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Thread: Better Promotion of the CMRA

  1. #1

    Better Promotion of the CMRA

    Maybe this has come up in the past but I'm a new guy so I'll ask anyway. I do feel the long set-up is necessary, but I am long-winded... sorry.

    I joined the CMRA this year and did my first race at Cresson in September by running both the endurance race and sunday sprints. Everything went great and, of course, I am hooked. I'd done about 13 trackdays in 2003 along with Jason Pridmore's Star School out at Barber. I am also a member of an organization known as the TSBA or Texas Sport Bike Association here in Dallas, it is a statewide club and started in Houston. The group promotes sport riding and while I enjoyed spirited rides on twisty backroads I was more comfortable on the track as I had been racing superkarts for 12 years.

    Prior to joining the TSBA, I was completely unaware of trackdays. I thought it would be cool to get out and use the bike as it was designed, but thought that the only place to do this was on some backroads. After some searching on the net I found the club and a great group of people to ride with on the weekends. After several months and a lot of searching, I learned about trackdays (LSTD) and then eventually about the CMRA, but only by chance from a post online regarding a previous race at Cresson.

    It took a lot of chance meetings and fortunate circumstances for me to get involved with being on the track with the bike. This should not be the case. There are a lot of people out there, potential racers and memebers, that have no idea you exist. To me, the CMRA needs to do a lot more to promote itself and build an even larger series. If we are going to be successful as an independent championship, we are going to have to work very hard to increase membership.

    Why not invite local media to come out and see the racing when the series visits TWS and Cresson? Get them to bring out a satellite truck and do a remote on the series. Invite the sports editors from the Dallas Morning News, FT. Wroth Star and so forth to get them to recognize the size and depth of the series. When I raced in karts we (the track) made a point of sending the DMN our results every weekend.

    Maybe this is overkill but we could offer to take local media on two-up rides on the track! How cool would that be?! If we make them a part of the action, they'll be more likely to run a story (even a short one) and increase public knowledge of the CMRA.

    The idea that "if people want to race, they'll find us" is silly. Even if we only spent about 5% of the clubs annual revenue on advertising, we could increase membership and ultimately grow the series. I don't know what you spend or what you plan on spending each year in promotion but I would hazzard to guess that it is very little.

    Ok, so why should the CMRA really care all that much about promoting itself?

    Racing is expensive. We all know that. I'm probably going to become Mastercard's second son in 2004 and will likely be responsible for some credit manager's promotion, new yacht and 19-year-old mistress. But I digress...

    If the CMRA were to promote itself more heavily, increase public knowledge and show ourselves to be a smart media for advertisers to reach their target markets, SPONSORSHIP of the series and its riders would become a lot easier. I'm not talking about contingency. While that type of sponsorship is vital, it is not the key. I'm talking about promoting ourselves to companies like Pepsi, Frito-Lay, Dell, etc. Companies that can sponsor classes and provide larger purses! This will give the series massive credibility and a big stick to swing when we say that we are the premier independent racing series in the US. Willow Springs has the Toyota 200, but we could have "Dell Unlimited Superbike" or the "Frito 200"... But, more importantly, it will allow racers to approach more companies with a targeted plan for reaching consumers, and a feasible means of attaining sponsorship money for their racing team from those companies.

    Afterall, isn't the key to racing figuring out how to get someone else to pay for it? The only way to achieve this, however, is through better promotion of the club as a viable medium for advertising.

    Again, sorry for being such a wind bag. Just thought it was necessary to set it all up properly.
    Fujiwara Tofu Shop

  2. #2

    Better Promotion of the CMRA

    Maybe this has come up in the past but I'm a new guy so I'll ask anyway. I do feel the long set-up is necessary, but I am long-winded... sorry.

    I joined the CMRA this year and did my first race at Cresson in September by running both the endurance race and sunday sprints. Everything went great and, of course, I am hooked. I'd done about 13 trackdays in 2003 along with Jason Pridmore's Star School out at Barber. I am also a member of an organization known as the TSBA or Texas Sport Bike Association here in Dallas, it is a statewide club and started in Houston. The group promotes sport riding and while I enjoyed spirited rides on twisty backroads I was more comfortable on the track as I had been racing superkarts for 12 years.

