Things MotoGP Can Learn From F1: Part 1 - The Business Symposium

Since the global financial crisis struck back in 2008, MotoGP's primary focus has been on cutting costs. These efforts have met with varying success - sometimes reducing costs over the long term, after a short term increase, sometimes having no discernible impact whatsoever - and as a result, the grids in all three classes are filling up again. Further changes are afoot - chiefly, the promise by Honda and Yamaha to supply cheaper machinery to private teams, either in the form of production racers, such as Honda's RC213V clone, or Yamaha's offer to lease engines to chassis builders - but there is a limit to how much can be achieved by cutting costs. What is really needed is for the series to raise its revenues, something which the series has signally failed to do.

In truth, the series has never really recovered from the loss of tobacco sponsorship, something for which it should have been prepared, given that it had had many years' warning of the ruling finally being applied. The underlying problem was that the raising of sponsorship had been outsourced and the marketing of the series had been outsourced to a large degree to the tobacco companies, and once they left - with the honorable, if confusing, exception of Philip Morris - those skills disappeared with them. There was nobody left to try to increase the amount of money coming into the sport.

To their credit, Dorna have tried to address this issue, even going so far as to organize a sponsorship symposium with the teams last year. Unfortunately, it was far from a success, with one attendee being particularly scathing about it when asked for his impressions. And because of the scarcity of sponsorship, Dorna has the regrettabe tendency to regard itself in competition with the teams trying to bring sponsors into the series, rather than working in concert with them to raise the total income and reduce the dependence of the teams on Dorna subsidy.

MotoGP's four-wheeled counterpart, F1, has a far better track record of raising sponsorship, in part because of its deeper roots in the business community. So it came as no surprise that when F1 came to the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas the circuit's owners - also well-known in the business community, with Red McCombs being a leading figure in Texan business, and one of the richest men on the planet - organized a forum to educate the Texas business community about the opportunities which motorsports present, and to allow the community to meet and network with top figures from F1. The event was judged a success, and a positive initiative taken by the circuit.

This is exactly the kind of initiative that is desperately needed by the motorcycle racing community as well. The idea of a business club or symposium is far from new - part of Ducati's success in raising sponsorship to cover its costs is through working with the Italian business community to convince them of the opportunities MotoGP and WSBK has to offer, while Lucio Cecchinello leverages his business network on a smaller scale - but it has not been sufficiently exploited by either Dorna or the teams to help to increase interest in the sport. Dorna's job - especially now that it runs both MotoGP and World Superbikes - must be to raise the profile of motorcycle racing as a whole, and try to increase interest and investment in the sport from outside businessses. Given the fact that key players from the major manufacturers, teams and Dorna are present at race tracks around the world, there is a golden opportunity to be seized, if Dorna would only take the lead. Organizing symposiums, or business clubs, or networking events at each race, and inviting local and national business leaders to attend them is a key stepping stone to a more stable future for motorcycle racing, reducing the dependence both on TV income and on the willingness of the factories to continue racing.

It is not even limited to MotoGP's managers and leaders: fans too can help. If you work for a large company, make sure the people in the marketing department where you work are aware of the value which MotoGP and World Superbikes represent, and the potential audience which it can reach. There are a few key numbers up on the MotoGP.com website, which provide enough information to start a conversation.  I am personally aware of one particularly innovative initiative, with a small outside company exploring ways to get an outside (and non-obvious) industry involved in motorcycle racing. Unfortunately again, it is being driven by the passion of the people involved, and not receiving the kind of support it should from Dorna. 

For the past four years, the sport of motorcycle racing has been looking inwards, seeking ways and areas of cutting costs. It is time to start looking outwards, at seeking out partners, promoting the sport, and increasing investment and sponsorship in the sport. The opportunities are out there, and the examples of good practice are there to be followed. If Dorna spent more of its efforts on organizing business symposiums such as the one organized by the Circuit of the Americas, and emulating the efforts such as LCR Honda's Inspire magazine, an attempt to create a lifestyle magazine around which to offer more opportunities to partners and sponsors, the sport as a whole would be a great deal better off. We might even be able to start attracting new manufacturers into the sport, persuading them to see it as a marketing opportunity, rather than an R&D cost center.

Below is the press release about the MotorSport Business Forum from the Austin circuit:


MotorSport Business Forum: Texas Symposium 2012

AUSTIN, Texas (Nov. 19, 2012) – Formula One returns to American soil this weekend and not a minute too soon.

To mark its return, KHP and its long-standing partner, the MotorSport Business Forum (MSBF), supported by payment solutions experts Rêv Worldwide, hosted the inaugural Texas Business Symposium in Austin, Texas on behalf of Red McCombs and Bobby Epstein, co-founders and investors of the Circuit of The Americas.

Operating this year within the more intimate format of a Texas Business Symposium, the MSBF sought to educate Texas companies on the commercial benefits of motorsport involvement by engaging with experienced motorsport sponsors and technical partners as well as allowing international motorsport participants to gain a better understanding of the business environment and opportunities that exist in Austin and central Texas.

Hosted at the AT&T Center at the University of Texas in Austin, central Texan business leaders of today and tomorrow were joined by some of Formula One’s leading figures on the eve of the United States Grand Prix. The 200 plus congregation of delegates from both the regional business world and that of Formula One were testament to the joint excitement of the sport’s return to US soil, and in particular to Austin,Texas.

Red McCombs, founder of McCombs Partners and co-founder of Circuit of The Americas, whose name adorns the hosts’ School of Business, opened the inauguaral Texas Business Symposium with a heartfelt speech the day before his dream of a US Grand Prix in Austin becomes a reality.

This was followed by the CEO of Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team, Nick Fry’s keynote address that set the tone for the afternoon’s proceedings: Formula One sees Austin as the new, permanent home of the US Grand Prix. This feeling was reciprocated in the ensuing Q&A session which saw an enthusiastic reaction and postive exchange of ideas and views from both the podium and the gathered delegates, further enforcing the positive vibe that has seen Formula One welcomed so enthusiastically by the Austin business community.

Roy Sosa , founder, Chairman and CEO of Rêv Worldwide was clear in his support of this important gathering, stating: ‘Rêv is proud to welcome the MotorSport Business Forum to Austin, Texas. Our partnership represents an opportunity for business innovation that goes beyond technology and the track. The intersection of the entrepreneurial spirit in this city combined with the global reach already represented by this sport opens new business partnerships and product development ideas never seen before.’

Paul Hembery, Pirelli Motorsport Director, added 'It has been a pleasure and a unique experience to participate in the inaugural Motorsport Business Forum in Austin. The United States are an important market, not only for Formula One, but for all the sponsors and partners involved in the sport. For Pirelli Formula One is a unique global platform to showcase our products and standards of technology. The Forum is certainly a great way to help bring the sport and its philosophy a bit closer to the decision makers of American companies and events like these will help the sport to establish itself in the States and to be successful. Hopefully, this Forum is the first of many in Austin and in other locations around the world.'

The final word of the day was left to Circuit of the Americas’ founding partner, and driving force behind the move to bring Formula One back to the United States, Bobby Epstein.

Katja Heim, CEO of event co-organisers KHP Consulting, was delighted with the reaction of all who attended the symposium, saying: ‘The success of the symposium clearly demonstrates there is an appetite in the US market to explore the many commercial opportunities that F1 has to offer. As with previous Forums KHP has helped to organise, the first and most important step is always bringing the right people together in the right environment.’

The full list of speakers - made up of Team Heads, Stakeholders, Series officials, Sponsors and Commercial Directors – were as follows:

  • Red McCombs, Founder of McCombs Partners and co-founder of Circuit of The Americas – Welcome Address
  • Nick Fry, CEO Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team – Keynote Address
  • Paul Hembery, Head of Pirelli Motorsport
  • Roy Sosa , founder, Chairman and CEO of Rêv Worldwide
  • Geoff McGrath, Managing Director of McLaren Applied Technologies
  • Mehul Kapadia, Vice President of Commercial Alliances and Sponsorships and Tata Communications.
  • Graeme Lowdon - President & Sporting Director at Marussia F1 Team
  • Pablo de Villota, Formula 1 Sponsorship Manager at Banco Santander
  • Bobby Epstein, Co-founder and Chairman at Circuit of The Americas
Since the global financial crisis struck back in 2008, MotoGP's primary focus has been on cutting costs. These efforts have met with varying success - sometimes reducing costs over the long term, after a short term increase, sometimes having no discernible impact whatsoever - and as a result, the grids in all three classes are filling up again. Further changes are afoot - chiefly, the promise by Honda and Yamaha to supply cheaper machinery to private teams, either in the form of production racers, such as Honda's RC213V clone, or Yamaha's offer to lease engines to chassis builders - but there is a limit to how much can be achieved by cutting costs. What is really needed is for the series to raise its revenues, something which the series has signally failed to do.In truth, the series has never really recovered from the loss of tobacco sponsorship, something for which it should have been prepared, given that it had had many years' warning of the ruling finally being applied. The underlying problem was that the raising of sponsorship had been outsourced and the marketing of the series had been outsourced to a large degree to the tobacco companies, and once they left - with the honorable, if confusing, exception of Philip Morris - those skills disappeared with them. There was nobody left to try to increase the amount of money coming into the sport.

Comments

You mentioned this before ...

At http://motomatters.com/opinion/2009/06/18/rossi_vs_lorenzo_dorna_shows_t...

That was over 3 years ago and to my mind it's STILL a huge problem, especially for us here in 'Merika and subject to only watching the races on SpeedTV.

It's clear that you have gained a tremendous amount of respect in the MotoGP community over the years (and well deserved!) and you have an excellent pulpit to "bang this drum" ... I encourage you to do so.

Total votes: 61

All about perspective

And I think Dorna's is backwards.

>>To their credit, Dorna have tried to address this issue, even going so far as to organize a sponsorship symposium with the teams last year.

One event during 4 years of economic problems and a dwindling grid. Looks like it is not exactly a top priority.

>>Unfortunately, it was far from a success, with one attendee being particularly scathing about it when asked for his impressions.

Because making a case for the value of this sport takes more than one symposium. Lots of groundwork needs to be done before the symposium, just having a one-off event is near useless.

>>Dorna has the regrettabe tendency to regard itself in competition with the teams trying to bring sponsors into the series

This in itself is a cause for despair.

>>reduce the dependence of the teams on Dorna subsidy.

Dorna does not realise that in his model of what racing is (entertainment) the participants are employees and need to be paid well for their services. Thinking of it as a 'Dorna subsidy' is taking the perspective that the teams are not up to par and need 'welfare' from Dorna to exist. Any truth to this view is largely due to Dorna's failure to position the sport as something of value to potential sponsors. In F1's latest contract I think 57% of the income generated by F1 is paid to the teams. At the recent Austin race the commentors were saying how the championship is worth $100M to the winner due to the points and championship bonuses. How each team was trying hard to get into the points because even one point was very valuable for the end of year payout. We never hear of payouts in MotoGP, only CE bitching about his subsidies to the teams and how the factories are spending too much of their own money. If Dorna wants to emulate F1 there are a lot of major shifts in attitude and resources that need to happen.

All of this discussion will be meaningless until Dorna can get out from under the huge debt payments they have to make. Since that will require more cash than they have or will soon have it does not look good. Hope the Canadians raise the retirement age!

Chris
http://moto2-usa.blogspot.com/

Total votes: 59

Perspective

It is about perspective.

