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Old 09-29-2006, 02:49 PM   #31
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I don't know how many of you posting have actually worked in marketing, specifically for television or print (internet doesn't count ). Anyways, the last 5 yrs or so have seen a paradigm shift from focusing on media with broad mainstream appeal to extremely focus niche markets with a predictable demographic.

Why is this? Well, a popular sitcom might appeal to a very broad demographic, but what can you sell to a 45 year old woman and a 15 year old boy? Not much. This is why the value of mainstream marketing media continues to decline, the interest in cable programming continues to grow etc etc.

Pulling in a consistent and predictiable niche demo, even in relatively small numbers, makes a lot of financial sense. Lets take a real world example:

Selling Axe Deoderant/Body Sprays on a primetime sitcom or reality show. This is extremely expensive firstly with a relatively low probablity of hitting the companies target demo. Furthermore it restricts the content of the ad to be palletable to viewers outside their demo.

Advertise the same product on a cable show which focuses on a youth subculture or niche and you got yourself a cost effective media which reliably hits the demo over and over again. The content can be tailored more specifically to the auidence. Finally, by supporting niche programming, you say to that subculture that you actually care about their interests and that builds a strong positive association between the brand and lifestyle.

I worked for several years with the SCC (sport compact counsel) of SEMA and a number of automotive aftermarket companies. Its hard for relatively small businesses (the sport compact market at its peak was only 4 bil a year in revenue) to understand that their is value in their niche. RC could easily be reinvented to be a subculture sleeper.

To do this would involve marketing it alot more like action sports, import drag/drifting etc. Basically, shift the focus away from kids and families (they don't have the $$ to support the hobby) and go for the gold demo wise. 20 something single males. Disposable income galore, flexible lifestyle and poor judgement. If you look at the current crop of traveling racers they defy every stereo type and assumtion one would make about toy car racers. These guys need to be the new poster children of RC. All of a sudden RC looks alot more like skateboarding or some other subculture that is dripping with cool.
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Old 09-29-2006, 02:50 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Driver1
Anyone that thinks that the R/C industry is lesser to the fishing industry has not done their homework. The R/C industry is a multibillion dollar industry that covers the entire globe.
I'm pretty sure that if you were in Japan or England or Germany and asked what time the 'fishing' show came on they'd think you were a nut.
This mentality is the same as the people who say NASCAR is bigger than F1. Just because you and your friends don't watch doesn't mean there isn't a whole world out there loving it.
Do you have actual industry numbers to back that up? I think your way off base with that assumption. The fact that nearly every big box retailer carries fishing equipment and RC is only sold in specialty shops should indicate the relative size of the industries.
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Old 09-29-2006, 02:59 PM   #33
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Rick Howart is one of the guys whom I respect the most in R/C racing. You alway have good thoughts.

Not just a question for Rick... for everyone. If I fronted $100,000, hired a camera crew and a production crew, worked a deal with Speed Channel for the time or worked with AOL to secure a high profile place on their site, would I be able to make my money back? By the way, buying a half hour on Speed Channel is way into the six figures, so covering cost to be on TV would be pretty high.

If I were to format a show, it would focus on the technology, personalities, size of the industry, profile a hobby shop and manufacturer, showcase the online community and show slowed down clips of racing. Then, maybe... maybe end it with a 5 minute main event from a large race?
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Old 09-29-2006, 03:03 PM   #34
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Let's talk numbers. Does anyone know what the cost would be to run a local 30 second commercial near prime time?
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Old 09-29-2006, 03:04 PM   #35
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Paintball on TV is ten times tougher to watch then RC by far.
Try out 10 man X-Ball......two cameras+20 guys=crappy TV
I own Paintball DVD's and they are really hard to watch becasue you see two guys going at it then all of a sudden your pushed to a guy walking off the field cursing and throwing stuff.
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Old 09-29-2006, 03:09 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eforer
I don't know how many of you posting have actually worked in marketing, specifically for television or print (internet doesn't count ). Anyways, the last 5 yrs or so have seen a paradigm shift from focusing on media with broad mainstream appeal to extremely focus niche markets with a predictable demographic.

Why is this? Well, a popular sitcom might appeal to a very broad demographic, but what can you sell to a 45 year old woman and a 15 year old boy? Not much. This is why the value of mainstream marketing media continues to decline, the interest in cable programming continues to grow etc etc.

Pulling in a consistent and predictiable niche demo, even in relatively small numbers, makes a lot of financial sense. Lets take a real world example:

Selling Axe Deoderant/Body Sprays on a primetime sitcom or reality show. This is extremely expensive firstly with a relatively low probablity of hitting the companies target demo. Furthermore it restricts the content of the ad to be palletable to viewers outside their demo.

