Time Attack…

9 Feb

I could go on and on about this topic… The “Real” reality of the state of time attack in North America. Not these delusions of grandeur that a handful of people have.

NOBODY has as much experience as I do with regard to planning, hosting, promoting, running and managing time attack events in the North American market. Period.

People who believe they know what the best path forward is for the sport are so sadly mistaken, sadly misinformed and blinded by their ignorance and naivety.

For five years, redline time attack was a money losing proposition. Including a MASSIVE investment (see: loss) last year.

99.99% of people either don’t know how how much it costs to properly run a professional level motorsport event nor do they care to know.

Marketing guys simply state what they think the next great idea is to get people involved, spectators out, media involved…. with very little if ANY regard for the financial end of things. Many of these same people have zero experience running a company. Zero experience working in the financial department of a company. No regard for paying the bills at the end of the day. Etc….

Get a live stream! People will watch! Okay.. how is it going to be funded? Little do they know that REAL sponsors (see: real money) don’t give two shits about live stream, or at least care enough to pay any real money to support it. Reality: Live stream WILL NOT pay the bills. That is a fact. Well, with one caveat… It won’t pay the bills UNLESS you’re drawing significant numbers of viewers.. on the order of 200,000+ unique per live stream. Case in point, Major League Gaming, who draws 500,000+ plus unique viewers per event. BUT, Major League Gaming ALSO draws 3000-5000 people to the live event, because they put on a GREAT show! MLG has the top talent at ALL events, and the talent is willing and eager to commit to ONLY competing at MLG events. They realize that for them to be successful, they absolutely need to work with the sanctioning body, putting their selfish desires aside in order to work for the greater good of their community/series as a whole.

Here is a homework assignment for you… Name one sporting event or series (can be any sporting event: bowling, auto racing, surfing, baseball, football, hockey, downhill skiiing, etc.) that pays their bills with a live-stream AND also has very few if any spectators in attendance. Good luck! My guess: you aren’t going to find one!

Get the Fastest and the Best cars out to the events! Sorry, we’ve been doing that for 5 years. Randy Grube at GTLive tried that for 3 years. That tactic alone DOES NOT WORK.

And if you ARE going to get the “best” cars there, and even pay to help defray their costs, where is the ROI on that? Where is the revenue stream coming from? Does NASCAR pay the teams to race? Does IRL? Does F1? Does the Lucas Oil Off Road Truck Series? Does Grand-Am? Does World Challenge? ……. No. They don’t. The teams are part of the series, they believe in the series, they work WITH the series, to make the series bigger. To make the series relevant. To make the events exciting. Etc. The ROI for the teams comes downstream when they’re involved with a relevant, respected and valued motorsport series. THAT gives them the value they need to go forward to potential sponsors to defray their racing expenses.

This blog post has already gone on long enough..

I’ll have to follow it up with ones that covers topics such as: relevance, market share, demographics, more insights into the “real” reality of the motorsport marketplace and so much more…

These are all complicated issues.. There is no magic bullet, or magic recipe for success, that some people seem to believe exists…

– Nikolas

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8 Responses to “Time Attack…”

  1. blendahtom February 9, 2011 at 9:56 pm #

    Hi Nikolas,

    I appreciate your zeal on this subject and the dedication you have put into Time Attack. I do however disagree with many points in this post regarding the ability for Livestream’s to be a viable options for brands/series or events. Action sports have been doing livestream’s for years with success with very little live spectator count.

    I will list out a couple of events off the top of my head that were completely sponsor supported and not huge crowds or dependent on huge crowds for a successful event.

    http://surf.transworld.net/1000123359/videos/hank-gaskell-wins-the-2011-sponsor-me-sunset-open-presented-by-da-hui/

    http://surf.transworld.net/1000104077/news/sponsor-me-pro-am-returns-to-ala-moana-bowls/

    http://thejayatmavericks.com/News/post/Roku-Brings-The-Jay-at-Mavericks-Big-Wave-Invitational-Directly-to-your-Living-Room-TV-in-Full-HD-for-FREE!.aspx

    http://www.monsterworldrallyteam.com/blogs/gymkhana-grid-top-ten-things-made-ken-block-invitational-dope

    http://fresh.snowboardermag.com/industry/live-webcast-of-hot-dawgz-and-hand-rails/

    In my dealings recently I have found more and more brands and sponsors extremely excited about a professionally produced livestream as a viable media asset.

    • mrtimeattack February 10, 2011 at 8:49 am #

      Blendahtom,

      Following your link in your “screen name”, takes me to LiveStyleMedia.com……

      Are you Tom Masiero….?

