Special Stage Forums banner
1 - 20 of 39 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,027 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is really a question for the manufacturers and a couple of top teams, but what should the national calendar look like?

Is 7 events enough?
Would 12 be too many?

Thinking about this from the perspective of what makes a good "TV spectator sport" -- I think we should try for at least 10 events, and maybe 12. 10 would give you a monthly TV show plus a mid-year and year end wrap up. (Note -- the european championships seem to be as few as 6 events, but have excellent promotion and TV coverage, or so I have heard).

12 would obviously give you a monthly show and enough "footage" to create possibly 4 additional shows throughout the year.

Since we are mostly fans on this forum, what do the fans want?

Mike
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
408 Posts
Ah, but it's not about what the fans want, but rather what makes the best package from a financial and marketing perspective.

Fans don't pay money. Sponsors/manufacturers do.

Somewhere I heard the manufacturers wanted 5 - 7, but I heard this at an after rally party. My judgement might have been impaired at the time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
415 Posts
I have heard similar whispers after events, but for the 6 - 8 event range.

Which makes sense from an overall costs point of view for both the Works and Independant teams. Less events mean less expense for everyone. Which will make the series more competitive in the long run as money can be moved from the operational budgets to the development budgets.

But will having less events make a team in the Pro Series that is only doing their regional events more or less competitive?

Less events makes the points they score more valuable, but with less events, more teams will be able to afford to run the entire series...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,027 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I heard 5-7 was a real want.

So from a marketing/packaging/promotional perspective what would make a good package?

In Europe where the sport is popular a 6 event season could work because people seek it out.

In the US I think we need to be "in-your-face" to build a fan base and generate awareness -- which to me means more events at regular intervals.

--- and to Jeff's comment: It seems less events would make the championship more affordable to more people. Does it make good TV to have 8 top teams to cover with some depth, or 20 teams to cover?

Note in the Mid-season review the sprongl show turned into the Higgins show, with a splash of Paul and Rhys and a few others. Seemed easy enough to follow.

From a series longevity and health perspective, a larger field of top teams seems the way to go, which swings the arguement back to less events.

Interesting...
Mike
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,627 Posts
The talk is for a 8 event series due to expense from a TV point of view (cost is outstanding for TV production) and a expense on the manufacturers.
It would be nice to get the 8 event series on a even pace through a calendar year, but mostly it is due to forest (high) fire danger alerts these days and what the national forest service says when you can have an event.

Denise McMahon
 

·
400 flat to crest
Joined
·
5,777 Posts
Really focus question: Whats the point of Championship Series

Before this gets all spread out in discusssion, the first level question has to be at least set to rest:
What is the point, and who is the SC_C_A supposedly serving.

Some obviously believe that the whole this thing is supposed to be run and structured and continually teaked untill it is _de facto_ a mere adjunct to the advertising departments of Hyndai, Mitsubishi and Subaru, because, in their oft thrown out, but incredibly stupidly short sighted phrase: "They pay for... the TV coverage", or some such idiotic crap.
Appearantly forgetting that the entrants, the volunteers, the crews are waht makes and pays in one way or another.

I say that Hyndai, Subaru, and Mitsubishi can go and buy airtime anytime they want, and do.
If they are going come into a sport built by collectivly allof us amature hosers, then they should give something to the sport, other than sponsoring 1 or two guys, or offering contingency money which won't cover gas costs, or entry fees.

$400 from Saab was nice when the entry was $75.

But how many events is debated in every country and cost of getting to the events is a big question even in counties the size of California and less.

Is the question really moot, though?

Since when do our paid staff at the helm listen to membership?*

Or have the cojones to actually say they did after a stink is raised ipso post facto?



* great visual similie, ain't it: lumbering ol' 15th century sailing ship getting blown and tossed off a lee shore, creaking and hard to control with the lousy steering gear which controls the rudder, and the big forces which will doom the ship being the invisible wind powerfully blowing from the east and the poor dumb f***er at the helm having no idea where the North American continent is.

Ship's way off couse and about to crash into something hard. And the guy at the helm thinks _he's_ in control.









PS And he hasn't ever been below decks so he has no idea what mutinous plans are afoot.

John Vanlandingham
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
366 Posts
Did we loose our minds!!!

Who cares what the manufactures want! Who on this forum has benefited from the manufacturers involvment? How? if so what did the manufacturers get out of it?
It seems real funny to me how the series got taken away from the competitors handed to some manufacturers marketing department who have no idea what the sport even is. Now we are hearing that they want a shorter series?, which is to save them money, with probably the benefit of each manufacturers marketing dept. now being able to attend the events and receive back-side kissing VIP treatment!

