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Old 04-15-2008, 11:04 AM   #151
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Also since we're talking about marketing...we finally have some new freakin shirts!

So if you want a cool looking shirt....

http://www.rc411.com/pages/xstore.php
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Old 04-15-2008, 11:24 AM   #152
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Very cool thread. Lots of good ideas here!

Back to the cost issue...IMO, it matters. It doesn't matter to US because we are already in it, we know what we are getting versus getting a Tyco. (No offense to Tyco, it has it's place in the market.)

I was watching a parking lot race this past weekend and saw people rolling by in their cars looking at what was going on. I could just imagine how they thought it looked really cool and fun. Now just imagine if they had actually hopped out of their cars to talk to a racer. They would see a table full of batteries, chargers, power supplies, high end radio equipment, extra tires, parts, etc, etc...I'm sure to the casual observer, we all look like electrical engineers with all the stuff we have. So would they think, I need to buy **all this** to be competitive? Surely the entrance fee to racing isn't simply a $400 RTR/battery/charger combo at this point... It's better than no exposure at all, but I'm guessing that's the danger of holding a race at a public place, mall, etc...

Now if the same people happen upon a lone basher or two at the park or local ballfield, then the $400 RTR package is much more believable and likely...

So maybe, part of the problem is ourselves and our own competitiveness and lust for all that gear (some necessary, some not)....That's why I'm really interested in spec racing where you are limited in what you can spend. When I show up to a race, i just have a toolbox and my car. I must look very ghetto to racers around me who bring boxes and boxes of stuff, but I like to keep things simple!

Just my 2 cents. Keep this discussion going!
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Old 04-15-2008, 11:44 AM   #153
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A common mistake people have is to "show boat" how much they spent to somebody out of the hobby. Saying you have $3,000 into your car is a waste and bad for the hobby.

If you explain that you can get a car and enjoy it for $250 and if you wanted to race you'd have to spend a little more is the best way.
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Old 04-15-2008, 11:52 AM   #154
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Exactly! But just hope the observer doesn't ask how much all that junk on the table cost you!

I make it a point *not* to bring a ton of stuff and *not* wrench on my car between heats. See how easy and cheap this can be? (tongue in cheek)
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Old 04-15-2008, 12:16 PM   #155
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Here are a couple of things I would fix...

More Tracks & Formal places to drive: To me, this is the biggest obstacle. People need places to drive their cars. The industry as a whole needs to be working to get more tracks open which ultimately will expose more people to the hobby. Heck, the tracks don't even necessarily have to be for organized races, but for bashing. We need more tracks in visible locales that are convenient to people who don't live out in the wilderness with the unabomber. I hope the growth of brushless 1/8 will be the catalyst for the opening of bigger and nicer tracks in more populated areas to increase exposure. The popularity of 1/8 scale in conjunction with nitro has probably retarded the growth of the hobby due to the noise factor. The natural progression has been to move from electric to nitro... electric are toys and 1/8 nitro is high performance. I think with electric now surpassing nitro in performance, this will help keep people in the hobby because you get the advantage of the quiet electric, but the excitement of the 1/8 scale without the noise hence more tracks.

Better Marketing: The hobby has an identity problem in my eyes. We are either high performance vehicles or we are toys. I think moving towards high performance vehicles and away from the toy image will help bring people into the hobby. Right now, too many of the manufacturers continue to market their products as toy like... all these 1/36th and 1/100 scale cars for example as opposed to high performance machines capable of high speeds. Even though we are older, I don't like to think of my cars as toys and I think any association with toys destroys the desire to participate. Video games is a prime example of how to market more as an entertainment system or "grown folks hobby" with mature titles as opposed to "video games" This brings in older participants with more disposable income.

Better Retailing: I would love to see a car specific super store at a mall that carries all the major brands, parts, hop ups. Most hobby shops are spread too thin... airplanes, trains, slots, models, board games, etc. I want to see a RC Car super store with bright lighting, knowledgable staff, on site track, cars on display, offering beginner courses and training. The store has to come off again as a place for high performance vehicles, not a toy shop.

Better Advertising: I definitely think the mfg needs to move beyond the rc magazines into other mediums with 20-40 year olds. BUt again, the ads have to be about performance as opposed to just a "toy".

The hobby has a lot of potential, but I do think it is too fragmented and the general populace does not have a enough exposure to what is out there. I can't tell you how many people (adults, not kids) are amazed at my car when I drive it at my local park. They immediately know it isn't a Radio Shack car and start asking questions... Where did I buy it? How much... Are there tracks around?

My answer: Gee, had to buy it on the internet. None of the hobby shops carry the parts. Sorry, you can't really look before you buy. Yes, it ain't cheap and the nearest track is 40 miles away... I think the problem is evident.
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Old 04-15-2008, 01:22 PM   #156
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you're on the right track
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Old 04-15-2008, 01:25 PM   #157
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The cars are faster, more reliable, and less expensive than they have ever been and yet fewer people are racing them.