      If so, is Frank Maguire still working with/for you?

      • blendahtom February 10, 2011 at 1:32 pm #

        Yep it’s Tom..

        Frank is a colleague of mine but Frank doesn’t directly work for me. He was our “PR/Marketing” guy while I was at my last company.

      • mrtimeattack February 10, 2011 at 6:37 pm #

        If you don’t mind, shoot me an email..

        Nikolas@redlinetimeattack.com

        The environment is changing.. heck, it HAS changed. I need to be in an educated position so that I am prepared to make decisions… I’m open to hearing what you have to say about live-streaming.

  2. Miranda Switzer February 9, 2011 at 10:35 pm #

    Hi Nikolas,
    I was reading your blog and I have to strongly disagree with what you wrote regarding sponsors and live streaming. While I have no doubt that you are an expert in your field, I too have plenty of experience within the live streaming/sporting event realm. I work for a company that live streams sporting events, in particular SURF events. We actually put on the event AND broadcast it live. I am in charge of Sponsorship sales and the biggest selling point to date, is the live streaming component of our event. We broadcast worldwide and bring in #’s well into the 6 digit range. We sell our sponsors on product plugs, logo drops, commercials spots and interview time during this broadcast. You would be surprised with how much a sponsor would pay to reach such a large amount of their target market. Sponsors want to see #’s! Viewership! How many people they are reaching out to! We support our events by the dollars coming in for live streaming…..and it’s SURFING! Not nearly as exciting as your event series.

    I am actually a fan of Time Attack and I have been out to several events. I would think that since the onsite spectator numbers are not earth shattering, you would be more open to incorporate live streaming into your event season. Marketing is only as good as the amount of eyeballs that see it.

    What I’m saying is that I wouldn’t disregard live streaming that easily. It has been around for a bit but is truly going to be the future. Our company is being bombarded daily with requests to live stream. If you do some research, you will find that for what you get, it is quite affordable. More bang for your buck!!!

    If you need some tips on how to sell live streaming, let me know. Wink, wink! I look forward to this season and truly wish you guys the best! It’s a great event!

    -M.

  3. Ross February 9, 2011 at 11:21 pm #

    Nik,
    I’ll have to say that you are 100% right. An organization has to make enough money to support itself, thats the bottom line. If one cannot do that, its not a viable business. Getting people to invest in a business that is in the red cannot be an easy thing either.

    As well, doing one thing marketing wise will not solve all of your problems. As for MLG, there is no air time for that on TV, so fans MUST log in and view things. The live stream was great, but will it be the silver bullet, no, and you yourself admitted that. When loyal fans like myself DVR every ALMS, Conti, FIA GT, etc race, whats in it for use to log on and view a tiny screen for a single camera of racing? Is there a silver bullet for someone in your position, nope. There is luck, and perseverance, but being successful does not just happen. You are in a hard market battling against the likes of the wildly successful France family, as well as upstarts with more personal cash in the game in one year, than you’ve lost for the last five.

    As for ROI, for racing its the sponsors, its has to be! Did you look at the stands for the 24 hours of daytona race? They were empty! For a nascar race, they would be PACKED! So, without money from fans, and only a little from teams, where is it going to come from? Its not an easy question to answer.

    ok, now that I’ve spent way to much time answering questions that you didnt ask I’ll ask one of my own. Do you think you could be successful aiming for the more grass roots players rather than the teams that invest hundreds of thousands in their effort?

    Best of luck to you Nik!
    -Ross

  4. mrtimeattack February 10, 2011 at 7:40 am #

    Miranda and Blendahtom,

    I appreciate your comments and feedback! I also can appreciate being corrected, and learning something! 😉

    I only based my comments with regard to sponsors and live-streaming on my own experience in attempting to sell it, or the experiences of marketing folks/agencies that have attempted to sell it for us in the past.

    It’s quite possible that I didn’t know how to sell it, or the other sales folks didn’t know how to sell it.

    I also believe that it takes partnering with a professional live-streaming production company to have ANY chance at all. I’ve seen the production, both in person and on the web for Major League Gaming. It is TOP NOTCH, with big money being spent.

    I would be ecstatic to find sponsors who saw enough value in a high-quality live-stream, to write checks big enough to at least cover the live-stream costs. To fund an entire event that costs six-figures…. I’d probably be dreaming.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Tweets that mention Time Attack… « Mr. Time Attack -- Topsy.com - February 9, 2011

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jarod DeAnda and John Naderi, Nikolas Malechikos. Nikolas Malechikos said: Time Attack… http://wp.me/p1deyX-1w […]

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