Advertise the same product on a cable show which focuses on a youth subculture or niche and you got yourself a cost effective media which reliably hits the demo over and over again. The content can be tailored more specifically to the auidence. Finally, by supporting niche programming, you say to that subculture that you actually care about their interests and that builds a strong positive association between the brand and lifestyle.

I worked for several years with the SCC (sport compact counsel) of SEMA and a number of automotive aftermarket companies. Its hard for relatively small businesses (the sport compact market at its peak was only 4 bil a year in revenue) to understand that their is value in their niche. RC could easily be reinvented to be a subculture sleeper.

To do this would involve marketing it alot more like action sports, import drag/drifting etc. Basically, shift the focus away from kids and families (they don't have the $$ to support the hobby) and go for the gold demo wise. 20 something single males. Disposable income galore, flexible lifestyle and poor judgement. If you look at the current crop of traveling racers they defy every stereo type and assumtion one would make about toy car racers. These guys need to be the new poster children of RC. All of a sudden RC looks alot more like skateboarding or some other subculture that is dripping with cool.
Well, I work for a Media + Marketing company and, we deal with non-traditional forms of advertising for a variety of markets and demographics. That being said, things get old quick when you cater to a specific audience without instituting change. That being said, if R/C were to go TV, there would have to be changes instituted that TV would have to stay two steps ahead of. With the internet, print and the ability to get information as the events occur, R/C on TV may not be lucrative enough for any specific network to produce. And for the record, AXE is handled by my firm for the college market
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Old 09-29-2006, 03:11 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motor City Hami
Rick Howart is one of the guys whom I respect the most in R/C racing. You alway have good thoughts.

Not just a question for Rick... for everyone. If I fronted $100,000, hired a camera crew and a production crew, worked a deal with Speed Channel for the time or worked with AOL to secure a high profile place on their site, would I be able to make my money back? By the way, buying a half hour on Speed Channel is way into the six figures, so covering cost to be on TV would be pretty high.

If I were to format a show, it would focus on the technology, personalities, size of the industry, profile a hobby shop and manufacturer, showcase the online community and show slowed down clips of racing. Then, maybe... maybe end it with a 5 minute main event from a large race?
If every member of Rctech sent 2 bucks and it was matched by the major RC Manufactures:

We would have enough money for a start. This would eventually lead to more high tech places to race along with many other perks for the average racer. This would be the best investment any RC Racer could make. Re-use your inserts one extra time. With that said the RC manufacturers should at least match the donation because they would benefit the most.
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Old 09-29-2006, 03:29 PM   #38
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When it comes time in the RC show to show the racing, I think there are a few points that could make it work well:

1. I think the best format is to show many of the races, but just the highlights of the racing using a narrator. A couple of examples of that narration:
"In the qualifying heat, Mike Blackstock posted an incredible run of 57 laps in 4.04 minutes. "
"In the A-Main, the start was clean, and Blackstock maintained the lead. The battle was intense for 2nd place as Brian Kinwald and Jon Orr traded positions.


I think that the highlights of the race with a good narrator is best. This would require good editing. The editor of the footage would need to be able to recognize the cars on the track and be aware of which parts to show.

There is a 30 minute ATP Tennis show that does this really nicely. All of the major events (on and off the court) are covered nicely in the 30 minutes.

2. Camera man needs to zoom out! What is with Hollywood lately with the shakey cameras and the zooming in. Makes me dizzy. Most of the videos of RC tend to be too zoomed in as well. There needs to be a decent high resolution camera with smooth and very little motion. These cars are crazy fast to begin with and for a zoomed-in, hand held camera, well.... it's just dizzy.

How about a 16x9 widescreen camera mounted on the ceiling pointing straight down on the track!

3. Special technical features need to be added. During the race, a posting of the positions in the top right would be good. Or in the top right corner, how cool would it be to have a track map and color coordinated dots moving on it, like in racing games. Another thing that could be done is freezing the motion during a critical moment, highlight the cars, and then show the pass.
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Old 09-29-2006, 03:40 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motor City Hami
Rick Howart is one of the guys whom I respect the most in R/C racing. You alway have good thoughts.

Not just a question for Rick... for everyone. If I fronted $100,000, hired a camera crew and a production crew, worked a deal with Speed Channel for the time or worked with AOL to secure a high profile place on their site, would I be able to make my money back? By the way, buying a half hour on Speed Channel is way into the six figures, so covering cost to be on TV would be pretty high.

If I were to format a show, it would focus on the technology, personalities, size of the industry, profile a hobby shop and manufacturer, showcase the online community and show slowed down clips of racing. Then, maybe... maybe end it with a 5 minute main event from a large race?
I don't know the numbers, but I am pretty sure the cost of a 30 minute segment on Speed is less than that. But a quick call to their programming department would probably give exact costs. Sure it might not be prime time, but in the age of Tivo, who cares? And Speed has about 3 months of racing off season that they would surelylike to fill with original programming. Who knows, if they like the concept they may even produce it.