I think that racing RC cars has been taken as far as it can. Whether you like or not, whats going to drive RC sales and popularity and possibly into the mainstream over the next 10-20 years will be alternative events not unlike the current X-Games.

The future growth of RC will be more about drifing, stunt shows, stereo systems, rock crawling, and custom paint jobs.

Sometimes you have to let go of what was and look ahead.
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Old 04-15-2008, 01:25 PM   #158
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find land owned by another business. Assist them in building an Electric offroad track with stand. it will cost them about $15000 all in (amb, computer. pa system, stand, earth work.)

then get a committee to run the track and let the business recoop the costs. the business meanwhile will benefit from more traffic/advertising, and if it's a restaurant, more clients.

it's ideal for diners that are on 2-3 acres within a 30 min drive from urban centres of more than 150 000 people.

it has worked for us.

www.sidsraceway.com

getting new people into the hobby is best done by "bring a friend" day and get the inviter to have a rental RC car for his guest for that day.

that's worked best for me. I've gotten about 6-7 people back into the hobby and about 4 newbies

Ciao
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Old 04-15-2008, 02:18 PM   #159
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed237 View Post
The cars are faster, more reliable, and less expensive than they have ever been and yet fewer people are racing them.

I think that racing RC cars has been taken as far as it can. Whether you like or not, whats going to drive RC sales and popularity and possibly into the mainstream over the next 10-20 years will be alternative events not unlike the current X-Games.

The future growth of RC will be more about drifing, stunt shows, stereo systems, rock crawling, and custom paint jobs.

Sometimes you have to let go of what was and look ahead.
I think fewer people are racing them because there isn't anywhere to race. Convenience has a lot to do with participation in a giving sport or hobby. In my case, I have to drive 40 miles to my nearest facility. Believe me, if there were a track within 10 miles of my house, I would probably be at it a couple of times per week as opposed to once every two weeks. This is why I think ROAR and Manufacturers really need to work together to come up with ways to promote more local track development.

I do agree with you that alternative forms of the hobby are great promotional tools. I saw this with BMX. BMX Racing had kind of stagnated and didn't really make for great TV, but dirt jumping did. The x-games helped bring guys into the sport by showcasing dirt jumping (typically, racers who sucked) and I think indirectly helped the popularity of actual BMX racing (which is now in the 2008 olympics!).

If I can raise enough cash, I really want to open a huge RC Car super park at a well populated mall or strip mall. I want a really nice car focused hobby shop with an indoor track and then build an off road and on road track with a crawling and bashing area in the parking lot. I am looking for an older strip mall with an abandoned big box store now so I can see if I can make the numbers work.
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Old 04-15-2008, 03:25 PM   #160
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Getting into the hobby is intimidating... that's the bottom line. People might see it, say "Hey that looks fun" do a little research into cost and realize that it's going to cost them over $1000 to make a competitive car with all the tools and gear needed.

And beyond the cost is figuring out what to buy. I spent weeks researching and ordering stuff one piece at a time.

Getting in from scratch is tough.

I think it would be cool if somebody would create different level RTR-type packages for components... you buy a kit, build it, buy a component package that contains a radio/rx/ESC/Motor/Steering servo. If you bought all this stuff together, it would be simpler, the stuff could all be around the same quality level and if you bought it all together, there could be a good discount.

I know experienced racers won't like that idea, but they're not really the target market.
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Old 04-15-2008, 03:39 PM   #161
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Getting into the hobby is intimidating... that's the bottom line. People might see it, say "Hey that looks fun" do a little research into cost and realize that it's going to cost them over $1000 to make a competitive car with all the tools and gear needed.

And beyond the cost is figuring out what to buy. I spent weeks researching and ordering stuff one piece at a time.

Getting in from scratch is tough.

I think it would be cool if somebody would create different level RTR-type packages for components... you buy a kit, build it, buy a component package that contains a radio/rx/ESC/Motor/Steering servo. If you bought all this stuff together, it would be simpler, the stuff could all be around the same quality level and if you bought it all together, there could be a good discount.

I know experienced racers won't like that idea, but they're not really the target market.

I don't know where you been but before RTRs, Tower offered different level packages, and if you work with any hobbyshop they should "hook you up" with a package price.

What the problem is that most racers can't look past that 90% of the market doesn't give a flying squirrel about racing or "what is competitive." Truth is that 90% of the racers are just as competitive with their stock car and mid-level equipment.

As a former LHS employee of 7 years I always explained that it's never the equipment that is the problem, nor did I worry if they were racing. I sold them what I thought was the best and informed them of why. I think we blame the industry on consumer ignorance, or just a few bad hobbyshops.