The only thing I've seen that makes any sense recently has been the integrating of club and national starting orders. Yet some people are still entering "Pro" when not running the series, why?

The National office has done such a great job that next year will be short 2 "PRO" events as it stands now. 1 of those events was near a major city-home to numerus companies that could benefit from us and us from them. This isn't progress this is a set back!!

A shortend series cuts cost true-it also makes a DNF very hard to overcome.
Will the rally community benefit from a shorter "PRO" series? How?

Winning a championship is suppose to mean something, if factory teams are going to get involved make them earn it-I say if at all possible make it bigger, 12-14 events
IMHO:+
 

·
400 flat to crest
Joined
·
5,777 Posts
>I have heard similar whispers after events, but for the 6 -
>8 event range.
>
>Which makes sense from an overall costs point of view for
>both the Works and Independant teams. Less events mean less
>expense for everyone.

With this rationale, why not mandate even fewer stage miles than the paltry 120 typically done now?

Maybe cut out gravel, cars get dirty and the VIP decals can't be seen?

Maybe we could just do rally-crosses and call them rallies.

Maybe we could do tarmac stages.

In parking lots to really cut down on expenses.

Central servicing, easy for that way vital TV coverage.

You could make way challenging courses by placing orange cones with papier-maché rocks and a couple of pine boughs to add a sense of that TV buzz word 'reality' to it.



Which will make the series more
>competitive in the long run as money can be moved from the
>operational budgets to the development budgets.

People are 'developing' things here in USA??????
I thought they just bought things and paid people to screw things together, sorta. WoW!
>
>But will having less events make a team in the Pro Series
>that is only doing their regional events more or less
>competitive?
>
>Less events makes the points they score more valuable, but
>with less events, more teams will be able to afford to run
>the entire series...

Jeff, maybe it didn't occur to you but when there are less events, and when the events are shorter, the intensity of the events goes up accordingly.
This has always resulted in the competition that I know anything about into an escalating press for pure speed, Do or Die in English, or Vinna eller Försvinna (Win or disappear) in Swedish.

This always ultimeatly encourages and favors those willing to risk more.
More crashes and injury in Moto-cross, more crashes and re-shelling in rally.

Let's see, who can afford to risk more....................


It seems to me it would be SURPRISE!!!! the well funded Importer teams and the rich individuals doing the whole series now.


1 prime time TV commercial ad cost for air time more than most fancy ass team's annual budget, the Series is nearly bought and paid for now as it is, what more do you want?


Isn't it evident that the direction things have been progressing has fragmented the series and the sporting aspect of the series has been critically compromised?

Wake up.













John Vanlandingham
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
397 Posts
RE: Did we loose our minds!!!

I have yet to feel as though this "Huge improvement" brought upon us (is it perhaps being forced down our throats?) by the 'Professionalization' of rally in this country has done anything positive for my rallying efforts. How about the rest of us?
What I have seen is DRAMATICALLY higher entry fees, sanction fees, rules making it more of an effort financially to put together even a competitive CLUB effort.
OK, so we have the WAYYYYYYYY COOL STICKER PACKAGE!! Which is supposed to make us all easily identifiable as 'with that group of hooligans that go crashing through the woods.' Included in this package is a bunch of stickers I am required to have on my car, even though I have not recieved any of their product, don't use their product, and have not seen any reduction in entry fees or otherwise for my advertising for the SCCA. What I can be CERTAIN of is that as a CLUB guy (hell, even as a PRO guy, 'cause I'm not one of the paid "PRO's".) I won't get ANY TV time for MY sponsors which I have gone to considerable effort to get interested in my efforts. Hmmmmmmmmmmm..........
Lets contrast 1996 with today, shall we? I'm here in the Northwest. It is March in 1996. The Doo-****: entry fee was (if memory serves) $225.00. (National) I got mention in the Northwest Reigon Newspaper. The event was great. We had no sticker package. I had a lot of fun with my friends.
Now fast Forward to 2002. Oops!! The National office decided some time ago that The Doo-**** were no longer good enough to be a National event, so now the Early spring National takes place in Oregon. (Ben---Nothing against you or your event.)
So My entry fee for Oregon Trail was $1200.00, We have that wayyyyy cool sticker package, I broke my car (Dammit....I'm too good at doing that), and I had a good time with my friends (and cooked up some REALLY GOOD Salmon in the parking lot at the hotel). Obviously, I got zero mention in any media (I did DNF after all). But with the National program being what it is these days, we now expect that.
I'm done trying with National. I will now do as Kurt wanted for me from early on: Go and play in club. The National series does not pass the cost/benefit program. Congradulations Kurt, you did it. So much for my thinking that I would one day want to do the full national series. :( JohnLane.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,407 Posts
Huh? RE: Did we loose our minds!!!

