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Discussion Starter #1
I?m going to put some money where my mouth is. There are an awful lot of people out there who have never heard a rally car and a handful who have never even heard of rally.

There are also an awful lot of dedicated rally teams that never emerge from their shops to tell anyone what they do every couple of weekends.

So, to try to reach out to more folks, and to try to get some teams to assume the position of ambassadors of the sport, I?ll pay $100 to anyone who can get their rally car on radio, along with and explanation of the sport, and info on how to get more involved. A good memorable rally story won?t hurt either, but you don?t need it for the prize.

That?s pretty much the rules, but you have to prove to me that you actually did it, and the proof is at my discretion. Also, it has to be an actual competition vehicle, and I?m going to limit one team to one trip to the same radio station. Different teams at the same radio station are fine, as long as they air at different times. This imitative only applies to North American Radio Stations. Finally, I?m only going to keep this going for a max of 30 pay outs, 10 max for Canada. I may have to change the rules depending on how things progress.

Alright, let?s see who can pull this off.

-Matt
 

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Surrender the Booty.
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(just cut and pasted from my reply on Rally America's site)

I just set up this account to post basically this in the sponsorship thread, but figured the radio one works a bit better. TV seems to be the marketing utopia that everyone wants to achieve at some point. The benefits of this are obvious; a loaf can sit on their couch, watch an event, see your car, and see your sponsor. Your sponsors seen, your sponsors happy, and your sponsor is willing to give more money. With out funding the program yourself you?re left basically waiting for some network to see the appeal in the sport. The jump to television doesn't happen overnight, just like the jump to being the most popular motor sport won't happen overnight. There?s stepping stones that need to be traveled to get to that point. Radio is by far the best option.

The key to getting to a better pulpit to preach what-ever you want to preach is the number of ears willing to listen to you at a lesser level. The key to getting your sport on a major network or just pulling better time slots on smaller networks is having a fan base at the events themselves. If no one is going to watch the event as it happens, why would anyone watch it on TV? Talk to any spectator at most events (PPIHC and RIM being exceptions to the rule) and I'm willing to bet that 9 out of 10 traveled less than 200 miles to make the event. There are going to be exceptions, but the majority of spectators willing to stand outside to watch cars go by one at a time will only do so for the local-er events. TV coverage would draw in the fans, there?s no doubt about that. But to draw them in more effectively at the individual events radio is a far better option than national coverage on a specialty network.

OLN is a great network, but most people (at least those I know) don't watch it unless they are flipping through and see something interesting because nothing else is on the other 99 channels they can get with basic cable these days. Radio on the other hand is a much smaller market in any area. Basic cable comes with 60+ channels in most areas now, where as your FM radio band will only pick up a couple dozen at the most. When you?re in your car you?re not watching TV, your listening to the radio, when you?re at work you?re not watching TV, your listening to the radio. To draw the fans in from a more local level you need radio coverage. How hard can it be to invite a radio station to set up at the Parc Expose or at a spectator area, or the Parc Ferme and broadcast for the day?

Every music format radio station in my area (1 modern rock, 2 pop, 2 classic rock, 3 country) all go out to local events for the day, be it the county fair or a damn McDonalds. Sending out an invite to a station will more than likely garner a very positive attitude from the station and yield free if not very cheap advertisement in the direct area where your spectators will be coming from. As a build up to the event the radio station will of course say where they're going to have a roving DJ for their own marketing. Now you've got people within a sort drive hearing about your event, knowing where it?s at, and when it is. With free spectating who would turn down the chance to see cars race on the roads they can drive themselves? This in turn would bring more fans, and with more fan base the next stepping stone can be reached.

Now I'm not saying this hasn't been done before, but I've never seen (well, heard) it myself. The radio stations in my area cover the LSPR, Sno*Drift, CFR, and Baldwin Stages events, (although the later two aren?t run anymore?) yet in my 21 years of existence I've never heard anything about them on the air. Yes 7&4 news was at Sno this year and had some coverage on that weekend, but that?s after the event, not before, not during. With Radio you?re more likely to peak interest in the locals that will be more willing to make the drive to see the event. Even out at Headwaters I didn't hear anything on the local Bemidji stations about the rally.

It seems like the attitude seems to be lets get to first (TV) without considering just finishing for now (Local newspapers and Radio) and working our way up as we gain our skill.

Ben
 

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Bill Wood has been a long time motoring columnist as well as a past rally competitor and fan. As his alter-ego "Statt-Man Caruthers" he often reports on the Rally America rallies the day after they happen...provided he has been given an event press release...on his nationally syndicated radio program SpeedFreaks. They are also now broadcasting one night a week on TV on Speed Channel.

