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Old 11-14-2006, 04:08 PM   #76
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Here is something interesting on the "rent a ride" scenario.

I have worked with Tamiya at several events over the years and one of there big events is there annual TamiyaCon which is mostly their National's for Plastic model builders but is also part open house. Every year they have R/C demos going on and a couple of years they had a "try me" track as well as a time where they hired drivers like myself to "Demo" cars. When the try me track period happened it turned into a day care center all the parents dropped off there pre-teens to play while they went and enjoyed the show almost zero adults lined up to try it. And very few people felt the need to watch. Now when it was Demo time and we went out there 3-4 at a time a put on little impormtu races the crowd became 3-4 people deep. So why I understand that havng a "rental" car may help give somebody the insentive to get involved I think showing them an organized race where the drivers are paired equally rather then a hack fest or one guy lapping the field by far draws the most attention. Now they usually hold an enduro race during the event and it is prving to be very entertaining for the crowds.

Another key factor is if you want to attract attention make sure to infomr those watching what is going on as most passer buyers have no clue what is involved or even who is driving what. I think a big imprvement could be to make drivers wear a bib that have a number matching there car or even stand at a number podium spot the coincides with the number on there car. Poeple need to see some sort of personal connection to be drawn in.
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Old 11-14-2006, 04:30 PM   #77
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-how about a Pro-AM day. you take guys that are normally in the a and pit them right beside a new racer. the "pro" could race that day, but his main obligation is to help the new racer with whatever he needs help with. this makes the new racer feel more welcome because he meets a fellow racer and makes friends.
-one issue of club races is new racers are intimidated by the better racers b/c of all the stuff he has on his bench. they also feel like a nuisince to the better racers b/c they feel like they are only going to waste someone elses time. the Pro-Am would help to solve this b/c the "pro" is there to help the new racer. the new racer could also ask anything they wanted b/c the "pro" wouldn't be pre-occupied w/ anything.

that is my $.02, dont spend it all in one place.

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Old 11-14-2006, 04:57 PM   #78
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When I used to work in the Action Sports Industry Skateboarding in public places was actually illegal and Snowboarding was not allowed at 99% of the resorts and look at both sports now. Anything is possible those that say it can never be popular or largely oraganized are just being lazy.
What are some of the things that promoted and grew skateboarding/snowboard/inline etc.? Even if they seem out of reach of us today, what things did they do right?
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Old 11-14-2006, 05:42 PM   #79
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How to make the hobby better:

Get some brick and mortar hobby shops to get rid of their "if you didn't buy it here, we won't help you" attitude. It is all the more prevalent with the rise of the Internet shops.

Or better yet, stop saying "we don't carry that brand and we can't (won't) order it for you" or "we don't carry that part for your car" when literally all the shop needs to do is make a phone call or send an email to get it for the customer.

Hobby shops throw away A LOT of money that way. Granted, it's harder than ever to keep up with all that stuff out there and keep it in stock, but that doesn't explain not making a special order. When a customer wants to spend money in a shop and he's sent away to look for that part/car somewhere else (unless someone tries the ol' bait and switch), that is, frankly, pretty lame.
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Old 11-14-2006, 05:48 PM   #80
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My original intent was, and still, is to try to create a group of individuals willing to lend their time, effort, and financial support to a targeted marketing campaign to bring this hobby of ours out of the shadows of the track and into the spotlight.
I think this is a great topic however I think this responsibility ultimately falls on the owners of the track. Not to sound like a jerk but Im not gonna spend any money to get people to the track ...thats the owner of the hobby shops business responsibility. Im willing to help out with stuff at the track , which I already do; but right now our track is pretty dead compared to last year. The owner however doesnt seem to want to do anything to improve attendance..I suppose he's content with the following in off road only right now. Our track even has some of the best guys I've ever met at a facility so I know thats not the problem. Any and all suggestions unfortunately seemed to have fallen on deaf ears. I personally think he's burnt out...which I can understand ...but if you are; then step aside for a bit and let someone else run it.

