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Old 01-19-2011, 09:00 AM
  #31
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Sometimes things have to become a complete cluster-fvck before true evolution and change can emerge. Having multiple sanctioning bodies, circuits and classes is silly. But we've been doing it for decades and no one has successfully made the transcendent change.

I have known Marc for many years, both professionally and personally. He is one of the shining visionaries that has risen the ranks in offshore racing. I'm sure he has some great ideas cooking and everyone should be paying attention. Considering the new potential for our economy, it is time for racers, sanctioning bodies, everyone to put the past and our differences aside (but keep the competitive spirit) and watch what Marc, and the other dominant visionaries, can do.
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Old 01-19-2011, 10:15 AM
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The LLC had a competition and marketing model that worked. It had TV. It had a premier catamaran class with an average of 10 boats at each race. It had several other classes each with many boats. The racing was close and exciting with multiple winners and champions. It had pretty good events. It was being covered by the industry magazines. It had two hours of TV for each race on SPEED. It had a number of industry sponsors and manufacturers participating. It had a marquee series sponsor in GM. It also had a long range plan that included classic offshore racing and other events.

If it were not for some stupid, expensive business mistakes by inexperienced upper management (i.e. me) it actually could have been profitable, or at least self-sustainable for many years.

I still think it can be made to work again. But it would require a boycott proof premier class where the sanctioning body owned the boats.

It would also require a substantial investment of capital from a major corporation or outside investment group who a) was interested in making money; b) believed they could make money, or at least believed it was worth taking the risk. Common sense says that without these things the sport will simply continue to be a fun hobby for several dozen people, their family and friends, which is not so bad in the scheme of things.
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Old 01-19-2011, 10:30 AM
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The are no paying fans for these events....and the number of actual non paying fans is highly debatable. Most of the races I have attended in recent years feature thousands of people on a weekend beach day who would probably be there anyhow. The towns benefit primarily from the teams, the media, and their ancillary hangers on, or people who live a short driving distance away and consider the event like an annual carnival. The Key West race is probably the one exception to this although that venue benefits from the presence of a large Poker Run crowd. If there are so many "fans" clammoring to see this event, how do the Poker Runners find good accomodations?

Offshore racing is a sport that must have TV for promotion. Without that how can a random potential "fan" even find out that the sport exists? Once you have TV coverage (helicopter based) It doesn't matter whether the boats are in a harbor or 50 miles offshore. You can beam some video back to large screens in the "fan" area for the handful (by comparison to broadcast) of people who watch at the event...and show the entire race on a tape delay basis to a MUCH larger audience with sponsors and advertizers receiving some bang for their buck. The Europeans understand that and also get that you can't pollute the sport with numerous, meaningless classes.

My support of marathons comes from the belief that long courses change the game from a bunch of repetitive laps featuring grandstanding and bling and return the sport to a true racing model where equipment, personal skills and stamina are tested. This conversion may drive some current racer/owners from the sport, but it will open the gates to a whole different and larger breed of racer/sportsmen while encouraging talent and competition. These are the type of colorful people who pioneered the sport, and now stay away in droves. Much like the Baja race and Paris Dakar Rally draw world wide attention without "spectator friendliness", so too can Offshore Racing return to its roots and profit from the change IMHO.

Look, what's going on now clearly isn't working, and we all know the definition of insanity.

T2x
I was watching the Paris to Dakar rally recently. This event has been on TV for many years, it's run out in deserts with zreo spectators and gets on TV. The European Rally car series gets on TV with minimal spectators also. Offshore racing could if it was unified and managed by a single professional group.
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Old 01-19-2011, 10:31 AM
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Mike,
Will you ever take another bite at the apple??
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Old 01-19-2011, 10:40 AM
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Mike,
Will you ever take another bite at the apple??
Not with my own money!
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Old 01-19-2011, 10:55 AM
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The LLC had a competition and marketing model that worked. It had TV. It had a premier catamaran class with an average of 10 boats at each race. It had several other classes each with many boats. The racing was close and exciting with multiple winners and champions. It had pretty good events. It was being covered by the industry magazines. It had two hours of TV for each race on SPEED. It had a number of industry sponsors and manufacturers participating. It had a marquee series sponsor in GM. It also had a long range plan that included classic offshore racing and other events.

If it were not for some stupid, expensive business mistakes by inexperienced upper management (i.e. me) it actually could have been profitable, or at least self-sustainable for many years.

I still think it can be made to work again. But it would require a boycott proof premier class where the sanctioning body owned the boats.

It would also require a substantial investment of capital from a major corporation or outside investment group who a) was interested in making money; b) believed they could make money, or at least believed it was worth taking the risk. Common sense says that without these things the sport will simply continue to be a fun hobby for several dozen people, their family and friends, which is not so bad in the scheme of things.
Earlier in this thread I said "there is no successful model to emulate." I need to amend that statement: While not perfect, APBA Offshore was far and away the closest thing I've seen. I like the notion of a blend of "spectator friendly" events close to shore and true offshore marathon races. There's no reason a series couldn't contain both. But as T2X points, you need television coverage.

I also like the notions of:

•One sanctioning body fed by regional clubs.

•Two classes, one V-bottom and one catamaran, at the national series and "world championship" levels and as many classes as necessary at the regional club level.
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Old 01-19-2011, 11:42 AM
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Earlier in this thread I said "there is no successful model to emulate." I need to amend that statement: While not perfect, APBA Offshore was far and away the closest thing I've seen. I like the notion of a blend of "spectator friendly" events close to shore and true offshore marathon races. There's no reason a series couldn't contain both. But as T2X points, you need television coverage.

I also like the notions of:

•One sanctioning body fed by regional clubs.

•Two classes, one V-bottom and one catamaran, at the national series and "world championship" levels and as many classes as necessary at the regional club level.
Thanks Matt. Nothing's perfect. My primary point here is that none of the various ideas and concepts put forth on this and other threads are automatically good, bad, right, or wrong. But, there cannot be a "bigger sport" without subtantial capital investment, and there cannot be a substantial capital investment without the possibility of a subtantial financial return for the investors. In other words, when we talk about classes, and how many v-bottoms or cat classes are needed, or what kind of events we should have, we are wasting time unless it is in the conttext of how an investor can MAKE MONEY.

Accordingly, to generate a substantial ROI, I think the following elements are required, but not necessarily in this order: a dues paying membership base, event sponsors, series sponsors, entry fees, equipment registration fees, equipment lease fees on the premier class equipment. If at the end of the day, you cannot build a model where these "innies" greatly exceed the corresponding "outies", then the sport is never going to be "bigger" and better then it is today.
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Old 01-19-2011, 12:06 PM
  #38
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. If at the end of the day, you cannot build a model where these "innies" greatly exceed the corresponding "outies", then the sport is never going to be "bigger" and better then it is today.
It's only fitting that a discussion about ocean racing and the sea should contain a number of "Navel" references.....
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Old 01-19-2011, 12:54 PM
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It's only fitting that a discussion about ocean racing and the sea should contain a number of "Navel" references.....
Great minds think alike. Great catch - shows that your mind still functions even at such an advanced age.
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Old 01-19-2011, 01:06 PM
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"It's like Super Cat was in 2001-2003."

This seems to be a recurring theme, lately.
Those were the days!
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