...The only thing I've seen that makes any sense recently has
>been the integrating of club and national starting orders.
>Yet some people are still entering "Pro" when not running
>the series, why?

...Will the rally community benefit from a shorter "PRO"
>series? How?
>
...Winning a championship is suppose to mean something, if
>factory teams are going to get involved make them earn it-I
>say if at all possible make it bigger, 12-14 events

I have to ask...since you want 12-14 events, do you plan to compete in 12-14 national events around the country? Have you ever tried to compete a full season as it stands now? Are you are speaking from a spectator's point of view? I just don't understand your logic whatsoever. I personally would like 8 events in every corner (and the middle) of the country, and have them grouped together in each instance (west coast events together/east coast events together). I would like a minimum of 4 weeks between events.

There's what I would wish for. I would love to see a tarmac rally added, but this will raise costs for everyone tremendously. Jury's still out on that one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
366 Posts
RE: Huh?

>...The only thing I've seen that makes any sense recently
>has
>>been the integrating of club and national starting orders.
>>Yet some people are still entering "Pro" when not running
>>the series, why?
>
>...Will the rally community benefit from a shorter "PRO"
>>series? How?
>>
>...Winning a championship is suppose to mean something, if
>>factory teams are going to get involved make them earn it-I
>>say if at all possible make it bigger, 12-14 events
>
>I have to ask...since you want 12-14 events, do you plan to
>compete in 12-14 national events around the country? Have
>you ever tried to compete a full season as it stands now?
>Are you are speaking from a spectator's point of view?


12-14 events used to be the calendar. Have I competed a full season as it stands now? No. I did when it was larger, 12-14 events.
Oh and I don't really enjoy spectating but I do, sometimes I even work.

>just don't understand your logic whatsoever.

Whats not to understsand? The competitors had a national program, we lost it to 3 manufacturers, now there is talk of reducing the number of events. Did we loose our minds?? This is a thread discussing how what we lost should be reduced to less, and most think it's okay. Doesn't that strike you a little funny????

I personally
>would like 8 events in every corner (and the middle) of the
>country, and have them grouped together in each instance
>(west coast events together/east coast events together). I
>would like a minimum of 4 weeks between events.

Thats great but it sounds like club not PRO! Your idea sounds good for Club, would not really be a national program would it?
>
>There's what I would wish for. I would love to see a tarmac
>rally added, but this will raise costs for everyone
>tremendously. Jury's still out on that one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,383 Posts
RE: Really focus question: Whats the point of Championship Series

Without the manufacturers you would have no TV, and nobody in America would even know what rallying is. Are you saying that you are so rich that you don't need any sponsorship help?! You won't even get a penny if sponsors don't even know what they are giving money to. Without spectators and TV coverage, we would have nothing. It takes money to play and if you don't have it, you have to find someone to give it to you, and they are going to want a return on their investment,ie. viewers. You can't expect it all to work over night, it is going to take time. You should support the direction the sport is going. At some point down the line, Club Rally will be what Pro Rally is/was and Pro Rally will be what it is supposed to be, PROFESSIONAL, which means money-people getting paid to do it. Haven't you noticed how much more popular and exciting to watch the sport has become since the manufacturers got involved. Personally, I think it would be nice if Pro Rally became an international series, maybe more people will be able to make a living(or break even) from it. It will provide rally prep shops, PR people, photographers, writers,organizers, etc. with more paying work. It all works fairly well in Europe. If you don't like it, Club rally is right up your alley
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
397 Posts
RE: Really focus question: Whats the point of Championship Series

OK then Morgan, So just how long are we supposed to just wait for all the 'bonuses' that are supposed to 'trickle down' to the rest of us?? We have three teams that get any meaningful TV exposure, while everyone else that is running in the National (or even paying the MUCH bigger money to now run 'club') get nothing. The endless parade of poorly driven EVO's after the first few quickly puts me to sleep as a spectator.
It is well known that the REAL battles take place in the Two wheel drive classes. The two wheel drive cars are much more colorful to watch, and guess what?! The guys that are really hanging it out are now mostly playing in CLUB for the same reason as I am: We have been chased off, because we don't fit in with Kurt's grand vision. Now THAT IS PROGRESS!!! JohnLane
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,383 Posts
RE: Really focus question: Whats the point of Championship Series

It could take years! Like I said, you can't expect it to happen overnight. And I admit, it may not happen at all. I do recall only a few years ago everyone was bitching-We can't get sponsors! Nobody knows what rallying is! Why don't more manufacturers get involved?! It is only the Hyundai show! Why can't our series be more like Europe?! Etc. Etc.
Now that it is approaching something like what we have been asking for all these years, and it is still not good enough?
 

