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Help With How The IRL Can Raise It's Profile

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  • Help With How The IRL Can Raise It's Profile

    Here's an idea...I'd like some of us to brainstorm how the IRL can raise it's profile or public image...what seems to be lacking is genuine recognition. How can the league promote itself so the IRL logo and it's drivers become commonplace in American pop culture...the NASCAR logo is everywhere and guess what? Our is better!

    I say we start with getting some IRL merchandise on the shelves at KMART, Target, Walmart...that kind of thing. A few caps and T-shirts with the logo and SHJ, GR, BLZR, BB, Penske's guys etcetera...

    Also, I think an IRL radio ad...30 seconds run on sports and newstalk stations would help.

    The IRL's problem is image. We don't need to cheapen it, but we can sure stand to promote it so it's highly visible.

    One more idea...ads in shopping malls and a 30-second theater teaser during movie previews. Also, a contect promotional on soda cans.

    So help us out here. Your ideas?
    You are what you greet

  • #2
    Run races at the same tracks for 20 - 30 years until they become an annual event that people expect year after year.

    Have the same drivers in the series for 10 - 15 years until their names become well known.

    Run races often enough so that there is some continuity and the series doesn't fall off of the radar screen several times a year.

    Then the T-shirt sales will become financially feasible.
    DVR . . . . Life is too short to watch commercials.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Lee Roy:
      <STRONG>Run races at the same tracks for 20 - 30 years until they become an annual event that people expect year after year.

      Have the same drivers in the series for 10 - 15 years until their names become well known.

      Run races often enough so that there is some continuity and the series doesn't fall off of the radar screen several times a year.

      Then the T-shirt sales will become financially feasible.</STRONG>

      Thank You!

      carl s
      Indio, CA
      Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

      Comment


      • #4
        I agree with Lee Roy to a certain extent. We need to start and think small but effective right now.

        Someone posted a good idea a few months ago. Place one of the 3" x 4" IRL logo stickers in a highly visible location on your vehicles (this is more effective if you don't have 15 other stickers on the car). If you have a Calvin urinating on a Chevy bowtie I will personally revoke your IRL sticker!

        The 30 second radio spot is a very good idea because it is relatively cheap. It should be simple, bold, something that could be used for 5 or 10 years and not wear on peoples nerves (a very tough task but possible).

        Although I've never seen the "pre-race, paid advertisement, infomercial" I think that is a good investment also. It builds an awareness in the community if the local news is not inclined to help hype an upcoming event.
        "But not all of them, Jean-Pierre. There are some who come for that, for the accidents and the fires. But the others...
        the others ride with you all. You put something in their lives they can't put there themselves."
        -- Louise Frederickson in Grand Prix

        Comment


        • #5
          Lee Roy' comments are kinda right,,, but I think we can, and many of us do, help the series grow more quickly.

          Tony has done these (below), does he look like he's content at itty bitty slow steady growth over the next 20 years? Naw, he's spending his own money on promotion and growth NOW.

          ABC and ESPN for several more years.
          Posters and Bob Jenkins voice on tv/HBO.
          Given sponsors 3 races at INDY for corporate elbow rubing.
          Given fans exciting close racing.
          Local market infomercials.
          Low sanction fee so ticket prices are very reasonable.

          We have done these:
          Take friends/guys from work to races.
          Wear our INDY and IRL tshirts everywhere.
          Bumper stickers.
          Talk IRL.
          Hand out IRL tv schedule's while I'm running the beer stand.
          "OWRS did not return phone calls."

          Comment


          • #6
            Gee Lee Roy, you're no fun...

            Comment


            • #7
              Get the stands filled now by letting kids in free in the lesser stands and seats and inviting large groups like schools to come free to those stands. (See the thread on this I started--Kids Free Proposal). It seems that ticket prices are really low, but it has not yet been enough to fill the stands.

              Invite all employees of any company that is primary sponsor of an Indy team to come to any IRL race that year for free (could be a lot of people if it is a big company).