Dorna have a global television feed, though GP only generates about 10% of F1-level revenues. Dorna implemented the 1000fps cameras and they innovated with the gyroscopic camera concept to create interesting footage. They relaunched the MotoGP.com website. Dorna organized the first ever night grand prix. Dorna negotiated a deal with the BBC, to satisfy the sponsors who wanted GP on free-to-air television. Dorna pays the salaries of riders from important markets like DePuniet and Cruthchlow, and Dorna employs talent scouts like Puig who find/develop riders like Pedrosa and Stoner. If we were able to listen in on GPC meetings, I think we'd find that Dorna were pushing for Rossi to join Ducati when Stoner left for the good of the competitive landscape.

Some of these initiatives have been more successful than others, and some of their initiatives have allegedly caused dire circumstances (rumors that BBC forced Dorna to ban youtube fan vids). Dorna also played with fire when they started militantly protecting the GP brand, which caused websites like motogpmatters.com to become motomatters.com. Regardless, Dorna have been doing a great deal to improve the show, perhaps too much in certain arenas. However, Dorna did manage to make 75% of MotoGP worth over $500M (2006) by using the 990cc concept they created (according to Burgess) and maintaining good relations with the MSMA, IRTA, and the FIM.

The finances also require some perspective. F1 reportedly spends over $100M to produce their global TV feed. MotoGP requires the same number of cameras to cover the circuit, and they need the same slow motion equipment and onboard cameras, so global TV feed costs are relatively fixed. Lets suppose Dorna were able to shave that cost to $70M. The cost of the TV feed would represent about 25% of MotoGP's total revenues, while F1 spends about 5%. MotoGP also requires jumbo jets to fly around the globe, delivering bikes and TV equipment to 18 rounds. The cost of transportation, lodging, and officiating equipment and personnel is another sizable chunk out of their annual revenues.

Until MotoGP generates $2.5B in revenues (ten times the current revenues), they will never be able to reduce fixed costs, variable overhead, and commercial rights profits to just 43% of total revenues. Furthermore, Dorna should probably not pay 57% to the teams b/c private IRTA teams do not make contributions similar to the F1 teams. Private IRTA teams run satellite bikes for the manufacturers with satellite electronics. F1 teams are responsible for creating a prototype car and all of its chassis, bodywork, and aero variations throughout the season. F1 teams are also required to create their own prototype software for the spec ECU. Dorna has been paying significantly more to IRTA teams for the same basic service. Subsidy might not be an inaccurate description.

Total votes: 57

wrong assumption

"I think we'd find that Dorna were pushing for Rossi to join Ducati when Stoner left for the good of the competitive landscape."

Stoner had to leave because Rossi came. Not the other way around. The GOAT basically kicked him off his seat. After he got over to HRC, Stoner has repeated numerous times that he was sad to have left Ducati, because he thought he had found a family there. And I don't think HRC would have signed him, if it hadn't been for Livio Suppo, who knew very well, how big his impact on Ducatis success was, having been there himself before.

Total votes: 69

Stoner leaving Ducati

Casey Stoner made the decision to leave Ducati during winter testing for the 2010 season (late 2009 / early 2010). He talked to his crew about it at the Sepang tests that year, and announced his decision at the 2nd race of that season. Stoner wanted out.

Valentino Rossi has been graceful about his situation at Ducati throughout his time there. Only a couple of times has he let the mask slip. Once, he half-joked about it being Stoner's fault he ended up at Ducati, as Stoner had made the decision to leave Ducati so early.

Yes, Stoner felt that there was a family atmosphere at Ducati. But a) he took a large part of his family with him, and b) he left Ducati despite that family atmosphere, precisely because he was tired of waiting for developments and new parts to appear, which never came. This was very much his decision, and nobody else's.

Total votes: 78

Thanks for clearing that up.

And sorry for being inaccurate.

Total votes: 61

oh, and money too.

>>Dorna have a global television feed, though GP only generates about 10% of F1-level revenues.

>>Until MotoGP generates $2.5B in revenues (ten times the current revenues), they will never be able to reduce fixed costs

Right there are the 2 main problems. They incur a large percenteage of the costs that F1 does yet get revenue a lot smaller than F1. Spending on a niche market sport as if it was mass market is not a good business decision.

>>Dorna organized the first ever night grand prix.....Dorna pays the salaries of riders from important markets like DePuniet and Cruthchlow, and Dorna employs talent scouts like Puig who find/develop riders like Pedrosa and Stoner. If we were able to listen in on GPC meetings, I think we'd find that Dorna were pushing for Rossi to join Ducati when Stoner left for the good of the competitive landscape.

All that activity is called sweating the details while they are overlooking the large scale issues. I like Crutchlow and DePuniet but they are riders representing no new markets. British bike fans will watch GP because they are motorcycle racing fanatics. Is France a huge market? I doubt it. Is it a growth market? Abolutely not. There are new markets it should be in that it is not. The problems GP is facing are not the result of the past 2 or 3 years. What we are seeing is the result of reactionary rulemaking and the lack of long term plan over the past 10-20 years.

Chris
http://moto2-usa.blogspot.com/

Total votes: 55

Evaluation

A global television feed is not judged by the proportion of revenues it consumes, but by the marginal increase in revenues and profitability. If MotoGP is good for $150M annual revenues without a global feed, and $250M with a global feed, it is beneficial for everyone to have a $70M global feed. This is hypothetical, of course, but I'm sure you understand the concept. Furthermore, the global feed is beneficial for the fans and sponsors b/c we get a consistently high-quality product. If you compare MotoGP coverage to F1 coverage, you'll see that Dorna gives up very little in the global TV presentation. The global TV feed is one of Dorna's successes, and they'd be crazy to dismantle their media team.

Furthermore, emerging markets are not an absolute advantage compared to developed markets. Yes, the sponsors would like visibility in emerging markets so they can begin branding operations decades in advance, but Dorna doesn't necessarily benefit in the short term from emerging markets. Consumers in emerging markets generally have lower purchasing power, which reduces the price paid by the event promoters and the domestic TV networks. When the GP has cost overrun problems, Dorna is forced to double-down on developed markets to get the bills paid.

Spain has four GPs b/c Dorna needs to pay the bills. It is the teams who lose out when MotoGP saturates one TV market. The teams can help Dorna move into emerging markets by reducing the cost of satellite teams and improving the technical regulations to boost the revenue-side of MotoGP. In this regard, the teams have done little to help themselves out.

Total votes: 69

DO NOT COLLECT $200, BUT RETREAT TO IBERIA

re: "Furthermore, emerging markets are not an absolute advantage compared to developed markets."

exactly. nor are they a gaurantor of success for the product you're hocking. see entries for istanbul and shanghai.

re: "Yes, the sponsors would like visibility in emerging markets so they can begin branding operations decades in advance, but Dorna doesn't necessarily benefit in the short term from emerging markets. Consumers in emerging markets generally have lower purchasing power, which reduces the price paid by the event promoters and the domestic TV networks. When the GP has cost overrun problems, Dorna is forced to double-down on developed markets to get the bills paid."

and there it is... "swordplay" and "gamesmanship" with other peoples money. real easy to do. personally, i fancy the game monolopy. brilliant those parker brothers.

Total votes: 58

Sorry to put it so bluntly...

But Dorna has failed in its handling of MotoGP. Even if they honorably tried, sorry but they've failed. This has not only impacted GP's but motorcycle road racing as a whole.

Dorna's copious lack of foresite has had grave consequences.

Nothing personal against the people who run the organization, but a change in management is desperately needed...

Total votes: 71

Have the past 20 years really

Have the past 20 years really been that bad?

Total votes: 65

Press

The press can also do a better job. Good info on what is really happening in the paddock is hard to find.

For example what is the story with Zarco not signing with MarcVDS. What really happened with Folger in 2011 leading to sign with lesser teams, almost without a ride. Technical photos and details on the new Moto3 bike took a very long time and eventually only to be found on some enthousiasts blog. What kind of bike is that latest Inmotec really etc etc.

Every angle in F1 is lid out. In MotoGP it is really scraping for good and Interesting news.

''the show' is not only on track !

Total votes: 67

Personalities...

One thing that most people are overlooking between F1 and MotoGP is the lack of racers that have a little bit more of an outgoing personality shall we say.

The entire series to some extent, and I'm talking about MotoGP as that is really what "sells" the series as it is, is centered around one person who provides the entertainment and that is Rossi.

Over the last two years it's been a little dry in the podium, winning, visible on TV and thus exciting people department with him out of the loop. Thus, as much as people keep talking about watching Casey sliding a bike round a corner, that doesn't make your average punter laugh...especially if you're trying to spin off to a wider audience who doesn't realise the difference between the Honda CB250 you see lane splitting on the highway and an RCV213 hammering around a track.

They're just motorcycles.

The problem is, most car drivers can easily identify with NASCAR, F1 whatever is some form because most folks drive cars and as such there's an empathy that exists even if they're not sure about the minutia which translates to prime time tv in some shape or form. Throw in the charisma (or charm) from the drivers and you've got entertainment.

As skilled as Casey was, or Dani, Lorenzo, or any of them for that matter, and they are skilled.

Fantastically so, there's no cheeky grin, silliness whatever that people latch on to. The last person who had that charisma is no longer with us, and it appears that the Italians have a lot more in terms of flamboyance than say the Spanish, who are a little more reserved/serious when it comes to being "silly"..but from where I stand, it makes my life a whole lot more fun to capture people who look like they're happy to be first in qualifying, or on top the box than someone who just holds up their and then a brief wave and off they go.

People always used to say that for the amount fo races Schumacher won, each time her won it looked like and acted like he'd just won his first race.

Andrew =)

Total votes: 73

This

This times 1000. It might be "wrong" or "ignorant" or "stupid" or whatever anyone is about to call this statement, but NASCAR got it right. The show is on the track, and the show is in the drivers off the track and the formula stays the same. On the race show side, you have great knowledgeable commentators calling the race and then you have a great color guy in Darrell Waltrip who is funny and knows just a little bit about what he is watching since, you know, the guy only raced for 28 years amassing 3 cup titles among his other accomplishments (of which there are many. Seriously, google the guy). Why isnt Doohan or Giacomo calling races or being the color guy? yes, people like the color commentators. Why are racers who are injured NOT invited to call the WHOLE race with the booth?

Every driver in NASCAR has a personality. Whether its a "gimmick" or if they are being themselves, people either love, like or hate drivers based on what they do on track and how they behave off it. Its really the ultimate reality show because there is a legitimate competition going on. In my opinion, there is NOTHING wrong with there being a "show" off the track since the entire concept is built around legitimate competition on the track.

I think that Lorenzo should go full heel for this season. For those who dont know, the term "heel" is an old wrestling world for the "bad guy." Lorenzo should go out, do his job, defend his title, win races and simply refuse to give interviews. Why? Because it creates controversy, it creates a story, it creates something people want to read about and be a part of. Why is Lorenzo doing this? What is his problem? People will tune it, just like a TV show you cant stop watching. Lorenzo eventually says its because you, the media, dont respect me, you are more interested in what the washed up old racer Rossi is doing. The guy hasnt won since 2009 and in that time Ive won 2 titles. I ran him off of MY team only to languish in the mid pack because he cant get it done and had to call in every favor in the world to get back on MY team. He even admits that he is number 2 rider and yet you STILL only want to talk to him. You disrespect me, Im the future, he is the past, ect ect. Is it cheap? Tawdry? Yup. All of the above, but it gets people talking about you. Then you convert them with the on track action, but right now, no one has a reason to tune into motorcycle racing if they arent already a fan. People get attached and tune into TV shows because they want to see what is going to happen next. If racing alone was enough to sell the series, then MotoGP wouldnt be in the position its in. Rossi was a character and he was the story, the reason people tuned in, to see what he would do this week. Good or bad for racing, people tuned in and were interested. They spent their money. This isnt my opinion of whether its right or wrong, its just a statement of reality. People want to be entertained. Its human nature.

