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Somebody in Europe owns Bud now. As in most buy outs they extract the cash and profits without a lot of investment. Hell AB has a 60% market share, you don't need to do much until that changes. But it will if they don't promote.
 

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An interesting article, Jimmy. I wonder if one of the problems might be that NHRA is taking all the sponsor money for themselves, and maybe not letting the sponsors "hold back" some for activation costs?
 

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Hey Jimmy, are you the only one with there eyes open! A real business man say's that during tough times it really pay's to advertise. Look at Forrest Lucas, the guy's a saint to all motorsports. I don't know whats up with Coca-Cola but they sure treat Drag racing like we're second class. Hardly anything in a 7-11 or supermarket about NHRA drag racing, who the fuck is in charge anyway? Full throttle sure inforced us to take off any stickers and not wear any of last years sponsorship duds when they took over. Now there in charge it's just like they wanted hog up our sport and not fully promote it. Corporate can fuck up anything and get away with it I guess. :smt089
 

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My take? Some people need to step into the 21st century. There are many more channels today than there were back in the "Bud King" days, and by channels I don't mean TV. I mean network TV, cable, magazines and newspapers (while they still exist), YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, FourSquare, personal appearances, flash mobs, movie and TV product placement, etc., etc. It seems to me that someone who wants to really leverage a sponsorship has not fewer opportunities to "activate" them but hundreds more. But it takes a creative person, and a sponsor who "gets it". Those are hard to find.

The only recent reference to drag racing that I can think of that made it into the main stream popular culture was in an episode of Family Guy that had John Force in it. Period. That's pathetic, and the racers with their PR people, and their sponsors with their marketing people have no one to blame but themselves for not "activating" their relationship better.
 

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Somebody in Europe owns Bud now. As in most buy outs they extract the cash and profits without a lot of investment. Hell AB has a 60% market share, you don't need to do much until that changes. But it will if they don't promote.

Seems I remember an old axiom that states "A business with NO sign is a sign of NO business" :rolleyes:
Might apply here !!!
Bob Blasi
 

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I just had a birthday and of course my friends know that I eat, breath, and sleep drag racing - 7 days a week. So their favorite card for me was one that had a group of people around a car and one of them said "Nas - Car" (as in a southern accent saying Nice Car). They were so surprised when I explained that drag racing wasn't NASCAR racing. We go straight - no turns... And we're here in Denver with a state-of-the-art drag strip right here.

None of you will be surprised that I have to explain what drag racing is when the subject comes up outside my drag racing world.

Kay Fair
 

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I have one of those Kenny and Brandon Cutouts from the Bud truck driver. Put away for a rainy day.
 

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Lots of Jargon with little real new substance.
 

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My take on that commentary is that it is a simple reflection of the same things I see as a small business owner, as a race series director and as a dealer for several different racing industry related companies.

My opinion is that the current economy has but a small part to play in terms of "branding" drag racing. At the risk of sounding like Captain Obvious here... when the product isn't branded properly and isn't put in front of the target market it will never be understood. That my friends is what has happened to drag racing as we know it today. The NHRA has always relied on the participants, the local tracks and the corporate sponsors to promote Drag Racing. When was the last time you saw an advertisement anywhere that referred to Drag Racing the was produced solely by the NHRA?

99% of the players in our sport are amateurs, or Sportsmen as we refer to them. But whats so different about our sport than say golf, or fishing or snow skiing? The difference is the sheer expense involved everywhere you turn around. Another huge difference is every Sunday I can find a golf tournament to watch or come Winter I can find a downhill ski race to watch. Hell, I can find a gymnastics meet if I tried hard enough! But I'll be damned if I can find one drag race.

The tracks have steep overhead costs, the shops that support the industry have steep overhead, and undoubtedly the vast majority of the dollars spent in our industry is by the Sportsmen. But... one aspect of our industry that is always left out of the equation is the Fan. And that's where the NHRA has failed our sport. The NHRA does not do what it takes to make sure that the Fan is aware of what our sport is all about. Check that, they do a piss poor job of promoting our sport. After all these years of them being at the helm as our "Ambassador" there is still a tremendous amount of mystery surrounding drag racing when it comes to the average "joe" on the street.

My point is, the NHRA should not rely solely on it's participating teams' major corporate sponsorships to make the boat float. They should be actively marketing the product to the fans themselves. And that is where the NHRA has failed all of us.

g
 

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..The NHRA has always relied on the participants, the local tracks and the corporate sponsors to promote Drag Racing. When was the last time you saw an advertisement anywhere that referred to Drag Racing the was produced solely by the NHRA? .. one aspect of our industry that is always left out of the equation is the Fan. And that's where the NHRA has failed our sport. The NHRA does not do what it takes to make sure that the Fan is aware of what our sport is all about. Check that, they do a piss poor job of promoting our sport. After all these years of them being at the helm as our "Ambassador" there is still a tremendous amount of mystery surrounding drag racing when it comes to the average "joe" on the street.