Unfortunately my wife shut me down on this because her business is finally taking off but I thought to see if the owner would "lease" out a night or two for me to put on a racing event and split the profits. Since it seems like he doesnt want to "promote" the track hardly other than people just walking in the store and seeing it. If I were him I would talk to every hobby shop within 100 miles and see if they would work with me somehow on sending people my way to the track. Gift certificates or discounts or whatever you can come up with.

Also make the day or night more of an event. Have raffles, have local bands play to get exposure...some bands would play for free just to get practice gigs .....maybe make leagues such as bowling leagues with points or handicaps or something different to mix things up a bit. Sometimes at our track it feels like we run and just leave afterwards.

Hate to say it but it really all boils down to cost. You can argue over and over but it boils down to that. Speed costs money...how fast can you afford. We can try to get people down to the track but when its so expensive and takes up a lot of time ; its hard to keep people coming. So maybe we should be focusing on how to keep costs down and time effeciency.
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Old 11-14-2006, 08:20 PM   #81
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I m starting to see a path to were this is leading, another organized sanctioning bodie. Along with Rick and Hustler, Ex- racers from whatever end up in rc for whatever reasons. Im also a shot slap the #!&% out Motorxer and kart racer. after a few dr bills rc way cheaper type of racing, (type of racing). In motorsports theres not the drag newbies in the ring and start bashing advertising to get people into it, for the most part people are drawn to it. I think rc is in need of a major sanctioning, like Scca,Nascar,AMA,WKA and etc... Organized and on a national level, race a class at whatever track on the west coast and your sure that in the same sanction on the east will have the same class. Yes i know ROAR, NORRCA all those but it needs to be brought down to local levels, Take your local circle track either dirt or asphalt,you have the big dog late models fast and modded, then down to the hobby and streetstock type classes, And its the same for almost all local circle tracks across the country, same with AMA c b and a classes nov,int,exp levels, Rc needs this type of structure, with membership dues,actual license with your racing level and id # . A yearly handbook with all rules and regs just like racing real cars, when you go to a big event in rc that is what it is racing , Maybe we need to study more of the bigger sanctions to get a more uniformed idea on how to go about this, the closest ive seen yet seems to be the pro series events, set up like the ama moto-x series, Some people say thats way to serious for rc for them,but thats what it is racing. just as with big cars theres a budget and a limit you race what class is in your budget , if you cant then you bench race with speed channel thats just the way it is. you race on a shoestring and hope for sponsors to come along and pick the tab . Now my movie idea is a strech but let me try this on you guys, Moto-x in its infancie finally got On any Sunday, helped build up the ego to buy a bike and ride, and then in the eighties come along Winners take all. cheezy but still got your blood pumping, Then all the Race car movies too many to list but you get the idea, I think rc only has a few shots here and there, ya ok Jay Halseys RC 10 chasing Clint E down the hills, And now thes kids have the tokyo drift club and cant wait to borrow mommas honda , I think even cheezy it may be, it all starts cheezy then hardens into a structure of some sort, How bout it any directors out there up to a challenge, snowbirds coming up send the film crew , get a few no name actors and sign them up. need somthin to bring the kids away from the cell phones ,computers , learn how to put a model together from a bag of parts to actual working vehicle, maybe this will help bring out some ideas from others or just a chuckle,
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Old 11-14-2006, 09:00 PM   #82
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Keep cost at different levels for people (if you're insane enough to hop up a beginner kit to a pro level kit cost well then you're just plain insane and defeats the purpose of a beginner kit imho)

example
Beginner- TT01, Hobbyist - TA05, Racer - 415
so that we can
Keep classes to a minimum but skill level must be enforced for each class and each consistent winner must move up
novice, stock, mod

Make RC more mainstream with more videos and better coverage. Anyone that doesn't play RC thinks its geeky and nerdy rather than cool and hip like real sports.
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Old 11-14-2006, 10:26 PM   #83
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entertaining for the crowds.