He is a good guy. He regularly announces the top 3 and makes sure the names are pronounced right. He likes Pat.

http://www.speedtv.com/speed/bio/327/
Edit: apparently you have to add the last slash manually. ???

http://www.speedfreaks.tv/
 

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don't cut
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Already did it. 1440 WNFL, the Maino and Nick show. About 5-6 times a year for over two years now. I'm supposed to talk hardware, but invariably end up talking rally as they find the stories much more amusing. Now customers come in and ask me about my rally exploits as well. I promoted LSPR last year and had a few people come in and ask about going up to the rally. Earlier that summer a local DJ got me in touch with a local sportscaster who did a five minute story on Sunday Sports Night about me. Clipped some incar and some WRC footage for it, and it really turned out neat. Had a lot of people comment about that one.

The bottome line: WHAT WE DO IS INTERESTING AND NEWSWORTHY! Don't short yourself. Rally really is as cool as we all think it is. Send out press releases, call you local radio and TV stations, and get the cars out for shows, parades, etc... Thanks to video games, speed channel, and Nascar in ROC, people want rally, so give it to them.

Dennis Martin
[email protected]
920-432-4845
 

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>Alright, let?s see who can pull this off.
>
>-Matt

Thanks for doing this! It's a very positive thing for a team to do for the sport.

Do TV appearances count? Not for me and certainly not for my appearance on Tulsa ABC-affiliate KTUL a few years ago, but if someone can finagle a TV gig like this - http://www.realautosport.com/pics/GMO-Goes-to-School.mpeg - maybe you could reward them too?

FWIW I've been taking race and rally cars to schools for years and find it a beneficial and rewarding thing to do whether the visit is chronicled by the media or not.

EDIT to mention it's best to Right Click and Save Target As to get the video on your hard drive. My server isn't set up for streaming.

Halley ...
I wanna be invited to Jake's low water bridge christening ...
http://www.realautosport.com
 

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I was interviewed by a local radio station (not sure which one) at sno*drift this year. I felt like a tool talking into a cell phone like it was a microphone, but anything for the team!
 

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don't cut
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The radio stations in my
>area cover the LSPR, Sno*Drift, CFR, and Baldwin Stages
>events, (although the later two aren?t run anymore?) yet in my
>21 years of existence I've never heard anything about them on
>the air.

The WOLF did almost 24/7 coverage of LSPR last year, sponsored by Matt Hukki of Matt's Auto Glass. Almost every break had a rally update. I dunno what Matt paid, but I bet he got his money's worth.

Dennis Martin
[email protected]
920-432-4845
 

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>I?m going to put some money where my mouth is. There are an
>awful lot of people out there who have never heard a rally car
>and a handful who have never even heard of rally.
>
>There are also an awful lot of dedicated rally teams that
>never emerge from their shops to tell anyone what they do
>every couple of weekends.
>
>So, to try to reach out to more folks, and to try to get some
>teams to assume the position of ambassadors of the sport, I?ll
>pay $100 to anyone who can get their rally car on radio, along
>with and explanation of the sport, and info on how to get more
>involved. A good memorable rally story won?t hurt either, but
>you don?t need it for the prize.
>
>That?s pretty much the rules, but you have to prove to me that
>you actually did it, and the proof is at my discretion. Also,
>it has to be an actual competition vehicle, and I?m going to
>limit one team to one trip to the same radio station.
>Different teams at the same radio station are fine, as long as
>they air at different times. This imitative only applies to
>North American Radio Stations. Finally, I?m only going to keep
>this going for a max of 30 pay outs, 10 max for Canada. I may
>have to change the rules depending on how things progress.
>
>Alright, let?s see who can pull this off.
>
>-Matt
>

Awesome Idea! Thanks for kicking up some cash to get people to get the message about the sport.

In the interest of fairness and professionalism, I will refrain from the competition, having a daily radio show and all. But I have talked up the sport on air, and make sure that people know what events I'm entering. I've also encouraged listeners to come to rally-x events at beaverun, and have done some phoners to the station while
in-car!

Good luck to all, and great idea!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'm glad to see there is some excitment for this. As long as some of that turns into real gains for the sport I'll be happy.

It seems like a lot of people have gotten themselves on the airways already. That's awsome, but If I don't keep this iniative for now-foward, I'll be tracking down radio reports the first days of TSD Rally.

I think TV is a valuable medium too, but I don't want to dilute this iniative with every form of media. I'm sticking to Radio. Remember, this isn't as easy as getting yourself on the air, you have to git yer battle-wagon on too.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
>In the interest of fairness and professionalism, I will
>refrain from the competition, having a daily radio show and
>all.

Russ,
It would be great if you, and other people in radio, gave assistance or advice to to other people who are willing to take the challenge.
 

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We've done a show for Maine PBS already which is in solid rotation in re-runs. Covered us at MFR last year.

Just filmed a spot for Mainely Motorsports TV that aired last week and again is being re-run multiple times. The show is planning to follow our progress through the season with interviews and video.

You should have seen the host when we got done giving him a ride! ;-)

Great idea Matt! :) Everyone needs to work hard to put out a poisitive image of their team and our sport!

Good luck everyone.

Cheers! John
 

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Surrender the Booty.
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Well for one, since 7&4 was live (I was at the event, my brother told me upon returning home that they didn't run it until it was over) and the local radio stations charged (I've worked with 3 of the big ones in the last 2 years for varios things, and they've never charged me, maybe thier policy has changed, shame on them) my plan for the night is...

