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Old 11-06-2009, 07:03 PM
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Default The Unfortunate Circumstances Of Offshore Racing

IMHO, the biggest issue that Offshore Racing will have in getting big time corporate sponsor dollars is not at all the TV issue....You can simply package up the TV with the sponsorships, as well as other activations, too....If you have a cool sporting event that people will watch, getting the TV time is the easy part (not that getting TV is easy, but in this example, the networks have already shown that they will air it, so you have bigger hurdles to cross...)

The issue is that many of these "other" sponsor activations are directly with the fans of the sport, which all starts with the spectators at the events....The biggest problem with turning Offshore Boat racing into a mainstream sport is the lack of being able to have crazy attendance numbers at the races...

Now, that being said, if you look at what they did at the Gold-Cup in Detroit over the last couple of years, it was really cool...The offshore boats ran as a support race for the Unlimited hydroplanes, and frankly, they put on a hell of a show...However, I completely understand that the racers and the "old school" fans don't have any interest in the shorter 2 1/2 mile race courses, and in many ways, I think the longer 10-15 mile courses are way cooler too....the problem is you can't be in control of a venue that large to sell admission, control the concessions, etc....This not only earns tremendous revenues, but also can make a strong case for sponsors as well when you have 30,000-50,000 people there on race day and 100,000+ over a 3 day weekend...If there was a way to do this, and stage each of the events within 50-75 miles of in the top 25 markets, you now have an easy sell....

I think that the product is DEFINITELY cool enough, and can draw fans...you just have nowhere to put them all at an event, and that is the 25' brick wall that you have to climb before you can move on with the rest of it...
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Old 11-06-2009, 11:03 PM
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IMHO, the biggest issue that Offshore Racing will have in getting big time corporate sponsor dollars is not at all the TV issue....You can simply package up the TV with the sponsorships, as well as other activations, too....If you have a cool sporting event that people will watch, getting the TV time is the easy part (not that getting TV is easy, but in this example, the networks have already shown that they will air it, so you have bigger hurdles to cross...)

The issue is that many of these "other" sponsor activations are directly with the fans of the sport, which all starts with the spectators at the events....The biggest problem with turning Offshore Boat racing into a mainstream sport is the lack of being able to have crazy attendance numbers at the races...

Now, that being said, if you look at what they did at the Gold-Cup in Detroit over the last couple of years, it was really cool...The offshore boats ran as a support race for the Unlimited hydroplanes, and frankly, they put on a hell of a show...However, I completely understand that the racers and the "old school" fans don't have any interest in the shorter 2 1/2 mile race courses, and in many ways, I think the longer 10-15 mile courses are way cooler too....the problem is you can't be in control of a venue that large to sell admission, control the concessions, etc....This not only earns tremendous revenues, but also can make a strong case for sponsors as well when you have 30,000-50,000 people there on race day and 100,000+ over a 3 day weekend...If there was a way to do this, and stage each of the events within 50-75 miles of in the top 25 markets, you now have an easy sell....

I think that the product is DEFINITELY cool enough, and can draw fans...you just have nowhere to put them all at an event, and that is the 25' brick wall that you have to climb before you can move on with the rest of it...