              Have a drivers meeting three to six months before an IRL race with the local chamber of commerce to plan and encourage promotions.

              Send season IRL tickets to celebrities, movie stars, music stars, sports stars (or all major sports team players) and so on.

              Get some drivers and team owners on Jay Leno in exchange for getting to drive the pace car this year. Have several IRL cars on stage at the appearance and let some guests from the audience have a seat in them to try them on for size.

              Get some drivers on Letterman too since he has a race team and is a race fan (not just the Indy 500 winner, but some drivers during the season before Indy).

              By the way, what all did Helio Castroneves do this year after winning Indy? I know he went to NY and was on Letterman and threw a pitch to start a World Series game. That was great PR for the 500 at least.

              Send a discount ticket offer to all prior attendees who have dropped their tickets. Show that their attendance was valued.

              Send a discount ticket offer to other IRL races to anyone who buys a ticket for one IRL race.

              Create some traditions for the starts and ends of IRL races, that make them unique. There can be some unique ones for IRL but also some unique ones for each track.

              Put some green lights along the outside of the track walls. Have the announcer tell everyone to start the wave and follow the lights or follow the lead car.

              Create a series of products to educate and emphasize Indy 500 history:

              DVD's of prior broadcasts
              CD's of IMS radio network prior broadcasts
              Reprints of race programs and yearbooks (combined in hardback)

              Improve the web sites for the IRL and IMS--they are fine but anything can always be improved. For instance tons of Indy history can be put up on there.

              Make Trackforum moderated or have a moderated section and let it be on the official IRL web site.
              Barney Oldfield - AJ Foyt - Jim Clark - Dan Gurney - IMS - IMS YT - INDYCAR - INDYCAR YT

              Comment


              • #8
                There is no one magic fix but if the owners,ABC,sponsors and promoters worked together it would help.
                W.C. is huge because the drivers are all well known to the public.They have become celebrities that people live vicariously through every weekend.The IRL needs to put its drivers in the mainstream of America.
                The owners need to put racers in their cars that are well known to at least grassroots race fans and keep them.
                ABC needs to step up and follow the NBC and FOX examples of promotion.NBC is using NASCAR drivers for Olympic spots while later that night espn has Whit Watson and Miller smearing the IRL.That has to change if ABC really wants to improve its ratings.
                The sponsors could help by having its drivers in commercials.Why they don't use a Sam Hornish or Robbie Buhl when they are already contracted to a company is beyond me.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hey Lee Roy,

                  There you go telling the truth again. You shouldn't use such a sharp pin to stick in people's bubbles.
                  Dick Ralstin www.dickralstin.com

                  Satisfaction guaranteed or your Monkee returned

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    <STRONG> How The IRL Can Raise It's Profile </STRONG>
                    Quick answer: Continue to exist and keep following the business plan.

                    Most of us are simply guilty of impatience. The series is six years old. What has it done already?

                    -More than tripled the number of its races.

                    -Acquired a national network television contract that pays it millions every year.

                    -Introduced Indy Car racing to several new markets.

                    -Smashed its closest competition in the viability and relevance departments.

                    -Has become a magnet for U.S. racing's elite.

                    -Quality sponsors have begun rediscovering Indy Car racing.

                    Friends, this thing has just gotten rolling. Most everyone has good ideas, and the plan they've laid out at 16th & Georgetown has begun to pay off in a large way.

                    The Road To Indy is paved with gold.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Lee Roy:
                      <STRONG>Run races at the same tracks for 20 - 30 years until they become an annual event that people expect year after year.

                      Have the same drivers in the series for 10 - 15 years until their names become well known.

                      Run races often enough so that there is some continuity and the series doesn't fall off of the radar screen several times a year.

