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Old 21 Jan 2017, 12:45 (Ref:3704060)   #1
Distracted
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Commercialization in Rallycross

I'm writing a paper on commercialization in Rallycross and wondered if anyone had any thoughts.

It'll be mostly focused around the energy drink/sponsorship aspects but I'm also interested in fan's views of pricing/brand influence/the conspicuous consumption aspects.

Basically if you have a beef with any of the money bits of Rallycross, this is your place to vent.
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Old 21 Jan 2017, 13:41 (Ref:3704072)   #2
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Haha, what do you need to know!
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This used to be such a vibrant place. Unless you are Oz or like 24h races whats the point now?
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Old 21 Jan 2017, 17:03 (Ref:3704098)   #3
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Just the negative aspects? I couldn't care less about what branding is splashed all over the cars or venues if it makes things cheaper, enables more people to find budget to race or enables coverage on TV. I don't like it when they put big posters up in stupid places that block fans' views. From a product placement perspective I never understood why you'd annoy your fans by putting you product in their way!
On a product placement and brand point of view, I don't care who sponsors things and could barely tell you who has sponsored an event or a driver other than the classics/energy drinks. I haven't googled who a company is that I saw at an event or anything like that. Everyone needs sponsorship, it's always been around, always will be and is a good thing for competitors.
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Old 21 Jan 2017, 18:20 (Ref:3704104)   #4
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Yep, both positive and negative views will be included.

You could argue that the advent of the energy drink companies playing such a big role have moved the sport away from its roots and more towards the 'action sport' fans who (in theory) at least have more disposable income and want different things from the sport. However, those fans have also brought the sport more into the mainstream and so have attracted more fans which has allowed rallycross to grow.
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Old 21 Jan 2017, 18:28 (Ref:3704108)   #5
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The only reason rallycross has supposedly grown is because a huge sports management company has come in and used their influence to splash it all over the internet, paid to get half famous drivers involved at certain venues, and spent a small fortune on marketing.

It has worked but once you peer behind the veneer you see cracks. it is being marketed as a purely professional sport, that is a huge leap. The private guys have either been given semi factory deals to run or have largely been consigned to the very poorly run ERX series that is a very poor relation. They were the mainstay of rallycross from the Gold age in the 80's. Dropping all that I think is risky.

The support classes too have been largely dumped for tv. So only the big teams get coverage. That is a very risky thing to do in terms of longevity and future drivers and teams.

IMG are also doing nothing whatsoever for the sports future, only their financial gain, they are looking to take a series, make it bigger which looks good for them. Once they have achieved that what then? They are still I believe involved with Speedway, but that has crumbled at club level, only the GP's are a big deal.

the other big miss is a true world series, it hardly is one, and barely qualifies for that title.

Why should they care, they are only interested in money and bigger crowds and sponsors. But as fans we should care. There is nothing we can do about it sadly.
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Old 21 Jan 2017, 18:40 (Ref:3704109)   #6
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It is the same model as any of the big multi-national companies taking over anything-once the big boys come in, the smaller companies (classes) can't compete and so slowly die out.

While rallycross is bringing in money, the big companies are happy. Once the profit margin drops, they'll move on and gobble up the next exciting thing.

As fans all we can do is support the small businesses (the support classes) and be vocal about them. The problem is, many of the new fans (the ones lured in by the 'glossy' pro teams, the brands sponsoring and the image that goes along with that) aren't likely to follow the sport at the lower levels where it most needs support.
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Old 21 Jan 2017, 19:44 (Ref:3704116)   #7
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Rallycross will never attract that sort of fan. They are people that are two types.

Disillusioned about motor racing in general and F1 in particular, I see umpteen comments from younger race fans saying how awesome rallycross is and they never knew much about it before. That is the people reached by social media and better reporting, games etc.

And the Xgames, skateboarding youth generation that watch Dirt Shark, Monster energy, Supercross Monster trucks and the like and like drifting, Gatebil and the mod car scene.

It was even more awesome in the 90's and 80's, but those people have moved on and moved away or most of them have.

The lower levels are well supported in France and parts of Scandinavia, but not in the UK, they never have been really. Even in the GpB days rallycross never got massive crowds, only for one off meetings.

The situation here is not helped by the splitting apart of British rallycross 10 years or so ago, and now there are two separate series, not enough tracks and some tracks that only run with one series and not the other, it's pathetic, stupid and divisive, but there is nothing we can do about it as the people involved are so silly they can't see the wood for the trees. and are quite happy with their 40 or so cars at each meeting, 20 classes etc etc. Just poor.

You had the best advert ever for rallycross on Top Gear years ago! Bigger than anything IMG could ever do, and multiple mentions since then and what happened, people come in find a way to race and then find out there are two series with lowish entries racing over about 6 rounds each in different tracks. If you put them together you could have a half decent series.
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Old 21 Jan 2017, 22:08 (Ref:3704135)   #8
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There are two types of businesses: bubbles and milk cow.

Bubbles grow suddenly and explode loudly. Investors look for short term profit.

Milk cows can give milk for a long time if you take care of them. A good company will do that. Perhaps that product wont grow suddenly, but it won't die if you do things right.

Of course, some people kill cows to eat them. Again, short term profit.
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Old 21 Jan 2017, 22:23 (Ref:3704137)   #9
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There are two types of sports: participant and spectator.

Participant sports are made for people who compete. Road running is an good example. In motorsport, there's VLN and 24H Series, for example. Participant may even have large sponsors, but they are aimed at competitors themselves.

Spectator sports are a show to be consumed by fans on grandstands and on couches. Competitors are professionals who work full time on that.
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Old 21 Jan 2017, 22:28 (Ref:3704141)   #10
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Back to rallycross: there was a European championship for decades, but it wasn't fully professional. And North America had short course off road racing for some decades too. In the 2000s, some promoters saw that rallycross was a good sport to turn into a profitable business.

To do it, some things changed. Factory teams and star drivers were brought. Ridiculous ramps were added. Dirt sections were reduced and paved sections were increased. Classic club circuits were replaced by major cities and circuits.
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Old 21 Jan 2017, 22:30 (Ref:3704142)   #11
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Rallycross has a much higher profile than in the 1990s.

But many old competitors could not continue in the old FIA championship, because they lacked the resources.

And local championships lost popular relevance.
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