To get big time corporate sponsors for Offshore Powerboat Racing, you have to have an avenue for them to sell their products to a large fan base but a large viewing audience is what is really needed and TV is that avenue. Many people don't even know what Offshore Powerboat Racing is, in Canada there are no Offshore Powerboat Races, so how would anyone know what it is all about. How do you teach people about Offshore Powerboat Racing, you have to televise it, so people can see a new and exciting sport to them on TV. Only then can you move forward from that point. Lets take a look at Super Bowl and what big time sponsors pay for some air time commercials. Why is this, because the Super Bowl is televised and watch in every home and the sponsors can sell their product to a massive audience. You mention that "Old School" racers don't have any interest in the shorter 2 1/2 mile course like at the Gold Cup Race. I think that is wrong, Offshore Powerboat Racing fans don't want the longer 10-15 mile race courses, fans only see occasional race action but with the shorter race course of 4-5 miles, you get to see the, whole race and continuous race action. Long course are boring and do nothing for the race fan. At the Gold Cup Races, the Offshore's put on a great show for the fans on a short course where everyone could see the entire race and they raced real close to the race fans, which was super cool and loud, that's why I buy tickets every year for that event. The St. Clair River Offshore Classic is run on a 4 mile course and a 7 mile course, although I would like to see the 7 mile course shortened to make this already great race even better, it is still the best for the fans and racers. That is what the race fans want, short courses that spectators can see the whole race and be treated to continuous race action, they don't want the long course but shorter courses, that is the future. On OSO I have read post where people are asking where is the best place to view the races at Key West, they all want to get as close as possible to the race boats and see the great racing on a short course. TV plays a major role in any sport to acquaint viewers with the sport and to help sponsors sell their products to the viewers. Not many knew what the Red Bull Air Racers where all about in Windsor and Detroit, until in 2008 when Detroit brought in the Red Bull Air Races on the Detroit River, which drew around 350,000 spectators to the water front and was televised. In 2009 the City of Windsor with sponsorship from the Ontario Government brought the Red Bull Races to Windsor and Detroit and it was the first time that they raced in Canada and they drew around 600-700,000 spectators, why because it was on TV and people saw what it was all about. If it wasn't televised I don't think there would have seen as many spectator's/tourist watching them race. TV is one of the main keys to building Offshore Powerboat Racing, along with unification of the sport, select the best race sites that spectators can see the entire race and where the boats can race as close to the spectators as possible and then it will grow. Unfortunately the economy is extremely bad and it is extremely hard to get sponsors under the present circumstances. I am not trashing any buddy or org. but just giving my opinion of where and how the sport needs to evolve for the future.
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Old 11-07-2009, 12:24 AM
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I'm from the dark ages I guess, but TV should be paying for the product, you shouldn't have to pay to have TV there, it's their ratings. It's funny how when their is a tragedy in boat racing, TV is all over the place. None of it makes sense to me, but what the hell do I know. ( I'm pretty sure the NY Yankees don't PAY to be on TV). ( I'm not comparing the Yanks to boat racing, just trying to make a point)
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Old 11-07-2009, 05:47 AM
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I'm from the dark ages I guess, but TV should be paying for the product, you shouldn't have to pay to have TV there, it's their ratings. It's funny how when their is a tragedy in boat racing, TV is all over the place. None of it makes sense to me, but what the hell do I know. ( I'm pretty sure the NY Yankees don't PAY to be on TV). ( I'm not comparing the Yanks to boat racing, just trying to make a point)
The Race producers think they should be paid - but that is not the way it is - first there are too many classes - 14 I think in KW - if not more- everyone wins - how to SPIN that on TV - very confusing - 2nd - lets call it Inshore racing or BAY racing - as todays racing has little to do with REAL OFFSHORE - Racing - where you would race maybe 100 miles or more - maybe ONE LAP - not 28 laps - and be out of sight of land for a while - and only have your compass and instinct to rely on !

Think of the Bahamas 500 or the Hennessy Grand Prix - where you would run 60 miles - to Fire Island - and only have your compass - that was offshore - open water - not protected bays -

I suspect soon - Key West will be run just in the harbor - and never venture out into the gulf -

now back to your regularly scheduled program !
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Old 11-07-2009, 11:11 AM
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Default Thinking Back

Back in the mid to late 90's I was still in my late teens but still remember making time during the day to watch the offshore racing. Ahh the good ol days!

I kept up with P1 this summer by watching americanpowerboat.tv
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Old 11-07-2009, 11:56 AM
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Default Offshore Racing!!!!!

I know cleveland ,ohio doesn't get anyone excited but Lake Erie had a couple offshore races up here a few years back and with the way the lake can kick up, you definetly get offshore racing. A couple miles behind the break wall in protected water and then anything goes out on the shallow lake which can kick up in a hurry. fan friendly also. Maybe since we voted a casino here we can finally get some tourism too. If Detriot can draw that many for air races I'm sure a new casino operator would love to promote offshhore racing .... to promote there interests.