    Prior to joining the TSBA, I was completely unaware of trackdays. I thought it would be cool to get out and use the bike as it was designed, but thought that the only place to do this was on some backroads. After some searching on the net I found the club and a great group of people to ride with on the weekends. After several months and a lot of searching, I learned about trackdays (LSTD) and then eventually about the CMRA, but only by chance from a post online regarding a previous race at Cresson.

    It took a lot of chance meetings and fortunate circumstances for me to get involved with being on the track with the bike. This should not be the case. There are a lot of people out there, potential racers and memebers, that have no idea you exist. To me, the CMRA needs to do a lot more to promote itself and build an even larger series. If we are going to be successful as an independent championship, we are going to have to work very hard to increase membership.

    Why not invite local media to come out and see the racing when the series visits TWS and Cresson? Get them to bring out a satellite truck and do a remote on the series. Invite the sports editors from the Dallas Morning News, FT. Wroth Star and so forth to get them to recognize the size and depth of the series. When I raced in karts we (the track) made a point of sending the DMN our results every weekend.

    Maybe this is overkill but we could offer to take local media on two-up rides on the track! How cool would that be?! If we make them a part of the action, they'll be more likely to run a story (even a short one) and increase public knowledge of the CMRA.

    The idea that "if people want to race, they'll find us" is silly. Even if we only spent about 5% of the clubs annual revenue on advertising, we could increase membership and ultimately grow the series. I don't know what you spend or what you plan on spending each year in promotion but I would hazzard to guess that it is very little.

    Ok, so why should the CMRA really care all that much about promoting itself?

    Racing is expensive. We all know that. I'm probably going to become Mastercard's second son in 2004 and will likely be responsible for some credit manager's promotion, new yacht and 19-year-old mistress. But I digress...

    If the CMRA were to promote itself more heavily, increase public knowledge and show ourselves to be a smart media for advertisers to reach their target markets, SPONSORSHIP of the series and its riders would become a lot easier. I'm not talking about contingency. While that type of sponsorship is vital, it is not the key. I'm talking about promoting ourselves to companies like Pepsi, Frito-Lay, Dell, etc. Companies that can sponsor classes and provide larger purses! This will give the series massive credibility and a big stick to swing when we say that we are the premier independent racing series in the US. Willow Springs has the Toyota 200, but we could have "Dell Unlimited Superbike" or the "Frito 200"... But, more importantly, it will allow racers to approach more companies with a targeted plan for reaching consumers, and a feasible means of attaining sponsorship money for their racing team from those companies.

    Afterall, isn't the key to racing figuring out how to get someone else to pay for it? The only way to achieve this, however, is through better promotion of the club as a viable medium for advertising.

    Again, sorry for being such a wind bag. Just thought it was necessary to set it all up properly.
    Fujiwara Tofu Shop

  3. #3

    Re: Better Promotion of the CMRA

    I appreciate the candor expressed above but surely this attitude is not pervasive in our club. Or is it?
    In my opinion the "key" to racing should be to have fun while improving your skills. It should be perhaps a chance to spend time with like minded individuals.
    But the idea of pumping up contingencies, prizes and other forms of support, even including substancial trophies, is something that racers just a few years ago wouldn't recognize. They raced because it made them feel alive.Many raced because they couldn't imagine life without it. Sure, racing has gotten more expensive but there have been increases in the standards of living along the way too.
    Our club does a great job in aligning itself with contributors on behalf of our racers. But to believe this is the key will distort your perception of the other priorities involved.
    Brooks
    PS, from a sponsor's perspective finding the support going to people who's key goal is to find someone to pay for their pleasure is counter to the whole notion of helping riders. Just my 2 cents.

  4. #4

    Re: Better Promotion of the CMRA

    I appreciate the candor expressed above but surely this attitude is not pervasive in our club. Or is it?
    In my opinion the "key" to racing should be to have fun while improving your skills. It should be perhaps a chance to spend time with like minded individuals.
    But the idea of pumping up contingencies, prizes and other forms of support, even including substancial trophies, is something that racers just a few years ago wouldn't recognize. They raced because it made them feel alive.Many raced because they couldn't imagine life without it. Sure, racing has gotten more expensive but there have been increases in the standards of living along the way too.
    Our club does a great job in aligning itself with contributors on behalf of our racers. But to believe this is the key will distort your perception of the other priorities involved.
    Brooks
    PS, from a sponsor's perspective finding the support going to people who's key goal is to find someone to pay for their pleasure is counter to the whole notion of helping riders. Just my 2 cents.