Another key factor is if you want to attract attention make sure to infomr those watching what is going on as most passer buyers have no clue what is involved or even who is driving what. I think a big imprvement could be to make drivers wear a bib that have a number matching there car or even stand at a number podium spot the coincides with the number on there car. Poeple need to see some sort of personal connection to be drawn in.
This is one of the best ideas I have heard on this forum. This should be incorporated at all major race events that get any type of coverage at all, and if it is a club race at a parking lot with passerby's I think the amount of attention this simple inexpensive idea would bring to the race would be surprising. Excellent idea Mr Black
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Old 11-14-2006, 10:39 PM   #84
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I have always felt RC racing was not marketed correctly. Aways as a hobby - meantime - auto racing and X Sports are blowing up in the US and around the world. There was a small piece in ESPN the magazine a month ago where Tony Stewart was talking about RC Racing and how it was just another form of auto racing, except, less expensive, you don't have to bleed and you can make a decent living as a sponsored racer at a young age. Maybe thats the message that needs to be put out into the mass media market about our sport - not a hobby, but a fast paced, exciting sport that has sponsored drivers able to travel the world. Just a thought.
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Old 11-14-2006, 11:46 PM   #85
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We currently have our on-road carpet track located in a mall. We do draw 30 - 40 spectators during the races. I do not think you will not be very successful in a large mall, ours is in a smaller one, yet it gets a good amount of shoppers, and the managers of the mall work very well with us. We did offer anyone that wanted to try racing the oportunity to try it with mini-t's, we used those because they were cheaper to repair and not very fast out of the box. Cost is a huge issue in this hobby and it always will be whether used or new, it's just the nature of the beast. We have folks that will give items to kids and folks just starting out, and only asking that they do the same in the future. One of the racers did take on the challenge of opening up a hobby shop next to the track. You are correct that it is a break even business at best to run a track and shop together, I beleive most do it because they love the hobby so much. Your idea of asking for donations and such to have a traveling track is a good one, but you would to have some very dedicated people to pull it off. Ideas like these will keep the hobby alive on the grass roots level. As for a different governing body, I think the one we have just needs to get back to the basics and sart listening to the members and work the rules to benefit all involved. I will say that everyone at our track bends over backwards to help and promote this great hobby, but cost will ultimately be the governing part.
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Old 11-15-2006, 01:48 AM   #86
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Most of you are completely missing the point...

There are MANY reasons the hobby is losing racers and not gaining new blood.

Firstly, the hobby has over-engineered and over-priced itself. When the hobby was booming in the 1980s, the tech was quite simple and easy to understand. Of course the hardcore racers now were driving Hornets and Frogs then. As we've aged and grown more savvy, so has our hobby. The only problem is that the new kids are now jumping into a hobby that we've grown with and have been developing skills in since Hair-metal was huge.

Think about that. Most "hardcore" racers have a skillset thats been developed for the better part of 10-20 years. How on earth can any new guy / gal expect to cram all that into a reasonable amount of time?

Secondly, as the needs of the racers has grown, so has the capabilities and cost of the equipment. Again...this hobby has grown to cater to the longtime enthusiast.

Third. This hardcore R/C base refuses to change. Whenever someone new attempts to suggest how to make racing more FUN and easier to afford, the R/C holy-men scoff and laugh. Blasphemy!!! They cry out...You can't make all the mains 8 mins!!! Or "You can't cut out our niche classes!!!" The long-time racers by and large either don't want or don't know how to affect a positive change...


Fourth. Considering the 3 above points, why would someone new to the hobby really want to deal with any of this?!?! As I see it, by the time this hobby dies the racers will be 80 years old on average and racing $50,000 1/10th scale cars.


R/C Onroad is swirling the toilet people. We need DRASTIC changes in both the industry and ourselves to ensure it doesn't fade away: A REAL spec design and class, CULLING of the class herd and a major attitude adjustment.

Perhaps one day when things are sane again I'll return. Till then I'd rather be flying.
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Old 11-15-2006, 06:04 AM   #87
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Well thats fair enough and you have outlined WHY its not getting new racers. But what exactly do you suggest we do? You said major changes in classes and attitude etc but what exactly do you propose?
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Old 11-15-2006, 06:29 AM   #88
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In order to get new people in at an affordable price, as Soviet said, just change the rules for the Stock class.

We all know that in stock, you cannot run a prototype chassis (if you go to a sanctioned race, anyways).

We also know that this sanctioning body has a maximum retail price for stock motors. So the precedent is already set.