Unfortunately, you cant sell the story of mechanical advancements and new style motors or some new engineering trick that a team is trying, because it no longer exists. All the engineering is in the silicon chips and you cant see, hear or really understand how or why that is or isnt working. Its nothing more than a collection of 0s and 1s. Trying a V4 over a V5 SOUNDS different, it LOOKS different, its something tangible to see and hear. Something to talk about. What is there to talk about the pros and cons of a new software program? With mechanical engineering, there is loads to talk about. Well having a V5, means that there are 5 cylinders, and each piston is now smaller, so it can rev higher and possibly create more torque and power, but its at the expense of more moving parts, weight, ect ect.

Unfortunately the idea of "purely" growing the sport, as in the only new fans are just like you and interested only in what you are interested in and want to follow the sport the way you do, is a pipe dream. You want more money? You want more fans? You are going to end up with bad apples. Its growing pains. You need to appeal to the mass audience and then when the "fad" fades, you should be left with a large group of fans that you grow your base from there. But you have to take the chance and you have to ride out the "fad fans."

I dont care how low this comment gets rates. NASCAR did it right. They created a show about "the show" and are hugely popular and successful. NASCAR's most popular driver has never finished higher than 3rd in the championship and that was almost 10 years ago. But Dale Jr has a great personality and doesnt have to win races. You need grid fillers like Jr to bring in money and fans. Right now, MotoGP grid fillers are bringing their own money for the privilege of racing. Terrible. Big personality, personal stories, human interaction, a little bit of trashy tv and a simple formula have made NASCAR hugely popular. I dont look at the people who failed in my chosen profession and then emulate them. I emulate success and modify the process as needed, but I dont try and reinvent the wheel if I dont have to. MotoGP would be wise to learn and emulate a successful series and tweak the formula to fit the product they want to sell.

As Machiavelli said: "Whosoever desires constant success must change his conduct with the times."

Total votes: 86

Perfectly stated

Though I don't have a clue about Nascar here in the old continent I fully agree with you. As much as I loved Keke Rosberg (a F1 WC) he won't stand against Gilles Villeneuve who never won a F1 WC but could draw huge crowds to tracks. And mind ... I have never really liked him. Nonetheless it is plan vanilla to see what works and what doesn't.

There are loads of other subplots that could be brought up. Cal is a character (but even Sic was not valued as it should have been). CE has always been. But the post on Rossi vs Lorenzo above makes the point. Once in a season there is one epic battle. Rather than banning the videos on Youtube start building on them. Make them viral. Support sharing. Reach million of viewers who were not giving a penny to MotoGP and build a story out of it!

Total votes: 75

LiLo

Ask LiLo if cheap, tawdry publicity stunts are good in the long run. Once upon a time, she could act, and she was scouted by Disney and taken under their wing. LiLo was on the yellow brick road.

I don't want to see JLo standing before a judge, and I don't want to wander what could have been if he didn't suffer psychotic episodes from manufacturing too much buzz-worthy drama in the press.

Hope you don't mind the LiLo and JLo monikers cause that's the kind of shit we are going to be force fed, if we turn this sport over to the NASCAR script-writers and celebrity tabloid paparazzi.

NASCAR creates an 80/20 formula by requiring everyone to run spec cars, but 80/20 exists naturally in Gran Prix motorcycle racing now that 2-stroke and 4-stroke race engine technology is relatively democratized. MotoGP doesn't need to manufacture a show, it needs to stop people from killing the show in the name of corporate branding strategy.

Total votes: 51

missed the point

Lindsey Lohan is an alcoholic and drug addict who refuses to get help. There is nothing cheap or tawdry about her stunts because she doesnt have any stunts. She is a drunk looking for her next drink. End of story.

You missed the point. This isnt about tabloid BS, paparazzi or getting in trouble with the law. Its about exploiting the natural stories and rivalries in the sport and using them as a hook to draw people in. Rossi/Biaggi, Rossi/Gibernau. Its not about Crutchlow having 1 pint too many and getting arrested. It about Lorenzo feeling disrespected and saying so because the media follows Rossi like a puppy. Its about the riders stepping up to create a simple reason to want to pay attention. Its story telling 101.

MotoGP doesnt need to manufacture a show because it already is a show? What rock have you been living under for the past 6 years? The "show" is nothing more than a boring processional parade that was so pathetic it just lost one of its bright stars to retirement at age 27!!!

Total votes: 54

Natural Stories

There is nothing natural about divulging the private details of your career and professional relationships to the press. Such practices are particularly at odds with Japanese culture, corporate or otherwise. To put private information into the public domain, Dorna must let the press run amok through the paddock or Dorna must force the Japanese to lift their natural gag orders, and bait the riders into divulging private information. 'Natural' doesn't really describe the process of disseminating private information in the public domain. In fact, the opposite is natural, thus, we have regulations to force publicly-traded companies to divulge private information, and we make sure they put the information in the public domain before they share it with their inside trade partners. F1 and NASCAR generate a higher volume of personality pieces b/c there are ten times as many team members and journalists. Neither sport has a high concentration of Japanese officials.

MotoGP is naturally a show, but the show has been suppressed for the last 6 seasons. Dorna have identified the fuel-restrictions and the prototype electronics as show-killers (few can argue with Dorna's logic), and they have developed a formula for 2014 that eliminates both the fuel limitations and the prototype ECU programming. I'm not sure Dorna's formula is the best way forward for MotoGP, but the MSMA refuse to offer a counter proposal. Instead, Nakamoto plays dumb, and he cuts fuel capacity to 20L.

Total votes: 70

Still missing the point and putting words in mouth

Where did i suggest you dive into their private lives? Where did I suggest baiting ANYONE into revealing anything that is privileged? Where did I say anything about insult Japanese culture? Stop putting words into my mouth an associating the word "reality" with crash TV. Ive clearly defined and explained numerous times what I mean by adding a depth of "reality" or creating a show about a show. Im not going to do it again because Im tired of typing the same thing, to the same person ironically, and you will just find a way to spin it around yet again.

We get it. You want a nerd series based solely around robots operating 2 wheeled based machines and apparently you can understand the difference in performance where the electronics code is 0001000 instead of 0010000. The majority of us have decided that sucks and that there is something wrong. You offer no fix to attract new people unless they fit YOUR exact definition of fan.

All you have talked about is MotoGP being a natural show. Well obviously it isnt. If it was naturally a show, it wouldnt matter what the rules are, the show would still be there. The old days arent coming back. Stop pretending like they will. You want the sport to grow, you want it to be around for you to watch in the future, you better figure out a way to attract new viewers and keep the old ones because they are dropping like flies. Ive let MotoGP races sit on my DVR box for days at time, when I used to watch ever single one as soon as they aired.

Total votes: 51

Hot mess

Where did i suggest you dive into their private lives?.....

Never said you did. You should read my post more closely so you don't have to pretend that people are putting words into your mouth.

You want a nerd series based solely around robots operating 2 wheeled based machines

This is putting words into someone's mouth.

All you have talked about is MotoGP being a natural show. Well obviously it isnt. If it was naturally a show, it wouldnt matter what the rules are, the show would still be there. The old days arent coming back. Stop pretending like they will.

Displacement-limited racing is 'the old days'. Dorna is taking MotoGP back to the 'old days' in 2014 b/c it is a natural show, not a 'nerd series'. You are begging for the 'old days' to make your soap opera business-model work.

The MSMA got bored with the 'old days' so they fuel-limited MotoGP, which created a 'nerd series'.

The 'old days' model was abandoned in 2006 b/c four-stroke racing engines are too expensive and too powerful to operate without some kind of rev limiting regulations. Two common forms of rev regulations are rev limits and bore limits, but those regulations basically equalize horsepower. The MSMA don't want equalized horsepower. The MSMA attempted to reduce the rev ceiling and horsepower ratings, while maintaining the free technical regulations by reducing the engine displacement and the fuel capacity. I find the MSMA's attempt to modernize GP to be admirable, but their execution has been a disgrace.

Total votes: 61

Personalities..

Well, a lot of what you say seems to makes sense. About creating drama, good guys, bad guys, stories. But at the end of the day, it is a sport. A professional, highly technical sport. Not a soap opera, or a film for teenage girls. (Ironically, a lot of popular films these days, such as the "Twilight" series, are completely devoid of drama, but thats for another website..).

Depending on rivalries to sell the sport has worked in the 90s/early 00s when the "good" guy won, but not so much in recent years. This type of "promotion" depends on the same guy winning all the time, which was the case for a number of years.

Portraying one rider as the villain over another, rather than having them all equal and letting people decide who to root for themselves, is largely the reason why one of the series great assets is leaving, and its part of the reason why the sport has fallen in popularity in recent years I feel.

The above article is comparing the differences in generating revenue between Moto GP to F1. Are there bad guys or good guys in F1? No, but there is a massive amount of technical information thrown at fans, lots of interviews, lots of team interviews. There is a truly epic amount of impartial journalism and coverage of the sport, the fans then decide for themselves who to root for. Some one else mentioned it above already. I feel that is the way to go. Promote the sport for what it is, SPORT. The highest form of 2-wheel Motor Racing on the planet. Watch WWE wrestling if you want false storylines and characters.

One rider is always going to be more popular than another, granted, but purposefully and intentionally creating a drama or rivalry between two riders (with a view to increasing fan interest and subsequently sponsors) through manipulation of interviews or mis-reporting facts is only going to benefit one side, and its not Dorna or MotoGP in the long run, as has been seen.

Total votes: 64

You hit the nail on the head

Very well stated.

Chris
http://moto2-usa.blogspot.com/

Total votes: 49

WAIT, I'LL PUT IT TO YOU BLUNTLY

sorry guys, i say this is in the most respectful of ways, but you're all wrong and you're all wasting your time looking and pointing fingers towards the outside, when what you're supposed to be doing is looking IN. ever heard the phrase, "if you're not part of the solution...? then you're part of the problem...?"

the answer rests where it's always rested... with the "fan-sumers" on the REVENUE side of the equation. that's YOU, ME, WE, US. whether directly thru ticket sales or indirectly thru support of sponsors, "fan-sumers" are the source of all income. repeat... FAN-SUMERS ARE THE SOURCE OF ALL INCOME...!!! i've been the lone voice of reason on this for some time now though a few enlightened individuals have begun to catch on.

the monies to pay for the spectacle that is motogp doesn't come from dorna, it doesn't come from bridgestone, it doesn't come from the manufacturers, it doesn't come from inside sponsors like repsol, nor does it come from OUTSIDE sponsors like mapfre, and ferrchrissakes, it sure as hell doesn't come from a rider...!?!? it comes from the consumer...!!! you don't need a degree in accounting or finance (although it helps) to know there is no future in "robbing peter to pay paul". there isn't. unless the fan-sumer does their part to close the loop on the economics, that's all tobacco sponsorship (or whoever's sponsorship) ultimately represents.

notice how outside of repsol, there are no durable sponsorships (google the related term "durable goods" for more insight). sponsor brands come and sponsor brands go. sure, any company can be "sold a dream" once, but guess what...? they employ accountants too. all's it takes is a year or 3 to see a lack of ROI and that's all she wrote. POOF! POW! like magic the sponsor up and disappears like a fart in the wind. :( has this not been the cycle (pun intended) for the past 2-3 decades...? in contrast, general mills (cheerios/wheaties) has sponsored nascar going on 15 YEARS...!!!

even without the "tomacco" ban think of all the great liveries that have come and gone in bike world regardless...? pepsi, telefonica/movistar, nastro azzuro, alstare corona, infostrada, fila, xerox, alice, FIAT, sterilgarda, santander, castrol etc. and most recently san carlo. even more ironic, some of these names didn't stop sponsoring...? they just STOPPED SPONSORING PISSANT MOTORCYCLES...! telefonica's stayed busy with sailing and football, santander bank followed alonso from mclaren to ferrari. as they were dropping tenkate like a hot rock, castrol became MAIN sponsor to ford's 2012 rally car.