  5. #5
    Senior Member John Orchard's Avatar
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    Re: Better Promotion of the CMRA

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Originally posted by Brooks Gremmels:
    Sure, racing has gotten more expensive but there have been increases in the standards of living along the way too.</div></div>I'm not convinced that many folks' standard of living is keeping pace with some recent racing expense increases. I know mine hasn't.
    EX #51
    Village Idiots #1 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017
    CMRA Board of Directors 2010-2014; 2016-2018

  6. #6
    Senior Member John Orchard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Flower Mound
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    Re: Better Promotion of the CMRA

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Originally posted by Brooks Gremmels:
    Sure, racing has gotten more expensive but there have been increases in the standards of living along the way too.</div></div>I'm not convinced that many folks' standard of living is keeping pace with some recent racing expense increases. I know mine hasn't.
    EX #51
    Village Idiots #1 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017
    CMRA Board of Directors 2010-2014; 2016-2018

  7. #7

    Re: Better Promotion of the CMRA

    Brooks, you misinterpreted my intentions. My apologies for not being more clear.

    I agree that the true key to racing is to enjoy the sport and to give ourselves one more reason (or the only reason) to get up and go to work in the morning... I guess my point was that if we can get someone else to pay the tab, or part of it, we can have even more fun.

    Based on the people I've met while racing karts, SCCA Solo I & II, SCCA IT and now motorcycles, not too many people could have afforded to race without the help and support of sponsors. While I could also care less about plastic trophies, I cannot imageine many people turning down the opportunity to earn a little more money toward tires and engine parts...

    I guess I just feel that it is silly to put one's self in financial crisis (as we do) when there are other valid options and other ways to enjoy our sport, meet our friends & feel more alive.
    Fujiwara Tofu Shop

  8. #8

    Re: Better Promotion of the CMRA

    Brooks, you misinterpreted my intentions. My apologies for not being more clear.

    I agree that the true key to racing is to enjoy the sport and to give ourselves one more reason (or the only reason) to get up and go to work in the morning... I guess my point was that if we can get someone else to pay the tab, or part of it, we can have even more fun.

    Based on the people I've met while racing karts, SCCA Solo I & II, SCCA IT and now motorcycles, not too many people could have afforded to race without the help and support of sponsors. While I could also care less about plastic trophies, I cannot imageine many people turning down the opportunity to earn a little more money toward tires and engine parts...

    I guess I just feel that it is silly to put one's self in financial crisis (as we do) when there are other valid options and other ways to enjoy our sport, meet our friends & feel more alive.
    Fujiwara Tofu Shop

  9. #9

    Re: Better Promotion of the CMRA

    I am not sure how the club can better promote itself in terms of gaining more support for individual riders. The regular event features now being carried in RRWorld and Cycle news, the furnishing of results to contingency sponsors, a first rate website with up-to-date results and sponsor links are all in place. The most successful racers use those tools as a foundation and then submit their well constructed resumes to potential sponsors. They send regular reports and updates throughout the season to their sponsors and in essense market themselves.
    The main thing is being seen on the podium on a consistant basis. It is the winning ingredient that sponsors can promote. From working directly with manufacturers I can tell you that they will find you if you are winning races against credible competition.
    Brooks

  10. #10

    Re: Better Promotion of the CMRA

    I am not sure how the club can better promote itself in terms of gaining more support for individual riders. The regular event features now being carried in RRWorld and Cycle news, the furnishing of results to contingency sponsors, a first rate website with up-to-date results and sponsor links are all in place. The most successful racers use those tools as a foundation and then submit their well constructed resumes to potential sponsors. They send regular reports and updates throughout the season to their sponsors and in essense market themselves.
    The main thing is being seen on the podium on a consistant basis. It is the winning ingredient that sponsors can promote. From working directly with manufacturers I can tell you that they will find you if you are winning races against credible competition.
    Brooks

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