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How can this sport grow?

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Old 11-14-2002, 12:07 PM
  #31
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Originally posted by 26scarab
Steve1 , JohnJan,
I completley agree with what you guys are saying.

Also Factory classes?!?!? It should be called Manufactures class.
Let's be realistic, I stroll down to the local Bajafountaincigarette dealership and buy a 35-38ft BFC with the weeks latest APBA approved motors off the showroom floor and hit the next race. I would be lapped probably several times by the race , oops I mean Factory boats.
1. There are too many classes, our Sponsor couldn't figure out if we were racing against Drambui, Flowmaster or Zipp. They were very confused and they were on a yacht in the middle of the action with people that complete understood racing. The public can't follow it.

Corporate sponsors that don't know much about boat racing, will go completely crazy at a race. They will yell and cheer everytime your boat passes, even when they don't know what's going on. If it's done right you won't have a problem signing them up year after year. Corporate hospitality is the way to sell sponsorships, not "well you might get some tv coverage on speedvision." I alway said, "company X can take your clients out golfing, but we will take you to some of the most beautiful places in the US, put you on the nicest yachts for you and your clients to experience the most extreme motorsport on the planet."

As for factory, there should be professional classes and amature (hobby) classes. By current APBA classes, there should be F2, Super V, Supercat Light and Supercat. F2 will get you the experience to step up to Super V and the same for the cats. All other boats should run P class. With less classes on the course the spectator will be able to follow what's going on. Also people that really want to step up the plate and race on a professional level, the things that sponsors look for, will have less choice so in time the classes will grow. When I say sponsors I'm talking about major corporate 6 figure sponsorship, not you're local body shop. Also, since you represent that corporate sponsor, the party atmosphere will need to stop since it does not do anything to help that corporate image. It's just another reason real corporate sponsorship is hard to come by in this sport. Professionalism in this sport is definately lacking. Any idea what I disliked about racing? One of the biggest problems I see is that most of the racers treat this sport as a hobby. Just look at how many of the teams are out drinking every night before the race, staying out all night.

2. Ron mentioned gated attendance, in the APBA, St Pete, Corpus Christi, and Missiagua were all gated to the fans. It can be done with a little research in course placement and a lot of effort on the part of the local promotor. I think promotion of the event is definately a problem. The locals in Canada didn't even know there was a racing going on "Why are there so many boats here, eh?" Also they need to keep the gate fees down.

Winners Circle, some events like texas were ok, but mostly there was no place that was central that was packed with fans for a winners circle. From my experience, go here and get the checkerd flag, go there for inspection, the go over there to crane the boat out, then go someplace else for after race interview. The winning boat should come to one place for inspection and interviews where the engine hatch can be sealed. This needs to be a place with the highest concentration of FANS. With fans you'll not going to get corporate sponsorship, ie $$$$$.

3. The sanctioning bodies keep changing the rules to accomendate the biggest whiners. Set the rules and don't change them for a mininum of 5 years. This just pisses off the other racers who play by the rules. One of the reasons people don't stay in it for long periods.

Parity, sure it's good but should a team that doesn't test be given special rule changes in the name of parity? What message does this send to the teams that spend time and money testing? Again the whine factor plays a role here.

4. Prize money. Some of this will be solved with less classes and with the money from the gate.

As the season progresses the amount of prize money should increase. That way teams that don't have a shot at the national championship will still run since the prize money may help cover the cost of going racing.

There should be a large prize purse for the national champion. Also there should be more recognition to those champions, something that will get the fans involved in the sport. With less classes this will become possible.

People like to talk about the awe factor. We need big bad boats so people will want to see them. If you think that then put go to a boat show. People should want to see RACING. Look at the success of nascar, nothing big and bad about those cars, however they do a awsome job putting on a race. Most poeple don't even get into the pits to see the cars up close like they can in our sport.

The only way this sport will ever grow is to get the fans involved. FANS == $$$$ There needs to be some consistency in the classes and the teams that run those classes. The fans need to be able to have a favorite team year after year. Go to a race and listen and you'll hear fans talk about teams like Drambui, Tommy Bahama, Virgin. They put on a professional show, have excellent merchandising and are not there on an ego trip to show off all their toys.
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Old 11-14-2002, 12:32 PM
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mr_velocity:

Excellent points.
I am not a boat racer and, in fact, have never been to a boat race..yet. (going to Key West!!)
My viewpoints come strictly from my experiences and views of racing on both the sportsman and professional level in NHRA drag racing.
One thing that needs to be mentioned is prize money. I doubt that there is any motorsport where prize money alone will pay the bills. In the Utlra competitive world of NHRA Pro Stock racing, we only received $4000 to qualify for an event, and maybe 20,000 to win!
If we would have won EVERY race that season, we could have made a small profit.
The point is that sponsors are the only ticket to making it work financially.
Again, I do not have experience with offshore racing, so these are just general observations, but my opinion is that there can be many classes of racing (NHRA has 8 sprotsman classes and probably over a hundred categories within those classes) but the format is what is important.
Draw up the rules so that the "professional" classes (supercat superV, etc.) can compete on the day that can potentially draw the biggest crowd. All other classes can run other days, with possibly finals in the category on the big race day.
It needs to be fan friendly as you stated!
In my experience, fans pay the sanctioning bodies bills (and salaries) but the corporate sponsors pay the racers.
Professionalism is very important, and will come to all the teams when sponsorship dollars are on the line.
If you don't want a carnival, thousands of drunken idiot fans, TV in your face, and big purses, then enjoy it as it is now!
My .10
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Old 11-14-2002, 12:34 PM
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Wow Mr V, excellent observations. And you were the first one to use the ego word.