Why not put a maximum retail price on the kits for stock? Something like $450 to cover the RTRs available out there from Associated, Losi, and Tamiya. (Yes, I know that if someone buys a separate kit and radio they can exceed $450, but you have to draw the line somewhere).

This will also satisfy those that want the "Pros" to move out of stock. Can't run your $700+ retail Corally, X-Ray, or Tamiya 415 there anymore.

Getting around the "hop-ups" for this class will be tricky too. A "no carbon fiber chassis or components" rule and/or simililar might be necessary.

Just a thought.
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Old 11-15-2006, 08:38 AM   #89
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I think soviet makes a good point on how intimidating it is or how complicated things look nowadays compared to when most of us started.

If I was to walk in on a race now and see how much support equipment is used in the pit area. I probably would not even consider racing.

i do think that the manufacturers are realizing this and is now offering a lower priced kit just like xray and h/b.
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Old 11-15-2006, 08:59 AM   #90
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Originally Posted by Soviet
Most of you are completely missing the point...

Firstly, the hobby has over-engineered and over-priced itself. When the hobby was booming in the 1980s, the tech was quite simple and easy to understand. Of course the hardcore racers now were driving Hornets and Frogs then. As we've aged and grown more savvy, so has our hobby. The only problem is that the new kids are now jumping into a hobby that we've grown with and have been developing skills in since Hair-metal was huge.

Think about that. Most "hardcore" racers have a skillset thats been developed for the better part of 10-20 years. How on earth can any new guy / gal expect to cram all that into a reasonable amount of time?

Secondly, as the needs of the racers has grown, so has the capabilities and cost of the equipment. Again...this hobby has grown to cater to the longtime enthusiast.

Till then I'd rather be flying.
Soviet,

I would like to offer a different perspective to your first few points. The hobby in the 80's did not have to compete with the likes of sophisitcated video games, the personal computer, the internet, new sports such as the X-Games, mountain biking, snowboarding, water crafts, and the list can go on. The competition for peoples interest and money is greater today then it has ever been. Many of these activities are as - or more expensive then RC car racing, but are still thriving, look at dirt bikes, quads and personal water crafts, video gaming, surfing, golf, snowboarding, the list goes on and on. What is the reason for this, it could be that maybe they are just a bigger part of the sports mass media market place then RC car racing, and it is easier and more attractive to associate yourself with an activity that you see on the TV or other media outlets on a regular basis - think of how many advertisemnts you see for these activities each week vs RC car racing. So to say RC car racing thrived in the 80's because of simpler technology, I think is to simplistic - RC car racing never made the investment the other sports and activities did to market and promote themselves in the up coming mass media market of the last 20 years, (quite simply they didn't miss the train, they never even got to the station) that fact may have been the biggest contributor to the lack of growth in RC car racing in the last 20 years.

Your next point about skill set. I cannot tell you how many young kids / adults in RC car racing for just 4 to 5 years that are able to compete at a very high level, I see new facs at every major race I go to each year. It does not take 10 to 20 years to develope a skill set for RC car racing. If you have talent and desire you can be competitive in just a few years. I will add that this goes for most activities and sports - to get good you need to practice, if you are fortunate and have talent, then your growth will be faster, and at higher levels - I do not see RC car racing being any different from any other activty or sport.

The last point is there are plenty of inexpensive car choices today, and if you are lucky eough to have a Tamiya TCS series race in your town, this is easily the best spec racing program in the world - you can race with a $60.00 dollar car, and the use of hopups are strictly enforced. My point is you can enjoy this sport on a low budget if you choose to. Rc car racing is no different then in any other form of auto racing or competitive sport. I may not be the best golfer, surfer, baseball player or RC car driver, but I enjoy all those sports and I have no intention of not playing or participating in any of them, because I cannot win all the time - thats just silly - I play because I enjoy it.

If RC car racing caters to the longtime hobbiest, it bacause thats where manufactures make their money. But like any other business, if you cannot bring in new customers your business will die, maybe slowly, but it will die. Maybe the RC car industry just needs to make the investment and learn how to effectivley market their sport in the mass media markets of today. I doesn't seem to complicated - just look at what other related sports have done to grow and transfer the ideas to RC Cars. Just my humble opinion.
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