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Discussion Starter #1
Since this is mostly a philosophical discussion board I am going to throw out 2 questions to the crowd.

1. Given the current state of the sport in the US, the rules, car classes, media attention, TV attention etc, what organization(s) reap the most benefit from our current model of doing things?

2. Given what you know about sports marketing in the United States and using examples from other successful and unsuccessful sport, and especially motorsport, ventures, is our current model appropriate for the United States? If not, what would be a more appropriate model?

I have my own opinions but I will keep them to myself so as not to taint the discussion.

(I'm sure Eric B will hit my point of view on the noggin as I can't tell you the number of times I have thought something about rally and then read one of his posts to find we were thinking the exact same thing at almost the exact same time. Creepy.)

Greg
 

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I have a cat.
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Thanks Greg. I'll take that as a compliment. BTW...don't see your boy on the WC start list for Sebring. Getting out of the Touring Car business?

Stay in touch.

Lurch
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Lurch

It was a complement because if it wasn't then we would both be idiots.

I have been out of the racing business for a year and a half now. I wasn't involved with AFR racing the last year they were in touring cars as I had left the active military and now serve as reservist.

The AFR is out of the racing business except for some D1 GP drifting event sponsorship. The new advertising agency they hired did not see value in team sponsorship.

I am the marketing director for SimCraft in Atlanta. We are building full-motion flying and driving simulators for home gamers. I am hoping our first model will hit the market in the next 6 months. You can check out our site at www.simcraft.com.

Don't slag me on the website as we are in the process of building a new one.


Greg
 

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NASA Rally Sport grassroots!!!
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Greg Pachman said
>2. Given what you know about sports marketing ...

I'd just like to share some humor...

My first thought was, "Wait, someone here knows something about sports marketing????"

:) :D

Ahhhh, that's the stuff.

Now, back to the thread at hand. Actually, probably a good time for someone to post links to other "direction of the sport" posts that we already have, to use as relevant reference material.


Cheers,
Anders
 

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As for your original 2 questions, I'll let someone else answer, because people think its just sour grapes when I try to tell the truth about this sport.
 

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codriveur
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No one is biting so I will...

>1. Given the current state of the sport in the US, the rules, car >classes, media attention, TV attention etc, what organization(s) >reap the most benefit from our current model of doing things?

Soft ball sure answer: Insurers & the Marketing guy's, and a remote chance the 200 extra STI's sold per yr have such a mark up the series sponsor for RA might make an extra 400,000.00 (sort of a joke but not really)

Likely answer if it's @ all possible: National sponsor, Sanctioning body, Local sponsor, organizer, top competitors.

Perfect world answer: Organizers/Sancioning Body/ Top Competitors then the rest of the people


>2. Given what you know about sports marketing in the United States >and using examples from other successful and unsuccessful sport, and >especially motorsport, ventures, is our current model appropriate >for the United States?

No

>If not, what would be a more appropriate model?

Attrition of events followed by the merger (offer to pay for the conference room to host the talks still stands) will allow the econimized efforts of running 2+ series/classes on the same weekend, over the same course, to build something. (just like Road racing/Nascar/F1/Power Boats/tractor pulls for godsakes, and others)

Flip out here: it's what was called club and pro to use the old terms but what is morphing by demand into lower cost 2wd and 4wd WFO (performance and $). Just like other racing series have proven concentrated multilevel events held over a weekend will draw from both ends of the money spectrum and display the wide range of performance and investment levels needed to participate all @ once, rally in America (and maybe NA) will leap forward only when it's broken down to one Sanctioning body and 2 (maybe 4 if you divide the 2wd & 4 wd by performance/$$/Age) identifiable classes. Is there really a need for much more than 2wd na and 4wd turbo?

Everyone needs to compromise a little to make it work, no persons/organizers/sanctioning bodies vision is 100% correct.

Especially mine. :)

Bernie
 

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Greg,

As for changing marketing companies, if you aren't getting what you are paying for, then by all means, you should move on. I think this is the case with 3 marketing companies in a year. Better for them to part ways than to continue to suck.