·
400 flat to crest
Joined
·
5,777 Posts
RE: Really focus question: Whats the point of Championship Series

>Without the manufacturers you would have no TV, and nobody
>in America would even know what rallying is.
That's soooooooooooooo true!!!!!!
Why prior to the last3 years there never _was_ rally in North America, there couldn't have been!!!!!!
After all, there is no other means of mass communication, not in the land of functional illiterates, and living where you do I can see how you would believe that (State Dept of Education in Mass reported in 1997 that 51% of the states Adult population to be _functionally_ illitereate, and if one subtracts the amount of students in the Greater Boston, Slumberville, Mudfud, Cambridge area, that make foe an even more frightening figure.)

But, there's just one little thing I'm not clear on Morgan, maybe you could explain this to me: how did we communicate the exsistance of this before the paltry 20 minute "Saturday morning 30 minute Smurf cartoon filled with Smurf commercials" type thing which is pushed as race "reporting"?

How did we formerly have 90 car entries at STPR prior?




Are you saying
>that you are so rich that you don't need any sponsorship
>help?!
No, that's more of a NE phenomenon.

You won't even get a penny if sponsors don't even
>know what they are giving money to. Without spectators and
>TV coverage, we would have nothing.
Well Morgan, it doesen't seem like WE, that being the vast majority of the current of past membership have yet recieved anything.



It takes money to play
>and if you don't have it, you have to find someone to give
>it to you,
Yeah, like work is like so passe.


and they are going to want a return on their
>investment,ie. viewers.
Exactly, so when you have cheerleaders yapping for years about how wonderful this TV stuff is and they say stuff like what you are saying without thinking about following thru with your statement, it sounds like a bunch of PR hype from an optimistic observer at best or self serving crap at worse.

Scenario: Me explaining to potential sponsor why they should give a sheeeeeeeut about National TV coverage "Uh, like, you have to understand that since the manufacturer council teams pay for the bulk of the TV coverage it is only natural that they should recieve the bulk of the coverage*, so please give me a pick/up truck load of Zlotys, say $250,000 check made out to PloStrive and I'll buy a used Evo and even if I finsish in the top 10, the car with your stickers will never been seen, OK?"

Potential sponsor " Say that sound great! No chance of TV coverage, I can understand that! Here you are!!!!!!"

"Thanks Dad"


You can't expect it all to work over
>night, it is going to take time.
Well Morgan, how long?
There has been a trend and some of us who are pretty good at sighting along trend lines and watching the direction they are headed, since we have been around and lived thru 3 or 4 prior "we're just on the edge of the big breakthru in to mainstream popularity" hype crap eras
think this current Hype Crap Era sound and smells just as foolishly optimistic and fishy as the previous 3.



You should support the
>direction the sport is going.
Support the increasing fragmentation of the series?
Support the trend toward never ending escalation of costs?
Support the commodifying of every aspect of the 'Sport'?


At some point down the line,
>Club Rally will be what Pro Rally is/was and Pro Rally will
>be what it is supposed to be, PROFESSIONAL, which means
>money-people getting paid to do it. Haven't you noticed how
>much more popular and exciting to watch the sport has become
>since the manufacturers got involved. Personally, I think it
>would be nice if Pro Rally became an international series,
>maybe more people will be able to make a living(or break
>even) from it. It will provide rally prep shops, PR people,
>photographers, writers,organizers, etc. with more paying
>work. It all works fairly well in Europe.
All of Euope, and the whole rest of the world _works_ on foundation of Motorclubs first, and 95% of _all_ the effort is sorta like what you see there at Vinnies prior to events, stacks and stacks of friends rushing around helping out.

In case you don't know, even the fancy WRC teams are all built on a foundation of young enthusiastic guys working for pretty crappy wages(relatively speaking related to the sums being spent for components, and development) although they can do good by banking their Per Diem.


If you don't like
>it, Club rally is right up your alley

Eeerily enough Club looks like it costs what nationals cost previous to all this hypped up BS, but with no advantages in terms of the vaunted "marketability".


*Near direct quote from the guy "who has the licks to get the job done", who oddly enough still has FAILED UTTERLY to even ring a series sponsor aboard in HOW MANY YEARS????!!!