(hypothetical) what would we do if suddenly the concept of sponsorship never existed...? we'd be coming out of pocket same as we do for any other expense is what...! hey you know what i'd like...? i'd like a sponsor on to whom i can "socialize" the cost of paying for MY fancy automobile. no it's my car, the burden of paying for it is MY responsibility. if i couldn't afford it...? then i had no damn business buying it in the first place...? right...? well same could be said for campaigning a "fancy race team".

what that means is, you can hold all the forums/symposiums (whateverpaloozaposiums) for sponsors till you're blue in the face... it won't matter DIKK until motorcyclists of modern day shed their "free lunch mentality" and make a conscious decision to support (hellllooo financially $$$) the industry and it's racing sub-niche. if they/we could just do that...? the activity of chronically having to “beat the bushes” to secure sponsorship would be irrelevant. anybody notice the donation applet that founder jimmy wales was running recently (and runs every so often) on wikipedia...?

"With 450 million monthly users, we have costs like any top site: servers, power, rent, programs, staff and legal help. To protect our independence, we'll never run ads. We take no government funds. We run on donations averaging about $30. If everyone reading this gave $5, our fundraiser would be done within an hour. Please help us forget fundraising and get back to Wikipedia."

okay, this is the EXACT mentality we motorcyclists/"fan-sumers" have to adopt with our sport. why...? because it's OUR sport and ultimately nobody outside OUR industry gives a rats. we've only been getting sent this message for 20 years now. we have to smarten up... and FFS stop crying about the cost of every new motorcycle shown at EICMA...!?!? what we're supposed to be doing is coming off the dime and BUYING them. if we notice, for all the years of whining, they haven't gotten cheaper...? instead they only continue to get MORE expensive. translation: WHINING DOESN'T WORK. we've lost the plot.

Total votes: 83

yea thats it...

Yea thats it. All of us in the motorcycle community are secret millionaires and its our fault that there is no ROI on sponsorship. Newsflash, racing sponsorship NEVER has a great ROI. It simply creates product visibility and that may or may not turn into ROI.

I dont know about everyone else, but I feel confident in saying that i dont NEED Repsol oil in my bike. I dont NEED the 2013 Honda CBR600RR to replace my 2003 model. I dont smoke cigarettes, so need for Marlboro or Rizla products. I dont NEED or even WANT a Fiat parked in my garage.

But excuse me while I whip out my American Express Centurion Card so I can save MotoGP by buying products and accumulating debt that I dont need while saving a company that does NOTHING for me. MotoGP offers nothing that I want to pay for to watch. If it was pay per view, forget it, they would be out of business. If the product was better, Id be willing to pay for it. But since its not exciting right now, Ill watch it for free. This is Dorna's problem, not mine. Its theirs to fix, not mine. They created that product that formed my opinion of their product. I had no influence in it what-so-ever.

Your race on Sunday, sell on Monday mentality only works in Grand Touring type racing or late 60s Trans Am, where the cars resemble their road going counterparts. The history of prototype racing in F1 and 500 World Championships is riddled with rich kids going out and spending their family money, or finding someone else's family money to spend to feed their habit. The fact that there has never been an ROI for corporations sponsoring cars and bikes is starting to come to light in this economy and most companies would rather save the money or put it somewhere else. Factories got out of control with their spending when times were good and no one was checking the bottom line. Not the case anymore.

And blaming the consumers of your product for your woes NEVER works. It simply chases them away from your product and forces them to seek out alternatives. And the market place WILL develop an alternative product. In this case, its WSBK. if that gets screwed up by Dorna, I still have the AMA to get my fix.

Exciting racing is exciting racing. It doesnt matter if its the best of the best of the best in the world. it doesnt matter if Valentino Rossi, Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo all shoot of the last corner neck a neck and race for the finish line, Or if those 3 guys are named Josh Hayes, Ben Bostrom and Chris Filmore. What matters is if Im on the edge of my seat while those 3 bikes race out of the last corner. Thats what missing. Dorna banked on name recognition instead of good racing. You can have a favorite racer, but at the end of the day, the RACING will still be there after your racer retires. Racing is forever, racers have a sell by date. Make the racing close and competitive and the names will matter a little less, but you have the right product.

Total votes: 81

FROM THE MOUTHS OF BABES

re: "Newsflash, racing sponsorship NEVER has a great ROI."

see, then you understand the problem just fine. :)

Total votes: 61

Whining doesn't work eh?

Take your own advise there bud...

By the way, I bought a motorcycle, and continue to buy motorcycles as does most of those "fan-sumers" that care about this sport. The motorcycle companies race to sell their product, and we buy said products.

If you really feel that consumers have to foot the bill for a badly managed series just because we enjoy the sport that series represents you are delusional dude.

Unless... Carmelo, is that you?

Total votes: 74

DENIAL WITH A REDIRECT

re: "If you really feel that consumers have to foot the bill for a badly managed series"

you know that's not what i said, but hey, nice attempt at dodging the issue though. LOL

Total votes: 56

Product development

Revenue creation is a relevant discussion, but revenues cannot be grown without a product. Dorna can hold all of the symposiums and conferences they want, but revenues aren't going to grow. The sport has gone from 5 manufacturers in 2007, to 3 manufacturers in 2012. The technical regulations are tightening, which makes MotoGP less valuable as an R&D platform. One of the team principals tells the entire world that he doesn't care if MotoGP is not fun to watch. The riders are unenthusiastic. The fans are bored.

There is a story about the Google sales force, back when the company was unopposed in the search engine marketplace. Major companies would enter into talks with Google, expecting to be met with the most savvy and competent sales force on the planet. But the Google team was allegedly an uncoordinated group of bedraggled technicians who didn't understand sales at all. Google's product was so good, they didn't need to waste time with aesthetics. Google was the golden goose, and companies did business on Google's terms if they wanted the golden eggs.

MotoGP is a golden goose. No other motorsport depicts a pilot jumping from side to side on his machine without safety restraints or HANS devices. No other motorsport has pilots dragging knees and elbows on the pavement as they corner at over 200kph. No other motorsport allows the pilots to run multiple lines through a single corner without losing time. No other motorsport features pilots flipping or sliding across the racing surface when they make a mistake. No motorsport has an 80/20 paradigm that allows for free technical regulations and good racing! The only way you can possibly f*ck this up is to upset the golden goose so it no longer lays eggs. That is precisely what has happened.

The MSMA converted MotoGP from displacement limited competition into fuel-limited competition. No one was prepared for the consequences, and when the consequences materialized, no one proposed innovative solutions to keep the sport moving forward. They simply bickered about whether or not the sport was actually in crisis, and they begrudgingly agreed to cut costs. The problems started with the tires. By 2009, Michelin decided to withdraw and MotoGP had a control tire. Then the manufacturers realized that the 800cc engines were achieving high revs on 21L of fuel so they introduced engine life regulations and mulled the possibility of a 19,000rpm rev limit. Then MotoGP introduced a second tier for production-based machinery b/c so few companies were supplying prototype equipment at affordable prices. When the fuel regulations started to falter, they homologated fuel injection systems. As the electronics got out of hand they banned sensors and created a spec ECU. The racing has deteriorated and the manufacturers have withdrawn. The technical regulations have eroded the show, the passion, and the business.

The MSMA has desecrated their product so thoroughly, that Dorna has put them in a straight jacket to prevent further injury to the sport. Until the MSMA show signs of intelligent life, they need to remain shackled. Fuel-limited competition is fine, if the MSMA can find a way to make it work for more than three teams. As of right now, they don't appear to be trying. They simply agree to perform the chores on Dorna's to do list in exchange for an extension of the current fuel-limited system.

Total votes: 63

Preaching to the converted

re: "No other motorsport depicts a pilot jumping from side to side on his machine without safety restraints or HANS devices. No other motorsport has pilots dragging knees and elbows on the pavement as they corner at over 200kph. No other motorsport allows the pilots to run multiple lines through a single corner without losing time. No other motorsport features pilots flipping or sliding across the racing surface when they make a mistake. No motorsport has an 80/20 paradigm that allows for free technical regulations and good racing!"

yeah, we know. we get it. guess what...? nobody cares. this is another thing we can stop wasting time and energy pointing at. again, 97% of population has repeatedly sent us the message that they aren't interested. and as if to make my point, nearly 2/3rd's of the population of our own kind (ie. MOTORCYCLISTS) aren't interested.

even in a best case scenario, our numbers are never going to swell beyond 5%. the soccer mom in a mini-van is NEVER going to trade the dallas cowboys jersey she occasionally wears during her husband's football parties in for a yellow VR46 shirt. ain't gonna happen. i contend, we will never formulate constructive plans/strategies, until we accept that we are but a 1% sub-niche of an already 3% niche industry. we have to form action plans based on this REALITY first, not on some idealistic FANTASY (we can work on that later). this is all we've ever done and the continued lack results bear this out.

Total votes: 55

REALITY

Okay, MotoGP is a 1% niche market. If GP attracts another 1% of the market, GP will double in size. If MotoGP achieves a 'best case' market share of 5%, MotoGP would quintuple in size ($1.25B annual revenue), according to your model.

"i contend, we will never formulate constructive plans/strategies, until we accept that we are but a 1% sub-niche of an already 3% niche industry"

We've already accepted the niche-industry supposition, and we are acting accordingly.

Total votes: 58

GAME OVER MAN... GAME OVER...!!!

re: "Okay, MotoGP is a 1% niche market. If GP attracts another 1% of the market, GP will double in size. If MotoGP achieves a 'best case' market share of 5%, MotoGP would quintuple in size ($1.25B annual revenue), according to your model."

no, it won't even be that good. again, we have to stop thinking in absolutes there's another aspect your failing to factor for... attrition. for every one story of somebody discovering motorcycling/motogp, there are 2.5 stories of someone who's calling it quits. ironically, i just heard one this morning from a local tool vendor. he was telling me of how he's a rider (something i never knew) and how his wife is a long time rider with her own bike. however (comma) (everything after but), she had actually STOPPED riding like 3 years ago. :(

the best we can only hope to do is tread water and SUSTAIN our numbers... and this from the peak that already occured back in like '05/'06...? which itself was nothing more an artificial number based on the artificial bubble that was the economy. in 10 years i have yet to meet the "durable" consumer of WSBK/MotoGP who was not already a "durable" consumer of motorcycling, so we needn't even waste time indulging that fantasy. energy in that regard would honestly be better spent coming up with a cancer cure.

Total votes: 67

"Niche" talk is part of the problem

Im going to put this out there bluntly, so no one take offense to it.

