Taking it to the streets: self-promotion
of our sport
Collectively, we, as columnists can stand on our soap boxes and tell everyone how it should be. How people in certain positions should do their job, how things ‘ought’ to be in a ‘perfect world’ of drag racing. I’ve made no qualms about saying many track owners/managers don’t have a clue when it comes to promoting, or they’re just plain lazy. Many levels of our current sportsman/divisional racing scene are broken, and whether or not anything will be done about it is debatable. Hopefully we see some real changes for the 2008 season, and not just another jacked-up schedule.
I’d like to think I know what this perfect world looks like, and I try to paint a picture of it in every column I write or post I put on one of my message boards (said tongue in cheek). I’m also a realist, and realize many of these changes may not happen any time soon. It’s a fact they won’t happen this year, so we need to focus on what can we do to make 2007 better.
I think our best bet for real results is to take matters into our own hands as racers. Just like the old Doobie Brothers song “Taking it to the Streets,” or something like that. It’s a damn shame it’s come to this, but the end result of getting more spectators to divisional events will help us all in both the short and long run.
There are a select few tracks out there that actually promote their divisional events and get good front gate crowds. These tracks should be commended. Several national event tracks have even been smart enough to do major ticket giveaways which have been successful. The rest are just plain lazy or don’t know what they’re doing. They know if it doesn’t rain, and the gates open, they make money off entry fees. Low risk profit.
Here’s a real simple and realistic program that could be implemented fairly quickly. Put some of the promoting in the hands of the racers.
An example of how the program would work: Each division offers any racer however many tickets and flyers they desire. These tickets are coded in some fashion, and good at any LODRS event. Some sort of incentive program would run in conjunction. Something along the lines of whoever gets the most fans through the gate with their tickets wins some sort of prize.
I think something like this could be hugely successful. While a Houston-area racer like myself may not be able to make much of an impact on the Dallas divisional, I can make a hell of an impact for our race. When the races roll into a racer’s home area, that’s who will make this program successful. Everybody wins when there is a big crowd to race in front of. All of a sudden the race has marketing value. Racers who do well can build name recognition because someone’s watching. It’s more enjoyable on every level. The track wins because they’re going to sell a bunch of $5 hamburgers and $6 cold beers (I still don’t see how tracks give all that beer away for only $6 and still make money J ). Anytime you bring a new fan to the track, the entire sport wins.
How many of you have ever told a buddy or colleague, “Come check us out such and such weekend.” Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t. If you put 4 tickets in their hand when you do that, I’d say there is a far greater chance of them coming.