1. Clean foot
2. Open mouth
3. Insert foot
4. Bite

The organizers do do a damn good job, but I wasn't speaking to them alone. I meant anyone invite them along, be it the event itself, or a competitor. As for now I have some foot washing to do...
 

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Thanks, Matt that's a really cool idea!

Radio is relatively easy to get into. I used to be a DJ at UCLA's radio station and I used to work at local alt/hard rock station KCXX 103.9 as well as being the reporter for Rim's rally radio last year. It's an easier medium to get into than print or TV since you'll do all of the work.

Here are some hints:

College radio
internet radio (it's easy to find a car niche station)
satellite radio (also a niche market)

Here are some hints for giving a good interview:

Think of a clear and concise way of describing rallying, making it as exciting as possible and accessible to spectators and would-be racers
Leave out insider stuff and stick to things that interest everyone
Have a few good stories ready
Have a non-rallyist think of some questions about rallying so you can practice answering them
Plug your site and the other sites with rallying info
Speak clearly and concisely
Speak Slowly!
Stay in front of the mike at a constant distance

If I could get on TV at WRC Mexico and in a mag at WRC OZ, this should not be so hard. And what a great way to help get me to Rally NY!!!
 

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Speaking of getting the word out,

The last two year at Michigan Tech we organized a LSPR presentation where Mark Utecht, Steve Gingras, Eric Burmeister and Chris Whiteman told rally stories, gave advice, etc. Each year around 150 students showed up to check it out (some always come for free pizza). I hope that I did my part to get the word out. If anyone would be interested in this grassroots approach, let me know. I'm considering organizing another this fall through my contacts at MTU.

-Josh
 

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>>In the interest of fairness and professionalism, I will
>>refrain from the competition, having a daily radio show and
>>all.
>
>Russ,
>It would be great if you, and other people in radio, gave
>assistance or advice to to other people who are willing to
>take the challenge.

First- don't expect an instant response from a form type letter mailed to a station- they usually go to the public affairs director with the thousand other people that want some type of event coverage.

Try to find the local gearhead radio personality, in this town (Pittsburgh), most people know that's me, and there is another local guy that most people know as THE car guy- anyway, get in touch with whoever that is. You'll know him as the guy who does his show live from the local tracks for example... call or email him, or her, and let them know you dig cars too, and are a local racer. Invite the personality to an event, offering some degree of hospitality along the way, lunch or dinner or whatever.

Find out what stations in town promote any local car shows, and get in touch with them ahead of time letting them know what you do, and why it's be cool to have your car not only in the show, but near the stations set up at the event. And if you are at a show with your car, go ask to be on the air, maybe they'll talk to you!

Find the local car talk shows in your area, and call! Have the car running in the background for effect, and play up the angle that you are a local guy who rallies! Have your spiel laid out so you kow what to say...

...about what to say, keep it focused, and on topic. And keep it fairly simply so you don't talk over the listeners heads. Remember, a minute is a fairly long time to radio people, so try to keep your message simple.

Finally, here is the KEY-and I charge most people for this info, but I'll give it away here... tie yourself to a local charity! Get involved with any charity, from march of dimes, to the animal shelter. We are much more accepting of helping out a charity than just a guy pimping his sponsors. THere is a local auto-x that directly helps out a charity around here, and I gave them some free airtime last year, and am helping them again this year. How can my boss say no to that?! Charity is the key, and you'll feel better helping someone else too.

Good luck!

PS- when you do send some info to the local personality- include a dozen bagels or something! Trust me this works, especially if you remember to drop off the cream cheese and some plasticware too!
 

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Thanks for the tips, Russ. I going to try to plant some stories in the Detroit local media as we get closer to LSPR. The Keweenaw (Houghton area) is a vacation destination for many of the folks here in the motor city and if we can get them to plan their color tour around our rally, it can only help.

Matt, I think you should limit your incentive to people who get on their local radio on their own effort. Rallies like LSPR have multiple radio stations covering the rally and getting lots of interviews from teams.

As long as we're listing our "appearances" (in addition to the regular Speed or OLN stuff)...

-Interview on Hi-Rev Tuners on Speed at HIN San Mateo.
-2 interviews on Marquette television news stations, 2 different years
-various interviews at LSPR for WOLF and WMTU.
-various interviews at SnoDrift for multiple newspapers.
-various interviews with Mazda's in house and dealer publications.
-interview with Rally Planet when we debuted the Protege.

I've also written rallying articles for Modified Magazine and S3 (Speed, Style, and Sound).

I'm no Howard Stern, but I LOVE talking to people about rallying.
 

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Any teams in the Western Mass / Connecticut area should check out 106 WHCN, they do a race report once a week (not sure of the day, I think Monday) and I have always thought it'd be great promotion for any rallycross, autocross, and even for STPR, MFR, and Rally NY,( they offer reports fromas far away as Watkins Glen and NHIS). They might like to talk to a team.
 
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