As for your points about a sports marketing model...

American rallying has a LONG history of buddying up with the latest and greatest sugardaddy who will carry them into the next big thing. I remember AUDI emblazoned tour buses carrying scores of Audi sweatered yuppies to the backwoods of Michigan and trying to kindly explain to Mr. Trust Fund and his trophy wife that, no, the cars would not be drafting...or even bumping each other...as they start a minute apart.

Most of them ran back for the bus after JB (the original) went by to keep from getting dust in their clothes and dirt in their freshly re-colored hair.

This would be about 1982? I was 12 or 13.

A few dead years and then Hyundai came along. Then it was Subaru and Mitsubishi. Then just Subaru.

I think its great that sanctioning bodies work with companies to meet common objectives. But not at the expense of developing new business relationships. By focusing solely on 4wd, they have created a niche sport for a very narrow niche product.

NASA's new 2wd championship is a BIG breath of fresh air. Now is the time folks. Get your proposals together to send to Toyota, Hyundai, Chevrolet, Pontiac, Ford, Honda, Kia, VW, Dodge, Nissan, etc. They matter now.

I tried to play the game. I was told in 2001 to build a G2 car instead of G5. Why? "Because G5 will be dead within two years...G2 will be the premiere 2wd class," I was told by the man in the driver's seat.

The next year, Dodge came back with 1 car, 3 nickels and a stick of gum, and the whole "plan" changed. Now I finally have my G5 car. Long live G5.
 

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Slid'n around 'n havin a ball
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RE: Profit motives

re: #1
I want to first say that I've worked at prep shops and ran one, so I know how hard it is to do. Although it is a labor of love, love doesn't pay the bills and when the money dries up, you need to move on.
So in my limited experience in Rally, it looks like the major "winners" have been:

the TV production Companies
Prodrive
AV Sport
VSC
Libra
TAD
AE
4 Star
D.Sutton

Just to remind everyone, I know it has to be a business and the "profit" is thin or even negative at times.
Pro shops bring technology, knowledge, and speed. When someone adds up the costs of learning by doing and paying a pro, the pro makes winning more affordable and timely. But to answer your question, the TV crews and the shops are the only ones with the possibility of a profit.

#2
Other racing series in the US that thrive depend on the promoters to promote and get returns on investment with support and backing of the sanctioning body which acts as a catalyist or "super promoter".
This isn't easy either, consider the implosion of ASA and WoO, look at the problems IMSA had with revolving door owners... until they found seed money with Panoz. But money isn't always the answer, look at ABC/Disney/George/IRL.
ARRRRRGGGGH!

rz
 

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Randy, he didn't say who's raking in the dough, he's asking "who reaps the most benefit?"

I say its a pie. Apple, my fave. There are 10 slices.

Subaru is getting 8 slices. Sure, they are supplying a lot of apples and working with RA to do the baking, but they are getting at least 8 slices.

Travis incorporated is getting a slice of his own. Every motorcycle shop I take my Mazdaspeed truck to asks me what the truck is used for. When I tell them rallying, they invariably tell me how Travis is winning everything there is in the WRC series. Honest. His fans think he's all the cooler. I say good for him.

The last slice is split between Rally America, the rest of the competitors, DC Shoes, etc. Some just get crumbs, some get a chunk of apple. Once in a while a Mitsu driver can steal a little filling out of one of Subaru's pieces. Why so little for Rally America, despite their plugging of Travis? Like I said, MXers don't know much. They see him, they see the blue Subaru, and they make the connection. Travis rocks at WRC. When I tell them its really the Rally America series, they tell me "Nuh-uh. Not Travis. He's in the WRC."

:)

>2. Given what you know about sports marketing in the United
>States and using examples from other successful and
>unsuccessful sport, and especially motorsport, ventures, is
>our current model appropriate for the United States? If not,
>what would be a more appropriate model?

Welp...how 'bout diversity of brands? How do you get that? How 'bout a playing field for something other than the current niche?
 
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