Monthly Archives: June 2010

FREE

Storm BrewingHow do you thrive in this troubling economy?  A storm is brewing that could wreck what’s left.  So we all have had to cut back and that’s not easy when you already had to cut back before.

In advertising, we’ve bombarded consumers for so long with FREE this and FREE that, you become numb to it and it means nothing at all – kind of like watching television and zoning out commercials – it gets easy to do and is almost subconscious reaction.

It’s interesting to note the different ways of leading a successful racing association.  Some put their efforts on promotion, some on cost containment, FREE!while others will try bold innovative campaigns of different kinds of thought.  In this day and age of The Great Recession, it almost seems anything and everything should be used.  One particular association caught my eye last year: the ADRL.

I’m a bigot of sorts when looking at drag racing.  It’s a West Coast based sport and its strength is dragsters, on nitro running a 1/4 mile.  So you say, uh Daryle, that ain’t the ADRL; and you’re right.  The American Drag Racing League is an upstart association in its 6th season out of Missouri that is strictly door-slammers along with a bike class.  They run 1/8 mile and race in the Eastern half of the country.

So you see I’m coming at this strictly as a fan of marketing and motorsports.  And how did a door-slammer based group garner praise from a 1/4 mile dragster fan?  Easy.  And it basically starts and stops with the man at the top and what he did to move his association to a strong and growing position.  Ken Nowling is the head honcho and someone I applaud.  He packs in tens of thousands of fans into the these races everyday – packs them in!  How?  Four-letters: FREE.

Who ever heard of going to a sporting event and walking in FREE?!  Why did this happen?  Well, having been in quite a few businesses of my own, selling almost anything to get by, desperation can create grand ideas.  He was struggling after he first started and needed to figure out a way to keep his young racing league going.  In short, he talked one track after another track into letting people in with the thought being they would do more concessions and impress sponsors who want generally one thing – eyeballs.  The more turnstile, the more potential consumers and that’s what marketers need – not including the fact, motorsport fans are the most loyal in all of sports.

Drag racing crowdSo instead of getting 5,000 paying customers in to see a meet, you have 50,000.  Sponsors love those numbers and 50,000 will buy more many more t-shirts, hot dogs and other concession – heck why wouldn’t they?  They got in FREE!  Genius!

So although I don’t have the best appreciation for 1/8 door-slammers as I would 1/4 mile nitro-thumping Fuelers, it’s quite an accomplishment for Mr. Nowling and guess who benefits?  Right, everyone as it truly is a win-win-win-win all around.  The track gets much more concessions, the league gets more attention (including TV) plus funding from the sponsors, the sponsors get more fans seeing their brand supporting the sport and finally last but not least, the fan gets in FREE.

You may not see this spreading to other sports anytime soon but my guess is, if the economy continues its downward spiral, maybe others will take a cue from the ADRL.

Who knew FREE could work in a free-market (well, sort of free-market) and everyone would benefit?  Sign of things to come?  Hmmm, maybe we could get FREE hot dogs if we stamped our head with …

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Hello, Is there anybody in there?

Is Nostalgia drag racing and all its associations Comfortably Numb?

They say the press release is dying.  Personally I think, like a lot of things in this day and age, the way information is sent out with so many avenues – it’s not any one single medium that will work.

I’d like to think the people in Nostalgia drag racing would use one of them.  Anything, really.  Just use some source whether it’s Facebook, email, press release or other outlets to get the word out.

Why do I say this?  Maybe it’s not fair but have you seen the news coming out of South Africa?  World Cup this, World Cup that.  Inundating us with tiny minutiae of facts and “news” that is quite boring.  I, like many drag racing fans, am always searching for information – in this instance, Nostalgia drag racing – all the time.  I know there are events, very big events, attracting tens of thousands of people and affecting millions of dollars in revenue for locales.  BUT can you find a story about the winners and losers from say the National Hot Rod Reunion, when it ended recently?  No!  Millions of dollars went into the Bowling Green area and tens of thousand attended everyday.  Not too many entertainment gatherings can say that but the day after the story was … nothing.  There was no story.  Shame on NHRA and the Museum but also shame on the people of Bowling Green.  Sure they had a few big write-ups about the coming show (including myself) and said everyone should see this spectacle but afterwards, zero, zilch, nada.

It’s easy.  A short quick press release saying just a few quick hits on the event and who won the big titles.  That’s all.  As Pink Floyd says: “I need some information first.  Just the basic facts.”