Saying you are a niche sport is tantamount to admitting defeat. Its a stupid idea and all you have to do is look at the NHL in the states to realize that. They took this "niche" market approach and they are a distant 4th in everything when it comes to "The Big 4," football, baseball, basketball and hockey. Soccer is quickly approaching the NHL's popularity, in fact after the hockey strike this year, MLS and soccer will probably pass it, making hockey the number 5 of the Big Four. Ironically, hockey is probably the most exciting of them all. Its fast paced end to end hard hitting action with nary a break in the game. Its like combining football and basketball and making it happen on ice, but no stopping every play. But the NHL sold its soul and tried to be like the other sports out there. They changed the names of their conferences to East(Prince of Whales Conference) and West(Clarence Cambell Conference) and renamed their divisions with geographical names as well. Prior to that the historical names meant something to hockey fans, the sport and more importantly made it unique. Interesting that they chose to standardize their sport while trying to appeal to a niche market, but I digress. They focused only on the hardcore hockey people and their revenues and TV ratings dropped. Then they changed the defensive rules a little bit, opened up the pace of the game by dropping some other rules, shrunk the goaltender pads a little bit and they started to build some excitement. Then they went and signed a shit deal with an unknown cable tv channel called Versus, that doesnt have the basic cable deal like ESPN, which is in probably 98% if not 100% of all basic cable packages. And of course this means that Versus gets to cherry pick all the good games for broadcast. So when I would be excited to watch my NY Rangers play a game, it wasnt on the local channel that broadcasts almost all the games. Oh no it was on the channel that I dont have...

But back to this niche sport thing. I havent played baseball in almost 15 years. I havent played hockey in 5, Ive only laced up my skates twice since then. I havent really raced a motorcycle since 2004ish. I have never played football and Ive never driven a stock car. Yet, I go to multiple baseball games over the summer. I go to football games and hockey games, AMA races, NASCAR races, and vintage racing at Limerock Park. Why is that? Why do I and other people support these sports that we havent played in decades, in some cases, not at all? This is the question that you should be asking and stop with the niche sport talk. No better way to handicap yourself right out of the blocks than admitting that 99% of people dont care so we wont even bother with them. For the record, that 99% crap, you are focusing on 70 million people worldwide, while the other 6.93 BILLION you are just ignoring and not trying to market to. I said before that the 2011 Superbowl attracted 111 million people for a single game. And you want to focus on less than that? To drive a sport that travels all over the world? The 2012 Daytona 500 drew 13.7 million viewers and it was delayed over 24 hours from its usual Sunday early afternoon start to a Monday night start.

Honestly Im glad that some of you guys arent in my marketing department. Jeez, I mean just buy a single 30 second ad during the Superbowl for GP racing and you will reach 40 million more people than some of you want to claim to even want to focus on! Maybe Dorna should be hiring the NFL's marketing team or something. Or Apple's. Everyone has one of those stupid iPods or iPhones or Macbooks and they arent even that good anymore. Ill keep my trusty G4 with Protools thank you very much.

If you truly believe that you have the best product in the world, you market it as such. You attempt to reach as many people as you can. You do not say oh only people who are into bikes are into this, so we will only focus on them. You shout from the rooftops how awesome your product is. You sell it hard and make people want it. You create demand!

Total votes: 63

Questions asked, questions answered

re: "Saying you are a niche sport is tantamount to admitting defeat."

no, accurately describing your business shows a loan officer (an inherently risk averse individual) you've done your homework and are a good candidate for funding.

re: "I go to football games and hockey games, AMA races, NASCAR races, and vintage racing at Limerock Park."

Q: Why do I and other people support these sports that we havent played in decades, in some cases, not at all?

A: because the buy-in with those sports is almost ZERO. buy a jersey and a "terrible towel" and hey, you're a steelers fan...!!!

in contrast, to be a fan of motorcycling and it's roadracing sub-niche it requires an average $10,000 investment of one's disposable income. ie. whatever brand/category of motorcycle you like, a helmet, a jacket, gloves, boots, fuel, maintanence costs, insurance, etc.

re: "If you truly believe that you have the best product in the world, you market it as such. You attempt to reach as many people as you can. You do not say oh only people who are into bikes are into this, so we will only focus on them."

(*family fued buzzer sound*) incorrect, absolutely NOT. you're definitely speaking like an outsider to the industry. no worries i'll shall educate you. in BIKE WORLD, your marketing had DAMN SURE better be TARGETED otherwise you are figuratively and literally "pissing in the wind".

no, don't think so...? okay i'll put you in touch with no less than 9 dealership owners within a 50mile radius who've shuttered their doors in the past 4 years (count 'em 9). kawi, yamaha, suzuki, honda, aprilia, bmw, ducati, triumph, victory, harley davidson, sea-doo, etc. no brand has been immune.

re: "You shout from the rooftops how awesome your product is. You sell it hard and make people want it. You create demand!"

okay, i'm in. whose MILLION/BILLIONS are we spending to pay for all this...? mine or yours...? :)

Total votes: 55

You've given up and are admitting defeat

"no, accurately describing your business shows a loan officer (an inherently risk averse individual) you've done your homework and are a good candidate for funding."

-This statement brings nothing to the table other than very good, you payed attention in Business 101 as a freshman in college. But you obviously dont know how high finance or how Hedge Funds work.

"because the buy-in with those sports is almost ZERO. buy a jersey and a "terrible towel" and hey, you're a steelers fan...!!!"

-Buy a rossi shirt and hey you're a Rossi fan!!! No different. There are other reasons why people tune into watch these sports and more importantly pay money to see the games live. Tickets arent exactly cheap these days. They give the terrible towels away for free BTW.

"in contrast, to be a fan of motorcycling and it's roadracing sub-niche it requires an average $10,000 investment of one's disposable income. ie. whatever brand/category of motorcycle you like, a helmet, a jacket, gloves, boots, fuel, maintanence costs, insurance, etc."

-Absolutely not and this is the problem. Thinking that only people who are interested and more importantly, OWN a motorcycle will be interested in your product is a huge misconception and once again putting you behind the 8 ball before you even start. And even if this was remotely true, it doesnt explain Vintage Racing, NASCAR or even F1 and their rising and high popularity. Just because you are interested in motorcycle racing only because you are a rider, doesnt mean that other people wont be interested.

"(*family fued buzzer sound*) incorrect,"

-Awwww. How cute. You are trying to talk down to me...

"absolutely NOT. you're definitely speaking like an outsider to the industry. no worries i'll shall educate you. in BIKE WORLD, your marketing had DAMN SURE better be TARGETED otherwise you are figuratively and literally "pissing in the wind". no, don't think so...? okay i'll put you in touch with no less than 9 dealership owners within a 50mile radius who've shuttered their doors in the past 4 years (count 'em 9). kawi, yamaha, suzuki, honda, aprilia, bmw, ducati, triumph, victory, harley davidson, sea-doo, etc. no brand has been immune."

-This isnt about a local dealership. I would have that someone as "in the know" as you claim to be would understand the difference. Local dealerships are selling hard products. MotoGP is selling racing as a product. Its not tangible. Its a show. The first rule is know your product. You dont know the product MotoGP is selling. Its funny because my local dealership, the one I used to work at, has actually GROWN and taken on new factories over the past 4 years. Imagine that.

"okay, i'm in. whose MILLION/BILLIONS are we spending to pay for all this...? mine or yours...? :)"

-Bridgepoint's of course. They are the ones who want a return on their product.

Total votes: 58

>>reduce the dependence of the teams on Dorna subsidy.

It's not a subsidy - without the teams Dorna has no product, it's just a fairly poor way of handling disbursement of funds.

Total votes: 65

Well, there's no other way of

Well, there's no other way of describing it, but Motogp as a product is severely lacking, except maybe for a handful of GP enthusiast.

I follow both Motogp and F1. I would say I should be more passionate about motogp, given that I myself am a biker, but somehow, F1 manages that a bit better (passion for a team - Ferrari in my case).

F1 manages to sell me more insights unto their sport. You can read a lot of stuff about drivers, the teams, even some of the key designers (ex. Adrian Newey). Every GP, no matter how irrelevant it is in everyday life, you get updates on what new wings teams are running. You get some visual representations through drawings, spy shots of bits for aero that's suppose to give X teams advantage. You read about how some teams are flexing bits that aren't supposed to flex to gain the upperhand, or creative way to route exhausts gasses to get downforce, etc. None of this things are understandable by fans like me, but yet, they are entertaining to read/watch. Somehow, in my simple mind, I like to think I understand what 'Coanda effect' is, and why a diffuser design that allows air to pass through the starter hole to gain 0.002 per corner is important. Or why a pull rod is better than the conventional push rod etc.

In motogp, there seemed to be 1 angle for a very long time and that's the Rider. Rossi, was THE rider, and has been the focus of everything motogp, but since he was not in contention for the past 2 years, the series has taken a hit. Other riders are talked about either indiferently (Lorenzo, Pedrosa) or most of the time as a villain (Stoner) but past those 4, there's not much else. From the CRT riders, I only recognize de Puniet and Edwards, I don't even know what Pirro looks like. Even the Espargaro brother's, i mistake who's Alex and Pol given how little of them are shown anywhere. Yes, Bradley smith is a name I'm familiar with and so is scott redding but mostly since I'm watching on a 'Brit' oriented telecast.

But outside the riders, there doesn't seem to be anything about the teams. Yes we know repsol honda, yamaha, tech3 yamaha, and ducati marlboro but not much really. We may know what type of engine they run, what's a screamer and a big bang

Where are the technical info teams use for each GP? They said honda had many iterations of their chassis from 2011 to 2012, yet there is no single pic, or illustration for this. Yamaha seems to have stopped their anual 'what we did to beat the competition' illustrations on how they changed the M1 chassis.

Well at least the Ducati debale showed some interest in what the 'conventional' looking frame looked like, but even that dried up once there results didn't show as promised.

I guess what I'm trying to tell is that even though Motogp is supposed to be the last motorsport where technical regulations are not so strict, somehow, they failed to capitalize on that. I get more technical this and that from F1 which is frankly a glorified spec series given how tight their regulations are.

Motogp should capitalize on being the last series to have 'semi-open' engine regs and try to sell that to the fans. Make a way for fans to understand that this riders are on the best and fastest bikes on the planet, and what sets them apart from mere mortals. F1 has managed to cling to their 'pinnacle of motorsport' mantra even though i don't believe that is the case, why couldn't motogp do that?

Total votes: 83

To be fair to MotoGP, it's

To be fair to MotoGP, it's much more difficult to differentiate a MotoGP bike vs. a street bike or WSBK to the new viewer to attract interest to the spectacle.

F1 has it a bit easier. They look like jet fighters with small wings, kind of reminds me of the good-guy fighter aircraft from the original TV series Battlestar Galactica.

Dorna should tech-up the broadcasts more... that'd definitely keep me interested in the 2nd half of runaway races.

Total votes: 60

Yes, that may be the case as

Yes, that may be the case as a street 'super bike' has the same silhouette as a GP bike, but it's not helped by the fact that there are limited resources to explain the difference.

The usual things you hear about how incredible this machines are is that "they have over 250 hp channeling it down to a contact patch the size of a credit card" over and over. If you're lucky to tap into a eurosport feed, at least you get Mr. Spalding giving you some more interesting insights on 'tech tricks' done by certain teams.

But you'll not be lucky all the time to have that feed (at least for me). In f1, we have sites that discuss technical stuff. Were fans and insiders share info. Most are just speculative bullsh*t but who cares, it's fun to speculate sometimes and even better when you guessed right. In motogp, where do we do that? We can't even get a damn spy photo of frame 1 vs frame 11 of an rcv212. Or is the M1 still turning the crank in reverse for better handling? Last time we knew, it was 2005 when furusawa was there. Even the electronics, there's no writeup on how they work, as fans we just speculate. at least for f1, someone wrote how teams achieve 'cold blowing' to keep exaust blowing thru the diffusers even if the driver lifts off the gas pedal.

Total votes: 66

It's bike fans who watch GP.