                      Then the T-shirt sales will become financially feasible.</STRONG>
                      It wouldn't hurt if the drivers were actually pretty accomplished and successful, too...
                      "It was actually fun, because you're back fully driving again in these trucks. Ninety percent of the tracks we go to in the IRL, you're flat-out. I was having to lift off the corners some here." - Buddy Rice

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Boy, I know another series that has fans asking those questions as well. The thing is, they are 4 years ahead of the curve and understand it is almost impossible. You cannot buy everything.

                        However, you can keep marching on and doing the best you can and maybe things will eventually turn for the better.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The other series is not 4 years ahead, they are behind. They still don't understand the importance of Americans in the series, of traditional events, and grass roots drivers.

                          Lee Roy is correct. It takes time (IF YOU DO THE OTHER THINGS RIGHT!). CART failed to recognize that Americans like to watch Americans compete. They failed to realize the importance of traditional venues over larger sanction fee.

                          If the IRL can continue to contain costs, build traditional events at its tracks, like Indianapolis has, and draw on the short oval grass roots American driver (not exclusively- but contuinue to bring in Laziers, Hornishes, Rays...etc). Then over time their following will grow.

                          They can help things along with promotionals, but without their main series goals (American drivers, cost containment, traditional oval venues) all the promotion in the world won't help (i.e. CART - don't get me wrong I realize ART did little to promote themselves too).

                          As far as shirts in Kmart and Target. I agree that they should work with local Kmarts and Targets at race venues. The Kmarts and Targets in Pheonx for example should have IRL shirts the week before and after their race. The Wal Marts and Kmarts in Chicago should have IRL shirts Chicagoland weekend. All IRL venue Wal Marts, Kmarts, and Targets should get shirts Indy 500 weekend.

                          It's really sad when you go into a Kmart in Indy in May and only see NASCAR shirts. Or go into Wal Mart and see no shirts at all.

                          But a national distribution of IRL shirts won't work. Until there is demand, store won't be able to sell the stuff.

                          I agree with discount and free tickets for kids, atleast until you consistently sell out the venue.

                          [ January 14, 2002: Message edited by: Tara ]
                          Tara was the name of our cat.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Tara:
                            <STRONG>Lee Roy is correct. It takes time (IF YOU DO THE OTHER THINGS RIGHT!). CART failed to recognize that Americans like to watch Americans compete. They failed to realize the importance of traditional venues over larger sanction fee.</STRONG>
                            I just wanted to disassociate myself with the "Americans like to watch Americans" statement. Sorry Tara, but I just don't think that is universally true (partially, but not significantly). I know that many of the traditional open-wheel fans are disappointed that the Sprint and Midget stars don't seem to graduate to the "Indy Car" ranks very often (for reasons that have been beat to death here and elsewhere many, many, many times), but the US has a strong tradition of having sports stars from other nations move here and compete (such as in baseball and ice skating, for example) and being completely embraced by the masses here in the US.
                            DVR . . . . Life is too short to watch commercials.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by bikermike:
                              <STRONG> W.C. is huge because the drivers are all well known to the public.They have become celebrities that people live vicariously through every weekend.The IRL needs to put its drivers in the mainstream of America.
                              The owners need to put racers in their cars that are well known to at least grassroots race fans and keep them.
                              ABC needs to step up and follow the NBC and FOX examples of promotion.NBC is using NASCAR drivers for Olympic spots while later that night espn has Whit Watson and Miller smearing the IRL.That has to change if ABC really wants to improve its ratings.
                              The sponsors could help by having its drivers in commercials.Why they don't use a Sam Hornish or Robbie Buhl when they are already contracted to a company is beyond me.</STRONG>
                              Yes, yes, YES!!! This is a biggie as far as taking on NASCAR. Thank you, bikermike.

                              And, the thing is, the IRL has a much wider variety of personalities that potential fans can latch onto than NASCAR. Sam for the young and cool, Scott Sharp for the young and wild, Cheever for the intellectual crowd, Beechler and Buddy for the blue-collar crowd, etc.
                              "I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend." - Thomas Jefferson

                              RIP, Dan. You will always be one of my heroes.

                              Comment

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