My point is, the NHRA should not rely solely on it's participating teams' major corporate sponsorships to make the boat float. They should be actively marketing the product to the fans themselves. And that is where the NHRA has failed all of us. g
X-2. Good post.
 

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The more I read that article, the more it started sounding like a little child pointing fingers every direction but at themselves. NHRA should take their own advice.
 

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I've been thinking about this recently. I think that it is not JUST the NHRA's problem. I would have hoped they would have been more productive on the matter.

Things that I think they are doing wrong:
They seem to be focused on T.V. and with that fuel cars only, and on top of that John Force exclusively.
Now, I'm a pro stock fan, but I do understand the need to show off the premiere show. The most fire, the most noise. I get that.
But trying to fit the content of all the classes into a small broadcast on ESPN seems to fall short. It falls short to the Pro Stock teams. And if falls short to all the other fuel teams.

How I think they can do better:
John Force is a great model for this. I need to preface this by saying that JFR and NHRA seem to have a great working relationship. NHRA certainly fawns over JFR. But look beyond this at JFR.
http://www.nhra.com/story/2011/1/25...-leadership-roles-road-show-display-to-debut/
Ashley is taking on the entertainment side of things. JFR is getting pro-active at making it's own content. Why? Do they not get enough at NHRA? Well, they can always get more to be of more use to their sponsors. Either way, they are all over Facebook and Twitter. But to sweeten the deal even more they are basically starting their own production company.

This is the way of the information age. Pay attention to other medias as well. I think one that is doing a great job of building their own content rich media empire is Glenn Beck. This guy has a radio program, T.V. program, content rich web site, his own news site, a couple of books a year, free newsletters, special pay areas of his website for MORE self produced content....etc.

John seems to be following this same type of model. Making a reality show, books, etc.

I know I'm rambling, but something else that has always troubled me. John Force always had his traveling road show of trailers that accompanied his race team. Why didn't MORE teams do that? DSR seems to have done well with it. JEG's seemed to do pretty well with it. I know that if more did it, it would push sportsman racers even further out in the weeds but I think more of the sportsman need to be doing this sort of thing as well. It could definitely be on a smaller scale, but you get the idea.

What should NHRA and other racers do?
For one, CONTENT. Not being able to give the fans what they want is no excuse. With online streaming, they could put the entire National Event online. Remember when they used to do that in the 90's with the satellite deals? So, instead of me having to watch John Force for twenty minutes to get a glimpse of a Pro Stock run, while they are talking to Ashley in the side panel...... they could put all the races up online. Even after the ESPN broadcast. Plus, they could add more features. More interviews in the pits. Can you imagine Bob Frey and the shear number of sportsman stories he could find instead of writing a column once a week on dragracecentral.com? Would you like to be able to keep track of the Sportsman points for Competition eliminator? Have them call Biggs up to broadcast the sportsman series races. The technology is getting so much better and easier to do this now, in what ever form they would want to try.

Now I have to admit, the real question would be. Can keeping all events run online help? The costs to shoot, upload, host etc? Will enough people watch the Super Comp races to justify the costs? I'm certain that the sportsman classes might not get as much attention, but they would certainly get more than they are getting now. If they were to be interviewed every now and then and get to show off their sponsors, it might make for a more happy sportsman racer?

I've rambled enough. Later.
 

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Lots of good comments. I agree with several that said NHRA needs to start taking responsibility for themselves. I don't think they do a good job of promoting the sport of drag racing. For the last several years it seems all they do is take. Indy car racing took the same path as NHRA is on now and look at it. All but dead. You have to promote yourself before others will promote you.
I believe it's time NHRA has a change of ownership. I really wish that John Force would get out of the cars and he along with Bruton Smith take over NHRA. If done right these two could do wonders for the sport. Not only the pros but all the sportsman racers as well.
 

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I usually never read Knights stuff... I only glanced it, I am unimpressed as usual.

Why don't these "reporters" hit NHRA w/ the real questions. Like why is it that when a new company comes into the sport to sponsor a pro team, that the NHRA, rather than let the company grow and learn the market place, they come in and bully the "sponsor" into supporting the NHRA as well as the team.

If the NHRA really wanted to help out they would truely work w/ teams to foster the corporate involvement and not try to put money directly in their pocket right away.

If the NHRA were smart, they would keep their hands out of the cookie jar until the baker saw the demand and offered them some to grow the demand more.
 

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It's pretty simple in my eyes. NHRA won't market it's product or grow the sport because that costs money. Money generated today is there to pay their inflated salaries...period. The current leadership is going to milk this baby dry and leave it rot.

Seeing anyone buy it would be awsome. Hell I'd love to just see members get to vote.
 
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