I’m not comfortably numb and would like to see the PR people, whoever they are, start doing some PR for a sport that keeps growing, no thanks to those involved.

What do you think?

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Top Seven Reasons To Go To The Drags

“Summers here and the time is right for dancing in the streets.”  OK, maybe this little bit of Motown doesn’t quite fit but it is Summer and the folks are filing into different Nostalgia drag races currently and some might be wondering why.  They may be having a tough time selling tickets to World Cup soccer games but fans who’ve been to Nostalgia drag racing meets understand the draw.  The excitement, so much to see and do, the unusual atmosphere and quality leisure activity yet stretching your buck – a huge benefit over any other entertainment dollar – it’s amazing.  For those who have not had the advantage of enjoying a Nostalgia drag race, let me point out the Top 7 reasons.

  1. The amount to do.  These events are just that, events.  You can watch the races of which you may witness over 500 cars going down the strip.  You can go down into the pits and observe the racecars.  9 times out of 10 there will be a car show.  And also you might enjoy a swap meet.  So much to do.
  2. The friendly confines.  Yes, anywhere you go you might find the occasional disorderly but they’re hard to find at drag races.
  3. The diversity (in more ways than one) of retail.  You can go to a Nostalgia drag race and there might be fresh fruit for sale, toys, clothes, vacations along with typical items like sunglasses, jewelry and of course every imaginable auto part.
  4. A place to take the family.  Again with so much to do, you’re not stuck in a seat for several hours.  The family atmosphere gives a great quality to entertain anyone, young or old to their own cup of tea, so-to-speak.
  5. Interaction with teams and drivers.  You CAN NOT get the same personal touch and real conversation at any other sporting event like you can at a Nostalgia drag meet.  The interaction is like nothing you’ve ever experienced and it gives you a closer feel to the person behind the wheel.
  6. Bang for the buck.  The cost of a WEEKEND pass may only be $30.  You can’t even begin to go to another sporting event for that cost.
  7. Sensory overload.  You will never match the sound, sight, smell and feel a drag race offers.  The sound is booming; the sights are exciting, spectacular and beautiful; the smell is both unique and diverse whether the tires going up in smoke or the different smells of fuel (gas, alcohol and of course nitro – ahhhhh); and finally feel, yes, the feel of the ground thumping or if your close enough, the air rushing over you as a Top Fueler goes by.

I might add one more from my point of view.  Going to the drags as a team offers up a family of sorts that’s hard to describe unless you’ve been associated directly with the drag racing.  The camaraderie is unlike any other sport.

So there you have it.  Does this make a little more sense as to why existing fans are so loyal and crazed about their sport?  Now to paraphrase Martha and The Vandellas song: Summer here’s and the time is right for going to the drags – of course, Nostalgia drags.

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I’m a ProMod

I’ve developed enough online friends to ask them some personal questions – about me.  Now, I’m not into these silly questionnaires (typically on Facebook) but have filled out more than a few before realizing you don’t know who someone is by asking him or her if they like the Rolling Stones or Beatles (pretty much a wash but used to like the Stones but now Beatles – see).

But I’ve blabbed enough on Twitter, Facebook and other social medias for others to get some idea of what kind of person I may be.  So the question was simply, what type of racecar (drag racing) do you think I am.  Yea, not the normal question but I was after something although, I’m not sure what that was.  I guess if you asked what kind of drag car you were and it was Lady Gaga, maybe I’d say a Funny Car.  Boisterous, loud, noisy, in your face and always in the news (John Force?).  Maybe Helen Thomas wouldn’t be a car at all but a press person who was out front, old, established, always talking, misplaced and not at all what you would consider for the position – like Paul Page.  Or how about Steve Jobs?  The slickest, fastest and best overall like a Top Fueler.

So you see where I’m heading as I was considered a ProMod.  Different, uncontainable, hard to peg and has a mischievous side.  I would never disagree with being compared to a ProMod as they’ve always been one of my favorites.  Personally, I will always love and think of myself as an AA Altered as I’ve mentioned before, but when I first saw a ProMod in the early 90’s (Shannon Jenkins), how could you not love these beautiful and unique cars.

I’m sure someone will come along with an app or some program to figure what kind of drag car you are, but anything that pounds the ground, likes to go in different directions and are beautiful to look at will be OK with me.  Ever picture people as cars?  Consider it and let me know.

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What’s the best past drag strip of all times – Current ones not included



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