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Marketing through Motorsports
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Discussion Starter #1
This started off as a response to the Rally Lifestyle topic, but it grew sufficiently to warrant its own thread.

The marketing guy. As I wade through the many posts on this (previous) topic, I see lots of references to Kurt as "the marketing guy." He was hired in as the marketing guy, but that's no longer his job. We now have Garret Mudd, whom many of us met at the NorPac convention, whose job is to market all of the SCCA, not just our brightest hope sector ("rally." )

Garret's background is racing related with a strong understanding of marketing (operator of Lime Rock) and I have confidence that he's going to be able to do what has proven problematic for his many predecessors, and yes, I've written to Steve Johnson to express my cautious optimism about having Garret performing those duties.

Rally America. We also are fortunate to have Rally America step up with their own cash and hard work to handle things that our series needs. While I personally feel that they're filling a void that should not have existed in the first place, I'm happy to see them address the challenges of our sport.

Travel distances. As for Daphne's distances, I applaud her for compiling this. We've unfortunately seen in the past that we're told one thing, then given another (or, more usually, nothing). Hopefully if the powers that be are made aware of the problems we face, the situation can be righted and future communications will be improved.

SpecialStage and Kurt. As for Kurt responding to this forum, even though it really is the de facto place for our sport, I remind you that he used to post information here and on most cases was personally blasted at every opportunity. I am one who, after several years of optimism, have voiced strong criticism of some decisions and actions taken by our leadership. It's important to stress, however, that my objections and concerns are not with the person but the actions. I still believe that everyone at the helm is doing what they think is best for the sport. While many of us disagree, it's unfair to assume that the actions are deliberately sinister or purposely intended to rile up the membership. While--in my opinion--the PRD hasn't been able to meet the widely disparate needs of the members, it's not for lack of passion for the sport or compassion for the players. Kurt is not a bad guy, even though it's possible he's no longer the right guy for the job. On the other hand, maybe we just don't really understand what the job is.

Manufacturers. A related comment, if only tangential: I'm delighted to see people from Subaru and Hyundai monitoring and responding to our posts. We NEED the manufacturers as partners--the key is that we add them to our package, not get displaced by them. In my opinion, they have no interest in displacing the common racer. Instead, the manufacturers have as strong a vested interest in growing the sport as any privateer or hobby racer, and have as strong a desire to see us happy as competitors in a healthy, vital series.

Summary. I had not intended to write this long, nor this strongly, but I stand by my words. I fervently desire to see our sport grow, for competitors AND manufacturers, for the doers and the watchers, for the club and its members. It's the codriver's code that you keep on getting back in the car even after getting sick, so I'm not ready to give up yet. The people at the top, including the Pres, the PRB, the MC, the PRD, the BoD, and the office staff, all have difficult assignments to complete if our common goal of "moving our sport forward" is to be achieved. I still hope that we'll be able to make it happen. I still stand ready to help.

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[p align=right]John Dillon
John @ WidgetRacing.com
www.WidgetRacing.com
 

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Marketing through Motorsports
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Discussion Starter #3
RE: JOHN DILLON FOR PRESIDENT!!!!

Thanks, Charles, but I'm already Chairman of the WSRC--a much more important role! :)

P.S. I hope it was clear in my posting that I was speaking as myself, not in any official capacity.

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[p align=right]John Dillon
John @ WidgetRacing.com
www.WidgetRacing.com
 

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Slid'n around 'n havin a ball
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Regarding Rally PR

I appreciate the time you took to make a number of valid and considered points. As the Newsletter editor of my region, I've recieved many press releases of new Marketing Directors and PR Directors the last few years but the name as the contact at the bottom of each Pro Rally Media Alert remains Kurt's.
This is an excerpt from the latest...

Selected Entries and Additional News:
While the SCCA rules allow teams to enter their previous-season's cars at Sno*Drift, several teams will be debuting all new sheet metal this year:

Mitsubishi Rally Team USA, which made news here last year with the debut of the only works-backed Group 2 Lancer rally car in the world, returns this year with a completely new team, new cars and except for one key player - all new combatants: 2002 Group 2 Driver and Woodner Cup recipient Lauchlin O'Sullivan gets a new co-driver: Mark Williams, formerly of Subaru Rally Team Canada, and is joined by 2002 Driver Champion David Higgins with Daniel Barritt.
Group N runner-up Tim O'Neil makes the jump to Open class, in an all-new Ford Focus - the first Focus seen in the SCCA's top class. Fielded by Andy Brown's AV Sport, and sponsored by the US AirForce Reserve, expect this unique entry to stir up some real commotion at the head of the pack.
Dodge makes their debut as a member of the SCCA ProRally Manufacturers Championship, fielding a Group 2 Neon SXT, with Christopher Whiteman and Michael Paulin in charge.
Subaru Rally Team USA will be holding back their all-new, and rumored to be quite radical WRX-STi's for debut at Rim of the World in May, but will have 2001 Champion Mark Lovell, and rising American star Ramana Lagemann on hand in the last appearance of their 2002 WRX's
British Rally Championship regulars, and defending 2002 overall champion Jonny Milner, with Duncan McGrath will be doing dual duty this year, gunning for the Group N Championship here, and Milner will be defending his championship back in the United Kingdom.
The Sno*Drift Rally this year moves the pre-event Parc Expose, start and Day-One Service to nearby Lewiston. On Day Two, Sno*Drift's popular single location layout returns to its traditional home, the compact village of Atlanta, MI as operations headquarters, the location of the restart and all services. Sno*Drift has a long-standing reputation as one of the most fan friendly and easiest press coverage events of the SCCA ProRally season, and this year should be no different.

Event Rank:
Sno*Drift is a full-points round for Driver & Manufacturer Championships in the SCCA ProRally.

Interviews and Visuals:
Drivers, co-drivers and crew will be accessible during the event, including the Friday Parc Expose prior to the start of the rally. The service areas are open to credentialed press at all times of the event. During the event, action photography and video will be possible from viewing areas set up along the rally course, as well as other sites.

Media information and Contact:
Kurt Spitzner - SCCA Pro Rally Championship Director:
mobile: 303.204.0375
email: [email protected]
Sno*Drift Rally: http://www.sno-drift.org

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As you can see, if you need media info, call his cell.
Unlike the last few releases last year, no mention is made of local heros, which is a shame. I hope Kemp, Johnson and Utecht embarass the "headliners" like Frank did last year.
rz
 

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RE: Regarding Rally PR

>Unlike the last few releases last year, no mention is made
>of local heros, which is a shame. I hope Kemp, Johnson and
>Utecht embarass the "headliners" like Frank did last year.
>rz

Since Michelin and Andy Shupeck left the scene the marketing strategy has been designed to avoid the local press. When the local guys (Dave and Rick Hintz) won the G5 national title at their home rally last year, the press release buried their names in the next to the last paragraph, and neglected to mention the hometown news angle.

I doubt if the current marketing team even has a list of local media contacts.

Jim Culp
 
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