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Old 7 Aug 2015, 12:20 (Ref:3564348)   #19
JamieStewart9
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 36
JamieStewart9 should be qualifying in the top 10 on the gridJamieStewart9 should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
Some very inaccurate and unfair comments about clubs in some of those posts.

Most clubs (most) are primarily there because the people involved in doing all the work behind the scenes are genuinely enthusiastic about motorsport. Some club officials and marshals are ex-competitors, but a larger percentage are people who always wanted to be racers, but for reasons various never got around to it.

I understand that the usual multi-thousand post blowhards will have stopped reading by now because they already know it all - but I'll go on to express an opinion on the original topic anyway - IF YOU ARE GENUINELY INTERESTED please read to the end.

In the modern era Clubs do not get ANY of the gate money at permanent circuits, which might explain why many of them concentrate their efforts on attracting competitors rather than spectators.

Whilst that might seem grossly unfair (and I personally think it is) we have to ask how we came to have that situation. It wasn't always like that.

When I first took over the running of BMCRC in 1996, I had cause to look at a lot of the historical club records, going right back to 1956. The thing that jumped out at me was that up until 1984 circuit hires were VERY modest AND the club got a 50% share of any gate revenues that the event attracted.

Then there was a gradual shift in emphasis and circuit hires increased steadily (at well over 4 times the rate of inflation) over several years. The gate share was still there at this stage, but with the increased circuit hires clubs were forced to concentrate more on putting on ever more efficient meetings that catered for more races - because that was now where the bulk of their income came from.

After a few years of this, the circuit owners thought "Why are we giving these guys any of our gate money, when they are making no effort to attract spectators?" - remember that this was in a period where circuit availability was far outstripped by the huge queue of potential hirers that wanted to use the venues (a sellers market).

The clubs whinged and moaned of course, but the simple truth was that if "Club A" didn't want the offered date on the terms dictated by the venue, then "Clubs B, C, D, E, F etc" were queuing up to take it off their hands.

The circuits still believe that they are best placed to "Promote" all of the events run on their circuits, but the truth is that very few of them actually understand the nuances of what is taking place. You will see on your entry tickets "Club Cars" or "Club Bikes" instead of something that actually identifies what is going on. The website advertising from the circuits is equally bland and the only differences from one clubmans event to another is the presence of the club logo on the site and entrance ticket.

I wrote an article recently about the demise of clubs and even I was surprised when I had to list 24 bike racing clubs that have ceased to exist in the past 20 years.
I took a quick look this morning, and there are a similar number of defunct car clubs over the same period.

With all of those buyers out of the game, has it now become a buyers market? - Maybe.....

I am now personally in discussions with three different venues about doing a "dry-hire" for next season so that I can take on the promotional duties and take the gate money. Dry-hire being where I have to not only hire the venue, but also pay the security, gate staff, commentary, toilet cleaners and everything else that the circuit usually take care of.

I believe that the most promotable event would be a day that is "CHEAP" for the family but not "FREE" as that implies that it isn't worth anything. The old MCN 1 day was an excellent example of what worked. Everything was 1 from the entry ticket, to a programme, a burger and a coffee/tea.
The last one we did at Brands Hatch in 1998 attracted a genuine 8,000 spectators and set us up for the season, because 8,000 people had our seasons schedule placed in their hand as they arrived and many of them came to other events with us that year.

The trick we are missing now is the old Car/Bike event like some of those we used to run in the eighties and early nineties. The old CMSA Festival at Brands Hatch springs to mind.

You don't need huge content, just varied and interesting content that caters for as wide an audience as possible.
1) 1960s based Car Race
2) 1960s based Bike Race
3) 1970s based Car Race
4) 1970s based Bike Race
5) 1980s based Car Race
6) 1980s based Bike Race
7) Modern Single Seater Race
8) Modern Superbike type race
9) Modern Sidecar Race
10) Kart Race
11) Legends Race
12) Truck Race
13) Historic Sidecar Race
Run the whole programme twice over the weekend and you have 26 races of action on circuit plus the peripherals:-

Club stands, static displays, paratroop drop and loads more stuff.

There are a million ways of saying that won't work, but they are not the interesting things. The interesting thing is the one that says it can work.

I don't post often, so apologise for the long post.

Dave
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