In Nascar or Cart, the drivers are hired guns and play by the rules set forth by the sponsors. Bad image and your toast.

Did you ever watch an offshore racer interviewed on TV? Could they be more boring? "So how was it out there?" " Well, Jimmy Bob held down the sticks and we just went for it."

Someone needs to take a lesson at the John Force school of race interviews. These guys try to make it sound like it's no big deal because their ego is putting words in thier mouths. How about some enthusiasm when the TV camera is in your face?????
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Old 11-14-2002, 12:37 PM
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I THINK YOU HAVE MISSED ONE THING, AFTER A WEEKEND OF RACING YOU ALL GO BACK TO JOBS. PROFESSIONAL RACERS CONTINUE WORKING ON THEIR RACE SETUP FOR NEXT RACE WITH IS USUALLY THE FOLLOWING WEEK. THEY ARE PAID TO WORK, MON,TUES. ETC. WHERE IS YOU ALL HAVE TO BE BACK AT YOUR JOBS MONDAY MORNING UNTIL THE NEXT EVENT WHICH MIGHT NOT BE FOR WEEKS. OFFSHORE RACING MIGHT NOT EVER BE ANYTHING MORE THAN JUST A WEEKEND A MONTH, BUT WHAT'S WRONG WITH THAT, MAYBE SOMEONE SHOULD TELL SOME PEOPLE AT THE TOP TO ASK THE RACERS. IT SEEMS THAT WHAT EVER $$$$HAS BEEN AQUIRED LATELY GOES INTO SOMEONE'S POCKET.
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Old 11-14-2002, 01:12 PM
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I think it is more in the professionalism in which you approach the sport. That was my point. A lot of teams like to race but they like to party at the event. You should be working at the event, isn't that what sponsors PAY you for? They are not paying you to put on a uniform with THEIR NAME on it so you can pass out drunk on Duval St. They are paying you to represent the company.

Drivers and Throttlemen don't need to be working on thier boats between races. You can have hired crew that do that for you. There are several teams that have crew chiefs that are in the boat business, as well as teams that just hire the best between races and some even have crew that are full time employees.
Look at how many boats TNT maintains. The point is the boat is not sitting in someone back yard untouched until the next race.
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Old 11-14-2002, 01:31 PM
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THAT'S MY POINT TNT MAINTAINS HOW MANY? 5?6? THEY DO THAT FOR A LIVING. RACE TEAMS DON'T HAVE A PAID CREW (8-10PEOPLE) WEEK IN AND WEEK OUT MAINTAINING THEIR OWN BOATS. AND IF YOU THINK RACERS GO TO A TOWN TO PARTY YOUR PROBABLY RIGHT, BECAUSE A MAJORITY OF THEM DON'T HAVE A SPONSOR SO THEY ARE ONLY OUT FOR THE PARTY. LIKE I SAID MOST ONLY LAST FIVE OR SIX RACES (1 SEASON). AND THAT'S FINE BECAUSE WHEN THEY FALL BY THE WAYSIDE THERE'S ANOTHER GUY TO PUT DOWN HIS SMALL FORTUNE AND ON AND ON , NO ONE ASKS WHY THE LEADERS DON'T SEE PATTERN. THEY ARE GETTING THEIR $$$$
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Old 11-14-2002, 01:43 PM
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Right now offshore racing is a way for people get away several times a year and go have fun, blow off some steam, inflate thier egos and go racing. That is all very health. That's where we are now.

Maybe the sanctioning bodies see this, understand it and cater to it as thier means to keep thier customers happy.

It just seems like we (the fans) expect the sport to mature and gain a larger following that would draw more media attention and sponsors.

One thing I strongly agree with is a rule about changing rules. Any rule change should have a two or three year waiting period before it goes into effect.
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Old 11-14-2002, 01:50 PM
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Just curious because I remember that no one ever let out what they really got for sponser money and realize those race shirt (uniforms) people wear every day all day were around $250 a piece. Is there anyone out there getting 6 figures for sponsership $$$$$$. This is what it really takes. I'm not talking about when I raced my parents company name was on the boat and dad bought me 2 very expensive motors at that time (once) And he new it was not helping in any way his company that has been in business for 30 years and does business world wide. Tell the truth,are racers with a real sponsor getting say even $60,000 (not 6 figures) thats what 2 of my (B class) motors cost. That won't buy 2 winning (racing) motors today.It definately won't pay for a season. Some one step and let us know is it paying the bills.
 
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Old 11-14-2002, 01:55 PM
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Default Thankyou MSGANGWAY!

I have been involved in boat racing since the sixties. The majority of the racers and or owners sponsor their own rig. Some have partial sponsors for free merchandise or expence help. The owners try to help as they can with the crew expences as well. But more over it's out of pocket.

The only full time racers may be in Super Boat classes or such. While APBA brings in the officials, the local club has to provide the majority of the help. I just think these people don't get enough credit. When we have had races, we always found the funds to have a workers appreciation party. Without them, there will be no race! We are not NASCAR, nor ever will be!

Now I am up to .05!
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Old 11-14-2002, 02:27 PM
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I'm a lazy man....good thing i have Mr.V around to speak for me...LOL...man we're always on the same page....too bad your not coming down!

anyone down in KW,,,,stop on by and say hi!
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