Everything, is cheaper and better (as mentioned above) it's never been easier to get into RC and the result is there are way more people IN rc. It's just so common it seems like nobody cares.

When I had my gold Tub RC10 (one of the peaks of RC) it was rare, amazing "everybody needed one" ... same thing with the T-Maxx. But now that it's common to see a kid playing with an RC, and a generation of people are now 30s that grew up with it when it was rare think it's not as popular. Truth is its more popular and just very common.
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Old 04-15-2008, 04:16 PM   #162
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edumakated View Post
Here are a couple of things I would fix...

More Tracks & Formal places to drive: To me, this is the biggest obstacle. People need places to drive their cars. The industry as a whole needs to be working to get more tracks open which ultimately will expose more people to the hobby. Heck, the tracks don't even necessarily have to be for organized races, but for bashing. We need more tracks in visible locales that are convenient to people who don't live out in the wilderness with the unabomber. I hope the growth of brushless 1/8 will be the catalyst for the opening of bigger and nicer tracks in more populated areas to increase exposure. The popularity of 1/8 scale in conjunction with nitro has probably retarded the growth of the hobby due to the noise factor. The natural progression has been to move from electric to nitro... electric are toys and 1/8 nitro is high performance. I think with electric now surpassing nitro in performance, this will help keep people in the hobby because you get the advantage of the quiet electric, but the excitement of the 1/8 scale without the noise hence more tracks.

Better Marketing: The hobby has an identity problem in my eyes. We are either high performance vehicles or we are toys. I think moving towards high performance vehicles and away from the toy image will help bring people into the hobby. Right now, too many of the manufacturers continue to market their products as toy like... all these 1/36th and 1/100 scale cars for example as opposed to high performance machines capable of high speeds. Even though we are older, I don't like to think of my cars as toys and I think any association with toys destroys the desire to participate. Video games is a prime example of how to market more as an entertainment system or "grown folks hobby" with mature titles as opposed to "video games" This brings in older participants with more disposable income.

Better Retailing: I would love to see a car specific super store at a mall that carries all the major brands, parts, hop ups. Most hobby shops are spread too thin... airplanes, trains, slots, models, board games, etc. I want to see a RC Car super store with bright lighting, knowledgable staff, on site track, cars on display, offering beginner courses and training. The store has to come off again as a place for high performance vehicles, not a toy shop.

Better Advertising: I definitely think the mfg needs to move beyond the rc magazines into other mediums with 20-40 year olds. BUt again, the ads have to be about performance as opposed to just a "toy".

The hobby has a lot of potential, but I do think it is too fragmented and the general populace does not have a enough exposure to what is out there. I can't tell you how many people (adults, not kids) are amazed at my car when I drive it at my local park. They immediately know it isn't a Radio Shack car and start asking questions... Where did I buy it? How much... Are there tracks around?

My answer: Gee, had to buy it on the internet. None of the hobby shops carry the parts. Sorry, you can't really look before you buy. Yes, it ain't cheap and the nearest track is 40 miles away... I think the problem is evident.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Edumakated View Post
I think fewer people are racing them because there isn't anywhere to race. Convenience has a lot to do with participation in a giving sport or hobby. In my case, I have to drive 40 miles to my nearest facility. Believe me, if there were a track within 10 miles of my house, I would probably be at it a couple of times per week as opposed to once every two weeks. This is why I think ROAR and Manufacturers really need to work together to come up with ways to promote more local track development.

I do agree with you that alternative forms of the hobby are great promotional tools. I saw this with BMX. BMX Racing had kind of stagnated and didn't really make for great TV, but dirt jumping did. The x-games helped bring guys into the sport by showcasing dirt jumping (typically, racers who sucked) and I think indirectly helped the popularity of actual BMX racing (which is now in the 2008 olympics!).

If I can raise enough cash, I really want to open a huge RC Car super park at a well populated mall or strip mall. I want a really nice car focused hobby shop with an indoor track and then build an off road and on road track with a crawling and bashing area in the parking lot. I am looking for an older strip mall with an abandoned big box store now so I can see if I can make the numbers work.

I agree on all counts.
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Old 04-15-2008, 04:19 PM   #163
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NICE QUOTE:
I think it would be cool if somebody would create different level RTR-type packages for components... you buy a kit, build it, buy a component package that contains a radio/rx/ESC/Motor/Steering servo. If you bought all this stuff together, it would be simpler, the stuff could all be around the same quality level and if you bought it all together, there could be a good discount.
END QUOTE.

It would be a great option if the RTR companies also offered their RTRs as kits because not all but ALOT of people want to build their own cars!
If a TRAXXAS or HPI kit goes for $200 bucks, throw all the parts into bags, box it up with the instructions on building and running it (like the best kits)and give it up for $150.
Gotta be cheaper than payin someone to build it. Even if the builder is a kid in a 3rd world country.