It's bike fans who watch GP. We know that they are GP bikes. The average person doesn't care about the racing and explaining that these are the BEST bikes wont much matter to their opinion or how they will spend sunday afternoon.

GP has the cart before the horse. They have a closed system where you pay and then learn about it.

It should be an open system where much more information (like the actual races!) is given out for free to generate a huge user base which you can then get money from in various ways of which sponsorship is one.

As long as we (Americans at least) can not even view the races (speed TV does more harm than good) then we are not interested in what is behind the pay curtain. If it were not for pirated races from BBC and Eurospot I think American Interest would be decimated. Fix this or die, Dorna. Leave the damn bikes alone and fix your external biz model.

I have absolutely zero faith in the management of GP based on watching them fumble in a reactive, shortsighted and unimaginative way for years.

Total votes: 70

I'm happy to pay to watch the

I'm happy to pay to watch the whole season, but they should offer more free stuff. All videos except the full races and at least one full race per season might be a good way to entice people. Especially if you could arrange for countries to get their home race free online. I'm happy to pay a reasonable amount to support the sport I love.

eta: Actually, make that two free races a year. The season opener should be free for everyone and then they should get their home race free too. The racing is their main product. All the other videos should be considered advertising for the races.

Total votes: 61

Now boarding, "bandwagon" on track 10

re: "I'm happy to pay a reasonable amount to support the sport I love."

see, i've planted the seed and it begins to grow. fastforward 1 year, 2 years and we go from "grassroots"...? to GROUNDSWELL...! employees of the company who were once passengers... are now the OWNERS of the company democratically sharing time at the controls. warp speed, ENGAGE...!

i tell you with absolute certainty, the wikipedia/jimmy wales approach is our only viable option.

Total votes: 55

A lot of good responses here.

As an American fan, I can only respond to my situation here in the states. This is a HUGE money market (see the kind of dollars football, basketball, baseball, NASCAR, etc. bring in) that also happens to be the chief target market for every manufacturer of high dollar motorcycles.

And yet I didn't even know MotoGP existed until 2006. I didn't even know motorcycle racing existed. I mean, I guess if you were to tell me that there's this two and a quarter mile road course a couple of hours' drive from my house and that people race motorcycles on it, I'd probably say, "There's a track near here!?" Then I'd probably figure that it makes sense that people race motorcycles on it, seeing hows people tend to find a way to race just about anything.

But I'd have had no idea how brain-meltingly awesome motorcycle racing is, how exciting automotive racing can be in general (all I'd ever been exposed to is NASCAR and the Indy 500, and I never made it through four laps without wanting to fall asleep), or any of the history and heroes that longtime motorcycle racing fans take for granted.

How is this possible? I didn't grow up in the sticks or anything--like I said, there's a track a couple of hours away that hosts a vibrant club racing scene. It's not like I wasn't plugged into a TV and then, subsequently, a computer like every other American kid. Hell, I was even an automotive engineering student in college! And yet I had to discover motorcycle racing largely by accident in 2005 when somehow I came across Mark Neale's Faster.

I felt so cheated! "How is it possible that something this awesome exists and I've never been made aware of it!? (I signed up for the MSF course the next day, bought a bike before I even took the course, and started doing track days shortly after, but that's not important.)

So if you want to compare NASCAR to MotoGP, it's as simple as looking at the difference in exposure. Bottom line: NASCAR basically has its own TV channel, you can't watch TV for an hour without seeing a commercial featuring a NASCAR driver, ESPN features up to date NASCAR news both on air and on the web. MotoGP? Nobody I know would have any idea MotoGP exists had I not told them (incessantly...). That's not an exaggeration: not a single person I know.*

No problem, though, right? I just brag MotoGP up to all my friends and show them where to go to get their fix... Well, you can possibly watch some races on SPEED with awful commentary and commercial breaks interrupting the action with no pausing and resuming where you left off. Which should be possible seeing hows they never air the races live, but rather in some worthless time slot in which they couldn't possibly cram more NASCAR truck series highlights.

Good thing there's a whole website for MotoGP, right? Oh, wait, basically nothing's free there. And a subscription costs more than 10% of what I pay for an entire year of 600 channels of cable TV and high speed internet. This is nuts.

But there's always good ol' YouTube. Wait, what's this? Just about everything MotoGP related has been DMCA'd by Dorna? Way to bring the fans in Dorna!

The series' lack of revenue is 100% a lack of exposure problem. I have to agree with Phoenix1: MotoGP would sell itself if people were just exposed to it. It's just too awesome not to (and the boring but technically awesome racing in the GP class is plenty well offset by the incredible close racing in the support classes). The sponsorship symposium failed because no company wants to sponsor a sport that nobody's watching.*

*Again, I have only my American perspective here. Who knows, maybe in Spain and Italy MotoGP is a hot property with huge viewership. I found it interesting, though, that when I was on my honeymoon in Italy in 2009, I never saw a single sign that MotoGP existed. No billboard, no poster, no TV commercial. Two weeks in Italy (and a stop in Monaco, even) right in the heart of the MotoGP season, and I heard not a mention. At one point I expressed my surprise at this to a bartender at a pub in Siena, and he responded like he only vaguely recognized the name "Valentino Rossi." Small sample size, I know, but I couldn't believe it.

Total votes: 66

I know, bad form to reply to yourself and all, but...

I should also point out that here in the states it's even worse with WSBK. I was so excited when Aprilia and BMW joined the series in 2009, I believe it was. SEVEN manufacturers of relatively equal machinery going at it! As a MotoGP fan growing accustomed to shrinking grids, bailing manufacturers, and an exodus of technical diversity, it was like a dream come true.

Know how many WSBK races I've watched? Zero. I refuse to watch commercial-interrupted crap on SPEED, and my half-assed attempt at an internet solution only returned sites that required you to know somebody that would give you the password. The WSBK website apparently lets you watch all the races for free, but only if you're anywhere but the states. I eventually just gave up. I was willing to pay, too, but not an outrageous price like Dorna's for MotoGP, and last I checked there wasn't even a legitimate online option anyway.

My hope is that now that Dorna is in charge of WSBK they offer online streaming packages to that series too. And, since their MotoGP package is already prohibitively expensive to promote the series to the extent that they need to, I think they'd do themselves a favor by not only lowering the package price, but including both series at said reduced price.

It's all about eyeballs on the product!

And once eyeballs are on the product, Dorna could certainly do a better job in keeping them there via the presentation. One commenter above mentioned playing up the rider personalities more, another mentioned playing up the technical aspects of the bikes more. I wholeheartedly agree on both counts! I hate it when I'm watching a race with friends and have to explain to them why the bikes on the track are so much more awesome than the one in my garage, and that what the riders are doing on track is so many lightyears beyond what I'm capable of when I go to the track. Gavin and Nick do an admirable job of keeping the viewer up to date, but there's not enough context for the non-hardcore fan. There's plenty of time during the pre-race and practice session broadcasts in which to introduce viewers to the riders and their machines. How about animated shaded wireframe drawings of the bikes and their internals with the commentators pointing out the technical design differences and crazy rev limits, lean angles, top speeds, etc.? I'm sure that would wow a TV audience more than just hearing "Repsol Honda RC213V" or "Power Electronics Aspar ART." I mean, what the hell is a Power Electronics Aspar ART to the casual viewer, anyway?

As it's currently presented, the show starts, they interview riders on the grid, and then a bunch of guys climb on similar two-wheeled vehicles with seats that we're made to know as little bit about as possible, and then they race.

People want more depth than that!

Total votes: 64

+1

I had my sis and brother in law around a few months ago. We were watching Moto 2; inclredibly, it was one of the less entertaining races this year, though they seemed quite interested.

He watches F1 and he wanted to know exactly what you said; things like; what horsepower are those bikes (I have to admit I didn't know, I guessed at 150), then I told him about the Moto GP bikes being 250 bhp. He'd heard of Rossi but none of the others. Then he said 'he's the champion isn't he'? 'Err no, he's about 7th and hasn't won a race for nearly 2 years'.

I had to laugh because David had already said in an article a few weeks ago that its hard to point to a screen and say 'that bloke is a nine times world champion' and then you get the question 'so why is he 30 secs behind the leader and 10th'?

The sport certainly has a problem, and they need to look way beyond and ex champion having a good final couple of years.

Total votes: 62

'so why is he 30 secs behind

'so why is he 30 secs behind the leader and 10th'?

Next time tell your bro it's the same reason Schumacher is 30 seconds behind ;)

Total votes: 56

*

Great comment supported by the simple fact that we, as a whole, are a consumerist society. If you advertise the s&*t out of something, tell us we want it, we need it, we like it...pretty quickly a whole lot of us do exactly what you tell us, we buy it! To make it even easier to sell, MotoGP is a good product that can be amazing to watch. That DORNA and cohorts have not managed to successfully sell it comes down to their outright failure to market anything.

EDIT: Sorry DORNA have been successful in marketing Rossi. For a series called MotoGP not RossiGP I would consider this success a failure too.

Total votes: 45

COMPETITION... BETWEEN... "COMPETITIONS"

re: "If you advertise the s&*t out of something, tell us we want it, we need it, we like it...pretty quickly a whole lot of us do exactly what you tell us, we buy it! To make it even easier to sell, MotoGP is a good product that can be amazing to watch.

now comes the tough part in the business plan. the part were we are obligated to "sober up" and distance ourselves from our vision (the one which we are so passionate about) and realistically assess the return this capital investment is going to get us.

in doing so, we have to acknowledge critical things like competitors and competition. guess what...? football, baseball, nascar, F1, cell phones, electronics, etc. are all "advertising the sh%*t of something". not only are you going after the same target audience and their discretionary income, but these "players" are already established and have better funded ad campaigns.

okay so what now...? what now is you come FULL CIRCLE to severly cutting down your growth projections from fantastic numbers of 20, 30, and 40%....? to a best case scenario of only 5%. :( the combined resources and impact of your competition make them nothing less than a JUGGERNAUT...!!! think you're going to get a look in edgewise...? good luck. this is not to say give up or don't try, but you can either make this assessment on your own...? or you can be FORCED into this assessment when the bank rejects your funding.

this is not a statement of right or wrong, just an illustration of how easy it is to talk "BIG"... with someone else's money. OMG, there's nothing we love to do more. :)

Total votes: 55

Coming soon, no more wailing and gnashing of teeth...!!!

re: "Know how many WSBK races I've watched? Zero. I refuse to watch commercial-interrupted crap on SPEED"

no worries, thanks to you (and others like you) the time is rapidly approaching where you and i will no longer be saddled with the "heavy burden" of having to even make this choice. good job. that self-inflicted slice across your throat should see you bleed out pretty fast. suffering should be minimal. just close your eyes and let go. walk towards the light.

Total votes: 59

100,000 Harley riders can't hear you over their pipes

re: "The series' lack of revenue is 100% a lack of exposure problem. I have to agree with Phoenix1: MotoGP would sell itself if people were just exposed to it. It's just too awesome not to"

curious, how do you account for all the people who are ALREADY devout, long-term motorcyclists and have an awareness of MotoGP, yet STILL don't give a rats...? this is not a rhetorical question.