I know this is a far fetched idea and probably serves only my interest but hey at least i can still dream right. which is what all of us are doing with hoping one day offshore racing gets on tv again. Especially for a industry that is slowly disappearing
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Old 11-07-2009, 12:34 PM
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The offshore racing I've seen on TV in my lifetime has been a waste of time mostly - unless you're one of the drivers who gets interviewed - always seems to be interviews of drivers or pitiful commentary (unknowledgable) - not enough good footage of the action on the water, which is what would draw people to it on TV - no one knows any of the drivers - it's not like people are going to have thier favorites like nascar or?? Of course that footage is cheaper to get than the action footage of course.

Every single time I have watched any, I find myself saying "shut the H*LL up, and show the D*** action - and get some good sound, and....

It all boils down to lack of $$. And to think that more people love all the action watching Golf..????

Just my frustrated .02
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Old 11-07-2009, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by AB From Windsor View Post
To get big time corporate sponsors for Offshore Powerboat Racing, you have to have an avenue for them to sell their products to a large fan base but a large viewing audience is what is really needed and TV is that avenue. Many people don't even know what Offshore Powerboat Racing is, in Canada there are no Offshore Powerboat Races, so how would anyone know what it is all about. How do you teach people about Offshore Powerboat Racing, you have to televise it, so people can see a new and exciting sport to them on TV. Only then can you move forward from that point. Lets take a look at Super Bowl and what big time sponsors pay for some air time commercials. Why is this, because the Super Bowl is televised and watch in every home and the sponsors can sell their product to a massive audience. You mention that "Old School" racers don't have any interest in the shorter 2 1/2 mile course like at the Gold Cup Race. I think that is wrong, Offshore Powerboat Racing fans don't want the longer 10-15 mile race courses, fans only see occasional race action but with the shorter race course of 4-5 miles, you get to see the, whole race and continuous race action. Long course are boring and do nothing for the race fan. At the Gold Cup Races, the Offshore's put on a great show for the fans on a short course where everyone could see the entire race and they raced real close to the race fans, which was super cool and loud, that's why I buy tickets every year for that event. The St. Clair River Offshore Classic is run on a 4 mile course and a 7 mile course, although I would like to see the 7 mile course shortened to make this already great race even better, it is still the best for the fans and racers. That is what the race fans want, short courses that spectators can see the whole race and be treated to continuous race action, they don't want the long course but shorter courses, that is the future. On OSO I have read post where people are asking where is the best place to view the races at Key West, they all want to get as close as possible to the race boats and see the great racing on a short course. TV plays a major role in any sport to acquaint viewers with the sport and to help sponsors sell their products to the viewers. Not many knew what the Red Bull Air Racers where all about in Windsor and Detroit, until in 2008 when Detroit brought in the Red Bull Air Races on the Detroit River, which drew around 350,000 spectators to the water front and was televised. In 2009 the City of Windsor with sponsorship from the Ontario Government brought the Red Bull Races to Windsor and Detroit and it was the first time that they raced in Canada and they drew around 600-700,000 spectators, why because it was on TV and people saw what it was all about. If it wasn't televised I don't think there would have seen as many spectator's/tourist watching them race. TV is one of the main keys to building Offshore Powerboat Racing, along with unification of the sport, select the best race sites that spectators can see the entire race and where the boats can race as close to the spectators as possible and then it will grow. Unfortunately the economy is extremely bad and it is extremely hard to get sponsors under the present circumstances. I am not trashing any buddy or org. but just giving my opinion of where and how the sport needs to evolve for the future.
I agree with you that the shorter race courses are much better thatn the longer courses...I was simply saying that based on what I have been told by racers (as a casual fan) is that "real offshore racing" is on the longer race courses....While I think that the longer courses are cool, I was simply stating that IMHO, that the shorter courses would be the way to get the ball rolling for growing the fan base of the sport...

Using the Super Bowl in an example about how to grow boat racing is a little grandiose and skewed, isn't it? I would say that a more current and credible example would be these Extreme Sports...They started in the last several years with grassroots events, and built their fan base and then moved on to TV (coincidentally, THEY used to pay for TV when they got started, too...)