Then show them that they can bash it anywhere they feel like, parks, schools, parking lots...
And show them how easy it is to race.
Make them realize that beginners are supposed to crash while they are learning to drive.
To race doesn't mean you have to be competitive right away,
it means you get to run on a nice, layed out track with turns, straightaways, and jumps if you run offroad.
BUT, the best thing of all is YOU GOT TURNMARSHALLS that'll keep flippin your car over no matter how many times you crash per lap/race!!!!!!!!
You get to drive and drive and drive til your freakin arms fall off and never have to go get your car or break your concentration.
That is the ultimate R/C driving experience! And you get better and better.
Next thing you know, you are competitive.

So grab a newbie, get em to the track or park and let em drive one of your old cars or even your new one if you got any balls.
Be a Mentor and get someone hooked and then get them hooked up.
I got lots of buddies goin that exact same way.
It works.
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Old 04-15-2008, 04:41 PM   #164
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Maybe I'm crazy but if the hobby was to become mainstream wouldn't that hurt the smaller and "better" companies out there? Do any of you think Xray, Serpent, or Mugen would survive if all of this were to come true? There is brand loyalty present but a newbie isn't looking for a Serpent car. What about companies like X-Factory and Atomic Carbon? I would rather see something happen like the MX industry. "Dirt bike" is a household association as RC is not. I would hate for RC to get as popular as iPod's or Xbox's. RC should be fairly common and not popular. One track per city! (Baton Rouge has none and New Orleans has none)
I agree that the number of tracks and hobby shops should increase but what would keep them running? Most places can't stay open today! An increase in hobby shops and tracks would also cause the increase in on-line sales and on-line hobby shops which kill hobby shops now.
ROAR doesn't seem to give a damn about tracks shutting down (Planet R/C, Horsham, Small Cars Unlimited, etc) and that hurts their profit indirectly.
I've always thought that ROAR and other prestigious RC companies should create an organization that would specialize in industry promotion.
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Old 04-16-2008, 09:07 AM   #165
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Quote:
I think fewer people are racing them because there isn't anywhere to race. Convenience has a lot to do with participation in a giving sport or hobby. In my case, I have to drive 40 miles to my nearest facility. Believe me, if there were a track within 10 miles of my house, I would probably be at it a couple of times per week as opposed to once every two weeks. This is why I think ROAR and Manufacturers really need to work together to come up with ways to promote more local track development.
Actually, racing at a competitive level can also deter people from the sport a little. Reason being that it gets expensive. No matter how you cut it. It was mentioned earlier that things like stunts, shows, drifting, rock crawling and the like can be a great way to draw people to RC. I agree with this.

Maybe instead of thinking along the lines of racing and bashing, what about RC themed parks. Kind of like a skate park but a slice of a large park that can be donated by the local municipality that includes some jumps, rocks to crawl on some nice smooth paved areas for on-road and drifting and a small off road course. This can focus on the leisure side of the hobby. Taking the family to a nice park with an RC friendly area where you just hang out, do a little BBQ, knock back a few brewskis and race around the course doing jumps and stuff.

There are lots of fun ways to have fun with RC cars other than racing or beating the snot out of you monster truck. I was watching RUSHD the other night and they had this game called BMX P.I.G. where pro freestylers would do a trick and the rest would have to duplicate or get a letter, the first to spell PIG loses (I used to do this with basketball when I was a kid). This can easily be done with RC cars. Jump for distance, execute a high speed turn at X-mph, negotiate an obstacle course in a certain amount of time, do a backflip, front flip, wheelie for 50 feet.....the list goes on.

I am still working on getting my town to give me a small part of a park to try this out, but I can never make the town council meetings because I work too late to get to them. I hate being a responsible adult sometimes, what I wouldn't give to be 16 again.

Quote:
Maybe I'm crazy but if the hobby was to become mainstream wouldn't that hurt the smaller and "better" companies out there? Do any of you think Xray, Serpent, or Mugen would survive if all of this were to come true? There is brand loyalty present but a newbie isn't looking for a Serpent car. What about companies like X-Factory and Atomic Carbon? I would rather see something happen like the MX industry. "Dirt bike" is a household association as RC is not. I would hate for RC to get as popular as iPod's or Xbox's. RC should be fairly common and not popular. One track per city! (Baton Rouge has none and New Orleans has none)
I feel you on this one friend. Unfortunately, free enterprise is a bitch sometimes. To be honest if those companies want to compete, they will have to find a way to bring in more capital so they can gain market share. They can still hold on. If their customers are loyal they will always have a base to work with. Also, as with all things mainstream, their are always, "trendy" offshoots that are appealing to the hardcore crowd. Much like underground trance and house music is to commercialized trance and house music. There are markets for both and both can coexist.
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