Total votes: 55

You need to get real

There is a lot of sense and truth being spoken here. The fact is we all have different likes and priorities. My mother watches MGP and F1 largely because she took me racing as a kid and got hooked herself. She also watches tennis and golf and snooker because she got to like watching with my dad.
There’s a lesson here – if you expose people to the stuff you want them to consume they will try it, and a lot of them will want more.
Charge them for a tester? No chance.
Dorna need to SWAT their business and get real. You might just be able to talk some investor types who don’t really understand the sport into paying for the ‘huge’ exposure and ‘value creation’ that MGP produces, but most people cannot see a Moto2/3 race even if they knew it existed. I don’t like most low resolution internet type feeds and I like to have a knowledgeable (i.e. knows more than me) commentator.
I agree with the above who said he got into bikes/racing late in life. Me too. Rainey – never heard of him when it mattered. In the UK bikes were dirty smelly things ridden by dirty smelly people until it became more mainstream and ‘acceptable’ about 15 years ago and that has harmed the ability to build MGP. Cars have been promoted as peak time TV/print media sexy must-haves ever since I can remember.
Look at rock/music festivals – until it became cool to go off to Glastonbury and people grew up and then took their kids it was a way for one farmer to make some money and you waded in mud. Now you can still do that but if you want to be able to pee and flush and sleep in a dry bed you can. They give each customer what they want.
I don’t understand Nascar or US football much more than I do golf and for me it’s not the thing to entertain me. But I am not dismissive of the people who get there with their friends/idols and passionately love what they see/do.
So often when you go to major bike races you get to look forward to the fight out of the car park and after the main event you inevitably think ‘should I get going now or watch the other races?’. I fully understand about peak flows and capacity but if it was just managed and queue jumpers were controlled (don’t piss them off, just slow them enough to make it not worth the effort) then much of the joy of the day would not dissipate within 5 minutes of being back in the car/on the bike (yes, its quicker).
Make that good for me and I will be back. Get my car stuck in the mud and waste 2 hours travelling a mile and I will be swearing ‘never again’ for months.
Stop me watching practice, support races etc. Guess what – I won’t watch them.
There may also be a lesson in Google as mentioned above. It’s free. Good quality. There when I want it. It works. I don’t have to wait ages to get what I want.
Same with e bay – over value what you have (i.e. overcharge) and many will still use it. Me. Hardly ever nowadays.
Each to their own.
If you want to be a major player you cannot just work on the soft option and assume everyone is gagging for what you have. F1 is lucky at the moment. Dorna needs to get real and take some great brands – SBK;Moto/2/3/GP – and market them. You need enough ‘free’ or low-cost to capture the audience, and then charge for options. BMW have their own version with their cars and bikes.
But you have to earn that enviable position.

Total votes: 60

MotoGP/Moto2/Moto3 - make yourself known!

I sure hope someone at DORNA is looking into this article and comments.
It can be interesting to read because we get to see different cultures (and with different economies) aproaching this theme.
Right now I see mostly Americans commentating, and would be nice to see people also from other parts of the world (Europe, Asia, South-America, Australasia, etc).

I'll start by saying that I'm European (Portugal), in my near 40s, and that I was introduced to motorcycle GP racing very early in my life (+/-10 years old), when watching what other family member (older cousin, R.I.P.) was so eager to follow on TV and on magazines then (internet for the public wasn't even dreamed of in the mid-to-late 80s).
That was only made possible because GPs were being broadcasted in public TV back then, although only the major class (GP 500cc) was focused.
The first years of WSBK were also broadcasted in public TV.
Even with offroad MotoCross and Enduro (other recent "victims") was same thing.
If it wasn't for that, perhaps I might have never noticed about motorcycle racing.

Going forward some years, and already a huge enthusiast myself of motorcycles and racing, we had Cable-TV widely distributed in the country (finaly!).
We no longer had the races on public channel but we had all the classes beautifully broadcasted in EUROSPORT (a channel included in ALL cable provider packages then, whatever provider).
We had "insight bits" to the backstage of GPs back then on it, news around it, etc, etc. Those were extremely good days, which was (or perhaps not?) coincidental with a "boom" in motorcycle sales and spread of 'bike culture'.
Some few years later, the fantastic duo of "Toby Moody & Julian Ryder" became legendary, because of EUROSPORT GP broadcast.

EUROSPORT no longer covers the GP's (not in the more "mainstream" channels that my provider includes in the main channels package), so it's either one of three sad options:
1) - Pay to subscribe YET another channel service (private channel) that does an extremely piss poor job(!).
2) - Pay to subscribe the "Official MotoGP channel" from the website and watch from the internet only.
3) - Get through the hassle of tracking "pirate" free broadcasts by enthusiasts all over the world, with awfull image quality and comments in completely foreign languages (so, like in point 2., watch from internet only).

This is where I'm getting back with the "MotoGP/Moto2/Moto3 - make yourself known!" shout / appeal thing.
In my opinion, that's the main problem right now.
If I am not one the enthusiasts of the series right now (a small niche), it's going to be pretty hard to get in it, or exposed to it, by chance. Or to invest any time or money on subscriptions, if I'm not aware of what I'll be watching already.

You can ask any man or woman if they know what is Formula 1. They might answer they don't know any drivers, circuits, not even the cars... but anyone, anywhere, knows that's the premier racing for cars worldwide since ever. There is a global perception of it.
Someone said that, the fact of having the population making use of cars for their everyday transport, makes the "empathy" easier with car racing, and that might be true.

If motorcycle racing is the type of sport that belongs to the niche, or interesting in theory only to "already established" fans, then to keep on insisting with restrictions of exposure (Youtube, etc) is not a bright idea, is it?

Then there's another problem... "what's behind all this, the backstage".
You see, there is nothing else being shown to public in TV (all of them subscribed/paid channels) other than the crapy commented races. Most times you won't even get the post races enterviews. Lots won't even know the face of "X" and "Y" rider.
You know how the mainstream public can be... "how to create empathy with the "gladiators on the arena"?

And before anyone bring it in, the BBC guys are NOT that good (sorry, but you aren't!).
Please, bring back EUROSPORT and the fantastic duo of 'Moody & Ryder' (and Mamola?), they make it interesting to watch - even when it isn't!

People are already paying for cable/satelite TV, make your "quality product" wide spreaded, to more people, current and potential fans.
Get the same content you have in the "official MotoGP channel", with the full races coverage, the same insights on the round and champ, the "in-depth look" at the machines, teams, structures, the interviews, the pre-season (and on-season) testing, "in the life of", etc, all sorts of other possibly related rubish that can be still interesting to see (etc, etc), and get that broadcasted on TV to a wider audience. Wordwide private channel or not, just do it!
Make it accessible to more people and, for Pete's sake... let people show videos on Youtube! That's like FREE advertising to the sport.

You might have the most amazing machine built by yourself, or the most amazing piece of art made on your own but, if the world doesn't know about it, then noone will even have the chance to care (or not) about it.

Total votes: 64

TV/media

Is definitely key to the overall success, along with a proper ‘event’ at the track.
In Europe, the BBC/Eurosport comparison is about right I feel. When Randy Mamola was covering the pit action and giving us insight it was a whole lot more interesting. Eurosport is pretty good now on the tech side but some more visuals would be a great help – most people we want to capture would struggle to know a slipper clutch from a quickshifter. Again, F1 has shown that the effort pays off in knowledge, interest, and revenue. The practice coverage is great – but a better-structured highlights offer with a tech session would be a huge improvement – not many want to watch an hour of practice when 20 minutes of highlights would suffice and getting some other interest in shouldn’t be too expensive (it all costs I know) when you have the team/cameras there already.

I miss the AMA coverage that went ‘west’ with Ben Spies and Evil Mladin…
The BBC seems to take a ‘two blokes in the pub’ dumbed-down approach to bike sport (even the TT/NW200 stuff on their NI channel) and whilst Steve Parrish is knowledgeable he seems not to try (or be allowed to) very hard.
When you compare what they do on F1 to their MGP coverage it seems that no-one thinks ‘Hey, let’s give this really exciting sport a bit more/better air time’, or asks themselves what they could do better. Suzi Perry was very good entertainment and I often wondered how she got Burgess to smile like that…….
My anecdotal experience is that people do like what they see if they get an explanation of bike racing but what they will not do is go searching the internet etc to find or pay for it. If Dorna let it go free to air on TV and internet after a few weeks on channels that give large potential audiences then perhaps that would help broaden the appeal too.
The suggestion that we need some reality TV style manipulation of characters filled me with dread, but perhaps a Strictly Come Bike Racing series could do something for the masses (much as I hate to second the idea….). Could be a job for Mad Max………perhaps a ‘Bike Whisperer’ series……..managers don’t sack riders they send them to the shrink-O-Max (I know, it’s Ducati-style idea).
The MGP web site is rubbish IMO. I also think that the Eurosport graphics are total rubbish (but that’s me, I guess)and it just seems to re-enforce the whole biker/gothic/hells angels ‘thing’ which is not what it needs IMO but then I don’t watch that Choppers thing either……

Total votes: 55

Since I

Since I was the one who suggested the so-called character "manipulation," I want to make it clear that I do not condone the idea of scripting anything in MotoGP. Im simply advocating that you encourage the riders to be themselves with the volume turned up (these go to 11). Im not suggesting a "Real World" style house with top riders because we would have to throw Max Biaggi and Sete Gibernau into the mix just for some more drama. Which, lets be honest, we would tune into to see that train wreck AT LEAST once. Poor Nicky Hayden... He would end up being the peace maker of the group, saying with his Kentucky accent, "Guys, cant we all just get along?" You know you just read that doing your best Nicky Hayden impression. LOL!

No, what Im saying and suggesting is that the riders need to be themselves and create some damn stories. Use the media to your advantage. I dont want Dorna to have to go to Lorenzo and say "hey you should pretend to be upset about Rossi this season ect ect." I want Lorenzo to genuinely feel that way and I want him to express those feelings to the very people who are disrespecting him, the media. I dont believe that he doesnt feel this way because every single one of us would have some kind of feeling of disrespect. You won the title last year and the media can stop talking about this washed up has been who hasnt won a race in 2 years? I want Dorna to NOT punish him for speaking his mind and selling their product and creating interest, within reason of course.

Rossi/Biaggi and Rossi/Gibernau was GOOD for the sport. You knew that they had "beef" or issues off the track and you tuned in to watch them settle it on the track. Rivalries, picking a side, rooting for your favorite rider, these things are what make sports entertaining and fun to be a fan and a part of. This is what Im talking about with regards to personality and the "reality" aspect of the show. In order to invest emotion and time into something you have to care about it. In order to care about it, you have to have a reason. Most people have no reason to care, you have to give them a reason or two. A good story with personalities, heroes and villains, epic battles, epic struggles, redemption, chances of a life time, good and evil is a reason to care. For crying out loud, the adjectives I used to describe MotoGP could just as easily been on the book jacket of a JRR Tolkien novel! This is how American football and the NFL sold itself. Mighty warriors donning their armor and doing glorious battle for the pride of their nations on the field! At the end of the day, its a couple of grown men throwing an oblong ball around a field and running into each other. But did it work? Oh yea, just a little bit... 111 MILLION PEOPLE for 2011 Superbowl and $3 MILLION per 30 second advertisement! Yea, Ill say it worked pretty well. The stories are there, just let them be told, ENCOURAGE them to be told.

There are at least 40 drivers at a NASCAR event and its a fight to get the limited TV time. Yes, the media seeks out the winner, but that means there are 39 other "losers" to fill TV time and the media wants something interesting. So give it to them. Again, look at Dale Earnhardt Jr. The guy has been a below average driver at best the last 5 years of his career, yet he is NASCARs most popular driver. All the while they have their own "Valentino Rossi" in Jimmie Johnson, who won the Cup Title 5 years in a row!! I dont care how little you think of stock car racing. a 5-peat is legendary in any sport.