It has to start with the fans and getting them to the events...then you can build from there...
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Old 11-07-2009, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by frankenstein View Post
I'm from the dark ages I guess, but TV should be paying for the product, you shouldn't have to pay to have TV there, it's their ratings. It's funny how when their is a tragedy in boat racing, TV is all over the place. None of it makes sense to me, but what the hell do I know. ( I'm pretty sure the NY Yankees don't PAY to be on TV). ( I'm not comparing the Yanks to boat racing, just trying to make a point)
Networks won't pay for events that don't have enough of a demand and viewer following for their sales staff to sell...Thus, this can also work to the advantage of the sport in question, as they would now have the ability to package their TV with their sponsorships and create a very strong value proposition for their sponsors if they are unique enough and can reach a very targeted & coveted audience.

Believe it or not, some of the biggest NCAA Bowl Championship Games are still time-buys...This is because of the above stated model...They package a lot of on-field, off-field, and in-game promotion...The networks would not have any jurisdiction of any on-field, on-uniform, or off-TV promotion that theses games can offer which is why they do this...
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Old 11-07-2009, 09:15 PM
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I agree with you that the shorter race courses are much better thatn the longer courses...I was simply saying that based on what I have been told by racers (as a casual fan) is that "real offshore racing" is on the longer race courses....While I think that the longer courses are cool, I was simply stating that IMHO, that the shorter courses would be the way to get the ball rolling for growing the fan base of the sport...

Using the Super Bowl in an example about how to grow boat racing is a little grandiose and skewed, isn't it? I would say that a more current and credible example would be these Extreme Sports...They started in the last several years with grassroots events, and built their fan base and then moved on to TV (coincidentally, THEY used to pay for TV when they got started, too...)

It has to start with the fans and getting them to the events...then you can build from there...


Yes, I have to agree that "Real Offshore Racing" took place on the longer race course's and on the ocean but it only served the needs of the racers, as no one else could see them flying through the air unless it was televised from a helicopter. As for my grandiose statement about the the Super Bowl, It may have been over the top but the point is, watch college football, NFL, NBL and NBA, their show is on the air and they have the sponsors to support it. Why them and not Offshore Powerboat Racing, the action is front and center so that everyone can see it and not miss the action. They all draw huge crowds to their games and and that is what sponsors want. Spectators and fans pay higher prices for tickets just to be closer to the action which they are watching and the promoters know that and capitalize on it and then there are the tickets in the noise bleed sections that are still usually filled because fans can still see all the action in front of them. In Offshore Powerboat Racing we have to have the fans together at one spot and it is impossible to do this with longer race courses and there for the shorter course's are a must and at sites where the race boats can also race close to the spectators, eg. "The Detroit River", "The St. Clair River". Lakes and oceans are not the idle spots to hold Offshore Powerboat Races if you want to draw huge crowds of spectators. Offshore can learn from other promoters of other sports as to why they are so successful, they hold their events right in front of the spectators and everyone knows what is going on at all times and they are televised live in most cases and not months later like offshore. I have always believed that the more boats racing together the more interesting the race will be for the spectators and the fans. If it meant only holding say 5 Offshore Powerboat Races at the best race sites that exist or get new one's, Offshore racing would be going in the right direction towards building for the future. Most of us but not all, would love to see SBI/APBA, OSS and OPA forming one large Offshore Powerboat Racing Association which would race at the best race sites they select. Bring the big show to the fans, where everyone can learn what it is all about and where they can all see the awesome show that Offshore Powerboat Racing is capable of put on for the fans and they will come. We can learn from others and there are a lot of very smart people and successful business people in Offshore Powerboat Racing. I wish I was going to Key West Offshore Worlds where the best of the best will be battling it out on a race course where spectators can see the whole race course and watch in awe as the race boats fly by only feet away from the spectators on shore and on the spectators fleet. That's exactly what I'm talking about and can you imagine if most of the races were something like that and televised live.
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