Morgan, that should be proof enough of the error and incompetence that is behind the current push.

See, even without TV, we used to have a series sponsorship, and we didn\t have to pay for the stupid moronic stickers which we are forced to give space on our cars to.

And there were contingency prizes down to divisional level.
$400 when entry was $75 was OK by me. For any car of the brand, not just the latest.


Oh, I keep alluding to what we did prior to TV and im keep forgetting.

We read.
And we looked at Photographs.













John Vanlandingham
 

·
don't cut
Joined
·
2,252 Posts
RE: Really focus question: Whats the point of Championship Series

Morgan, you said it!! Don't tell me that the popularity of NASCAR isn't helping Joe Sixpack get local sponsorship for his IMCA modified. The bigger rally is, the better it will be.

And to those lamenting the loss of the "Old ProRally". What have you really lost? Most of the events are the same, just run under a club banner (DooWops, RIM). In fact ClubRally has gained events. Entry fees went up not becuz of rising ProRally costs, but becuz of rising insurance, road use fees, etc..... Don't believe me, look at the cost escalation in a couple long running stand alone C3 club races (Headwaters is up to $275). Just about everything the "old ProRally" was is still there, just in ClubRally. The only thing lost is the word "Pro", which it never was to begin with.

Well I understand that some may be upset about rising costs, shortened schedules, more SCCA scrutiny, etc...., just remember that on the flip side, others are having a much easier time attaining meaningful sponsorships. It goes both ways. We have lost very little, but can gain so much, just give it a shot....

Dennis Martin
[email protected]
920-432-4845
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,383 Posts
RE: Really focus question: Whats the point of Championship Series

>"But, there's just one little thing I'm not clear on Morgan, maybe you could explain this to me: how did we communicate the exsistance of this before the paltry 20 minute "Saturday morning 30 minute Smurf cartoon filled with Smurf commercials" type thing which is pushed as race "reporting"?"

Quite Frankly, you did not communicate very well, since most people never thought Rallying in the US existed before it was on TV (myself included). So if your happy talking amongst yourself, well then you don't need TV or magazines.
The costs of club rallying has gone up, because of inflation, insurance, Etc. this is not 1978
If this is all so bad, get off your ASS and go to the SCCA doorstep and state your case, because your gibberish bullsheeeeut on this forum isn't going to make a difference. Nobody here in Massachusetts is going to do it for you since we are too illiterate to figure out where the SCCA is.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
397 Posts
RE: Really focus question: Whats the point of Championship Series

>It could take years! Like I said, you can't expect it to
>happen overnight. And I admit, it may not happen at all. I
>do recall only a few years ago everyone was bitching-We
>can't get sponsors! Nobody knows what rallying is! Why don't
>more manufacturers get involved?! It is only the Hyundai
>show! Why can't our series be more like Europe?! Etc. Etc.
>Now that it is approaching something like what we have been
>asking for all these years, and it is still not good enough?

You sir, have a very colorful imagination if you feel that we here in the USA have a chance of getting Joe Sixpack interested in anything that requires any modicum of intelligence to follow. Think Nascar: The car out front that the TV cameras are following is obviously in the lead. So Joe (now well lubricated) can easily follow along. Oh, Oops, my bad: Our TV coverage only covers three teams, so maybe even Joe can follow it. The rest of the croud is still paying the very high entry fee and getting very little exposure.
As for our being able to get sponsors; it is the same now as it has always been for anyone doing anything other then a full time effort. The difference is that every year more and more of the people who have been doing this for a long time are being told that they can ante up or go play in club. We shall watch once again as the 'National Series' withers on the vine. All that in the name of 'Progress.' Hmmmmmm....... JohnLane.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
222 Posts
I guess if you're benefitting, it makes more sense...

But Morgan and Dennis, you have to understand the perspective of those who see ZERO upside, with a lot of potential downside. It's great that some people are getting sponsored. Great for them, not for most competitors. And it's great that some people are getting on TV. Great for them, not for most competitors.

Are the skeptical people ignorant buffoons who just don't "get it" or are they actually people who fully and completely understand where they're being asked to stand and don't much appreciate that it's much farther away from the center of things than it used to be.

Don't be so closed minded--it may not suck for you, but it sure sucks for a lot of people. Every low seed ClubRalliest trying to get into an event in his home built Golf should be just as important to the SCCA as Marc Lovell and the factories. He's not, we're not, and it DOES suck, no matter how much you may like the fantasy of the future you've been sold.
 
1 - 20 of 39 Posts
Top