and Club side, and keep costs reasonable everybody from the weekend warrior to the serious as a sport/possible career rallyist wins. Its not just the WRC model, its a common National Championship model around the world, one that I think we could make happen with the right efforts and just a little bit of help/gimmes.....
 

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I, for one, don't particularly
>care for this "gimme, gimme, gimme attitude, especially when
>trying to get them to part with seven plus figures for us to
>go and have fun at their expense. This isn't the first time
>I've seen this "gimme" attitude. Thoughts anyone?

It's not so much as a "Gimme,gimme" attitude (Ok well, a little bit), but it's more like a "I can give you a better bang for your buck attitude." Personally I loved the super manufacturer dog and pony show of last year, but it obviously has proven to not be cost effective. I really truly believe that a well funded multiple privateer program would be cost effective. Of course I'd like to be one of those privateers, but if I don't make the cut, that still won't dissuade me from the program. Please don't read into this as a scam to get money for fun, because it isn't. I see it as an economical alternative to full works teams that just happens to also benefit the little guy.

I sell hardware for a living. I absolutely believe that I can give customers a better VALUE for their money than Home Depot or Lowes, and I work tirelessly towards that end. I have a hard time convincing the general public of this because it isn't the percieved status quo, but when I do get a new customer in, they are always pleasantly surprised and satisfied. Along those lines, big time privateer funding may not be the status quo, but that doesn't mean it won't have value. I think if we can get a manufacter or two to try it, that will be pleasantly surprised by the value and ROI that we have to offer.

Dennis Martin
[email protected]
920-432-4845
 

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Hi Kevin,

Ok hear me first on this: I am not trying to be super-negative with what I am about to say, though it may sound that way.......

But man, you are missing the boat here. You are talking over and over about marketing and sales. Those are 'appendages' to the real issue: running this as a business! Dennis hit the nail on the head, albeit indirectly; he SELLS to his customers. But why? So he can make money and help his bzi survive and thrive.

The step from a hobby series to a pro series is to get the base business aspects working broadly. You MIGHT get lucky and some big sponsors step up......but folks are fooling themselves if they think this is likely to be the case. The sponsors are running businesses too, and this is for advertising....period! If you are not a viable business, other business entities, and their directors and VP's, are not going to seriously look at you long term for advertising of you are not a long viable business.

We have a lot of young folks in the sport, and that in itself is a red light to serious long term sponsor investement; it has to be countered by serious (and often older, but not always) business types. I would seriously look to promote and highlight the real businesses that are working in this area: the TAD shops, and the Libras and so forth. (My apologies to those not mentioned!)

Yeah, I know many will hate this but look at NASCAR in the late 50's early 60's. You had the emergence of the Woods Brothers, Holman-Moody, the Pettys, Smokey Yuninck, and the like. Along with that you had a series of reace promoters and track owners who had about 10 years under their belts. And then NASCAR itself was gettting pretty experienced at promoting the series. The had going businesses and could hang in there year-in and year-out until the 'Winston gold mine' was uncovered.

It seems to me we are about in 1968 per the NASCAR calendar. We have had some manufacturers' teams but it is moving more to factory support through the viable teams. No we don't need to wait another 20+ years for this because we have a lot of promotional benefit from WRC, but you need to focus on developong organizers, and the biz based teams. Promoting the young drivers stuff is hawgwash for the long term viability of a professional race series; it's the tail on the dawg.

Sorry for the lecture. But this is the way to be sure to make a success. And yes, I will be PO'd when it comes about because I am more like NASCAR's Wendell Scott: running someone else's old machinery to make laps and have fun. (And like Wendell I got lucky enough to have one decent win....scary, since I met him when I was 9 years old.....)

'Nuff!
Regards,
Mark b.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Mark, I agree with a lot of what you said, it looks at issues outside of the immediate focus however they are viable and valuable in a discussion such as this.

I would like to make one point, while we need shops like VTCar to grow and show the value, I agree with that, auto companies are ceating and promoting/expanding their inhouse tuners. Ford's SVT, DC's Mopar, Subaru's STi, Mazda's MAZDASPEED, Nissan's NISMO, GM has GM racing and I'd expect sooner then later to get a sub brand for hop up parts. All these auto companies need ways to promote those brands and programs as well.

The series needs money, and needs leadership that can find the balance between business and sport to make things grow. But the series needs long term money and broad based development to mature those business oppurtinities and independet shops and aftermarket parts companies don't have the money or the basis to be able to reach as far as would be needed.

I've talked with Kurt, he agrees with both of our view points as far as the recipe for success. The series needs to have more business sense and appeal to make sense to bigger sponsors. But the series needs more grass roots support and instead of corporate egos and chect thumping exposure, and that could and would most likely come in the form of factory supported teams and factory backed marketing campaigns.

With the lack of funding available without pinching the competitors all that much more the management needs to be business friendly and provide aid and tools so that businesses can easly come in and provide capital and then maximize their capital for marketing to get the best returns. The money has to come from somewhere and it has to come for a while to accomplish what we both want, and what I think all rally fans in the US want, a National Championship that is considered to be legitimate and a practical entry level hobbyist program.

You say it has to be run more like a business to get the dollars, and I agree, I just think that the business focus for the long term needs to focus on factories not shops and parts companies for real change to happen.

Ideally in 15 years we'd have the Greddy STPR with 5-6 factory teams in their own class (maybe 2) and then 70 privateers that have the funding and commitment to run the entire series all battling it out. There are teams with the busniess management, they just don't ahve enough money to truly reflect that for corporate america....
 

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<<a National Championship that is considered to be legitimate and a practical entry level hobbyist program>>

I thought that's what we have now. If Club isn't entry level and only a hobby to boot, I don't know what is.It seems to work fine for most if not all the country, so I don't know where you're going with that.
 
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