But all the technology spots and showcases would be paid fro by the comapny getting the exposure. I don't know if you can make money. All the costs associated with doing so (production crew, purcahsed time, etc.) are available if you ask. It would be pretty simple to investigate the feasibility.
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Old 09-29-2006, 03:46 PM   #40
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I did a lot of research while putting a business plan together in an attempt to purchase this business. Companies like Kyosho and Tamiya are very broad ranging manufacturers with huge revenue streams. You could say the same about the 'fishing' industry. Sales for fishing rods may not raise an eyebrow, but the manufacturers that produce them are huge and diverse.
Keep in mind that companies like Sanwa Propo (Airtronics) and Futaba are involved in aerospace and even military industries. You start to get an appreciation for the potential might behind any attempt to mainstream R/C racing.
I believe that it's about the mindset of the players. The participants deserve more organized structure to the sport. The manufacturers deserve more recognition for the technical marvels they develop. But everyone must pitch in to bring new interest.
I saw the same thing in kart racing. The same people trying to sell each other the same thing. Everybody with the 'better' ideas for racing, and therefore no way for new participants to be confident in what they were getting involved in. Shifters helped the situation. Professional racers and promoters latched on and unified the racing structure and rules. They began promoting their product in mainstream publications and copromoting with fullsized motorsports. They branded themselves as the 'first rung' in the racing ladder.
In my opinion R/C racing is the true first rung. I learned how to build a racecar, and how to be an effective competitor.
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Old 09-29-2006, 03:51 PM   #41
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is inside r/c no longer on the air. i watched that show once and it was boring becuase all they did was talk to adam drake and show clips of racing with no point. if i want to watch a show about r/c that features a race i want to see a good part of the race edited properly.

i said this before and i will say it again, its needs to be a race with a large winner take all purse. there needs to be at least 2 in car mounted cameras to watch the race and we need to see some people behaving poorly, for example crashing in the race and throwing his transmitter into a wall to and breaking it into pieces, now this is tv, and this guy can be just put in the main and throw his cheapo am radio at the wall but the tv audience doesn't know any better. Best would be to hold it in vegas were odds can be placed on the drivers that would make for some good commentary, and make it a race that is say 15min. long so the whole race can be shown on the show with minor segments before and after. and make sure that the race is easy to follow like with some nfl marks on the cars being lapped.

unfortunately everyone has great ideas but no one has funding.

if i can get funding i will call it the u.s. open of r/c it will be held in vegas. but unfortunatley i can't afford to sell my house to fund it.
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Old 09-29-2006, 04:01 PM   #42
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Since everyone reffers to Speed Channel as a primary channel.
I would suggest a quick segment for an invitational class for famous nascar drivers that would bring instant interest from non r/c enthusiasts.

I also agree that the track needs to be bigger so that the visual and anouncing can be more focused and in turn be more interesting instead of sounding like an auction which is the case for mod carpet races with 10 second laps.

Last suggestion would be production value has to go way up and maybe take a page from the power block in spike channel with quick tips on how a certain portion or upgrade works just for wow value.
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Old 09-29-2006, 04:35 PM   #43
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So we need to stage some fighting and drama to get an audience? Sorry but I have faith in this sport.
Let's call it the WWRC and have all the drivers yell at each other before the 'race'. And girls in bikinis egging on their man would be great also.
Start with the roots of the sport. No programming is going to overcome the general belief that these are toys and a novelty. We need legitimacy. We need structure.
Again I refer to kart racing. They focused on the skill and dedication needed to compete. Then spiced it up with racing personalities that learned their craft in karting. They then branded themselves with professional motorsports associations. What they got was the elimination of the stereotype of 'run-what-you-brung' jalopies and leather jacketed weekend warriors. Suddenly they were legitimate and worthy for young people as an alternative to stick-and-ball sports.
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Old 09-29-2006, 05:13 PM   #44
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First we need a marketable personality. Like a Tony Hawk. Then we need to have a touring series. Surely, we can be more entertaining tha R/C robots. Or we need an R/C car that appeals to isomniacs, so we can have info-mercials in the early morning hours.
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Old 09-29-2006, 05:23 PM   #45
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Here's an idea I had. Get a company like Fox Racing, Thor, Troy Lee Designs, etc... to sponsor a huge 1/8th scale event. Make it a demo class as part of the X-Games during the Freestyle Moto-X or Super Moto event. Many of the guys who race 1/8 scale are also into dirt bikes, desert riding, etc... We're seeing a few "mainstream" sponsors getting involved with 1/8 scale racing. You get a big off road race in front of the people that are at the X-Games, there some huge exposure.
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