We have become so serious and "professional" today so I always try to remember Elbert Hubbard's quote: "Dont take life too seriously; youll never get out of it alive." Its racing at the end of the day. Its supposed to be fun and its not. Stoner said so and you can see it on the faces of the riders. When its no longer fun, you have to decide if you want to keep going. And because Im just that guy, Ill leave you all with some Billy Shakespeare to think about: "All the world's a stage..,".

Total votes: 64

Riders with the volume turned up

Perhaps Andrea Dovizioso could wear a silly hat?

Oh, I forgot, he already does. That guy will never be cool, no matter how hard he tries.

Total votes: 56

Do you mean the trilby?

I was just commenting to my wife the other day that I don't recall seeing Dovi wear the trilby this past season. I'm not a big fan of the hat either, though no matter how uncool I think it makes him look the guy can ride a 250hp, 300+km/h bike, so he's still cooler than me.

Total votes: 59

Fame

"what Im saying and suggesting is that the riders need to be themselves and create some damn stories."

Your quote supposes that riders are fame-seeking celebrities. Riders are speed-junkies. Rossi is the exception, not the rule, but even Rossi says he likes to travel to America where no one knows him.

"I want Lorenzo to genuinely feel that way and I want him to express those feelings to the very people who are disrespecting him, the media."

Look to the past. Many days ago, MotoGP had a great rider named Casey Stoner. His self-expression didn't create the effects you are hoping for. Instead, the Spanish and Italian press circled their wagons, and the MotoGP community tried to burn him at the stake. The English press was seemingly the only voice of reason, imo, b/c they were skeptical and introspective after the Stoner-Donnington affair--another scandal that did little to improve the appeal of GP. Even with the English press on his side, the problems continued to escalate. Now Stoner is retired.

Scandal and controversy is not controllable. Sometimes it heightens the competition, but it often erodes the sport. This is part of the reason King Juan Carlos and Ezpeleta created the Pedrosa-Lorenzo peace summit on the podium at Jerez in 2008. It was fun to watch people channel their hate outward towards Rossi's foes b/c Rossi always won. When the competitive landscape changed, it was much less amusing, and people realized that football-riots were not far away.

Total votes: 61

HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY

re: "Dorna let it go free to air on TV and internet after a few weeks on channels that give large potential audiences then perhaps that would help broaden the appeal too."

yes, it would, but the question is by how much...? perhaps not in their entirety, but much of this sport CAN be seen free to air and on youtube. certainly MORE than enough to wet one's appetite. even with this it hasn't really gotten us anywhere. why...? again, we're "competing" with ALL THE OTHER stuff that's out. time for us to man-up and accept our "niche condition".

btw i'm always suspicious of anyone wanting or thinking something should be "free"...? free is the anti-thesis of business. of course there is no "free", there's only the shifting or displacing of costs onto another. this "other" we may or may not know about. i contend anyone one wanting something in its entirety for "free"...? is really just masking a personal desire to continue hitchhiking on the backs of the industry. not all, but a shocking amount. they know who they are.

Total votes: 49

Good Article, David, but here is what I have a problem with...

"It is not even limited to MotoGP's managers and leaders: fans too can help. If you work for a large company, make sure the people in the marketing department where you work are aware of the value which MotoGP and World Superbikes represent, and the potential audience which it can reach."

I love MotoGp series and would love to help them sell it, but it is hard to go to a corporate marketing director of a large publicly traded company to get him excited about a world championship series when:
1. 30% of races until this year are in Spain/Portugal
2. you go to youtube and try to show some videos and can't. ooops. motogp takes it down
3. Ticket prices are very high
4. Try to take your marketing director to a race to meet the riders - nope. not unless you've bought the Willy Wonka Golden Ticket. Fan/Rider interaction is horrible. I suppose we were lucky at Indy when Collin was on the other side of an 8 foot chain fence throwing signed items over to the wolves. - aside from finding the right hotel where riders stay or maybe out in a restaurant, there is little to no interaction. Walk a paddock of AMA or SBK and see if there is a difference.
5. Try to view a free race on the MGP website. Ooops. not going to happen. Pay the full fare or be stuck watching it on that God Foresaken SPEED Channel. Need I say more. How can you expect to grow your series when you have a sprint race televised with commercial interruption every 2.5 laps while listening to some schmuck prove week in and week out that he has no idea what Motogp racing is all about.
6. Get more national broadcasts and don't treat them like a NASCAR race that goes on for eons. A sprint race is just that, it's over in 20-some-odd laps. Get out of the fire-retardant car suits, take off your headphones with the horrible antenna and treat it like a motorcycle sprint.
7. Why not look to other fantastically successful sporting leagues? Major League Baseball and the NFL didn't become household names by accident. Riders with Personalities, Revenue Sharing, Branding, Partnerships
8. Marketing paraphernalia - the motogp site is festooned with horrible over-priced goodies. Cheap wallets, a motorcycle chain bracelet, key chain? Really? this is the best you can do?
9. Where are the rivalries? When Marco Simoncelli was in 250s, you knew who his friends WEREN'T! Pedrosa and Lorenzo used to hate each other. Now they play kissy face. Stoner and Rossi don't like each other but Stoner is a terrible Bad Guy - he is a whiner that the racing public tolerated because he fast and they had
to. Other than that, he was a total D-bag.

I am thrilled I found this niche sport, it was literally by accident, but it is a niche sport because DORNA keeps thinking they are a secret too good to be told and that is their problem to solve.

Total votes: 63

This guy has it nailed - all

This guy has it nailed - all he says & probably a couple other items - more than likely, Bernie saw it as no more than a "niche sport" back then & bailed - say what you like about the little man, he has proven to be the most astute (& manipulative) in the motorsport field (along with the France family.)

Total votes: 54

LET GO OF THE FREE LUNCH DREAM

re: "2. you go to youtube and try to show some videos and can't. motogp takes it down"

do yourself a favor, stop looking for "free lunch". just pick another video. there's plenty of motogp stuff that dorna has no claim over. if you're just trying to "expose" somebody to the sport as you say...? then it's not really that deep. better yet, come off the dime and BUY a season review DVD. they can take that home over a weekend and then when they give it back YOU have something to treasure my thinking is, if you were TRULY serious...? you would've bypassed the numerous "free lunch" options you were seeking and made with something constructive from the word "GO". i mean this is what I would've done.

re: "3. Ticket prices are very high"

as if. high compared to what...? let's just say someone's never scored tickets for an NHL all-star game.

Total votes: 57

Do yourself a favor...

Stop with the fansumer nonsense. You were correctly dressed down earlier on this when it was pointed out that a consumer gets to vote with his wallet. That's just the way it is. Sporting leagues across the globe are competing for the same dollar. If a show isn't worthy of repeat purchase or piquing the interest of prospective fans, it is not the obligation of an interested fan to pay more for something.

Using your poor logic sees the die-hard fan subsidizing the full cost of motogp in the face of falling audiences. So what's next, a die-hard fan pays for the lost ticket revenue of 5, 10, 15 former casual fans? Not sure if you've taken any economics courses, but at a certain price point an organization can expect to sell nothing because there are items of better entertainment value to be had.

Concerning ticket prices, a three day event pass here with parking is going to cost at least 100 per ticket. Factor in travel time to and from the race, cost of airfare, hotel, etc., and you are looking at a large expenditure. I have a feeling most true fans of MGP have some means available to them and will pay the cost of admission. Casual fans on a budget won't. So what are you proposing to get more butts in seats? Nothing. You want true fans to continue to pay more. That is not correct.

As for youtube, you're flat wrong. How many of the Top 10 races of the past 800cc era are available in full length on youtube? zippy. That's how many. And the charge from David was to get a marketing exec interested in the sport. Is said exec going to be bothered by someone trying to get money from his limited budget when it is difficult for him to find compelling video? Do you think if he can't find it that the casual audience he is trying reach is going to be able to? So, again, your logic is wrong. Are we to stand on a street corner and hand out dvds only the fansumer has purchased. Ha ha. That's crazy talk. You're too myopic.

As for your referring to Hockey, i can't you help you there. It is too much of a niche sport and they haven't done anything to appeal to me. Sound familiar?

I think you should think through your answers before lobbing replies. It is good you're passionate - we all are - but your replies are not well thought out.

Total votes: 59

You get what you pay for, or should I say not pay for

re: "Stop with the fansumer nonsense."

no, STOP with devaluing mentality that embodies the "fan-sumer". best to leave that behind in the parking lot of the walmarts, home depots, and tescos visited over the christmas holiday and start 2013 anew. it's got no place in the niche business of motorcycling.

re: "You were correctly dressed down earlier on this when it was pointed out that a consumer gets to vote with his wallet."

i haven't read what your talking about (yet), but i can safely say that's purely a scapegoat, a defensive response (typical). an attempt to divert the spotlight AWAY from their failure to support a sport in one breath, while they claim to "love the sport so dearly" in another breath. i contend there is no greater hypocrisy in motorcycling, or any other industry for that matter.

no worries, what i have done (and have been slowly doing) is giving you/them a concscience. planting a seed this. they will eventually come around as many are starting to do... using my terms... cosigning my ideas as if they were their own, etc. my logic always seems shocking at first, but this is simply because most have never had an original thought in their head...? no slate, just the nature of the beast. the passage of time however, continues to repeatedly show that these so-called "radical ideas" are/were in fact correct all along. trust me, being ahead of the curve on everything is no picnic. i don't wish this insight on anyone.

re: "Concerning ticket prices, a three day event pass here with parking is going to cost at least 100 per ticket. Factor in travel time to and from the race, cost of airfare, hotel, etc., and you are looking at a large expenditure."

translation: WHAAAAHHH, i have to pay for my entertainment. WHAAAAHHH, i'm a cheap bastid. WHAAAAHHH, i will sooner slit my own throat than see motorcycling have a future. WHAAAAHHH. sheesh... and you call me myopic...??? :(

re: "You want true fans to continue to pay more. That is not correct."

actually, it IS correct... math doesn't lie. you simply don't WANT it to be correct. there's a difference. you're beef is not with me, but with the GREEKS... ie. pythagorus, aristotle... ya know... dudes like that.

re: "As for youtube, you're flat wrong. How many of the Top 10 races of the past 800cc era are available in full length on youtube? zippy."

ummmn hello... person with "i'm a freeloader" stamped across their forehead...!?!? who said anything about FULL RACES...? curious, why are you looking on "freetube" for that which is readily available on MotoGP by subscription...? or from duke in season review discs...? open up your wallet and let the moths OUT...! (L.A. cabbie to burt munro voice)

re: "when it is difficult for him to find compelling video?"

personally, i have no idea what you're talking about. i have more than 500 tapes (remember VHS? remember beta?) going back over a decade that i've recorded off TV (that's right television). in the modern era i now have an archive approaching almost 2 terabytes of mpeg2 video representing the past 5 years of racing... again, that i personally recorded off TV. to paraphrase rossi, someone's not trying hard enough.

re: "Are we to stand on a street corner and hand out dvds only the fansumer has purchased."

hey that's a thought...? it sure as hell fits the definition of GRASSROOTS and i like it...!!! :) though it might seem crazy, that idea at least represents "taking the bull by the horns", instead of the usual lazy, "well it's somebody else's problem, i'll let them do the heavy lifting" approach. let you in on a lil' secret, no... it's YOUR problem. you've just refusing to take ownership all these years. we've seen the psychology behind this a 1000 times already. by not taking ownership, you then get to sit back, point fingers and throw stones at those who ARE taking risks. it's the cowardly out.

re: "It is good you're passionate - we all are - but your replies are not well thought out."

no, to the layperson, to the uninitiated, to the person who's mind isn't "properly formatted"... they wouldn't be would they...?

Total votes: 63

'Free lunch'

No one is asking for a free lunch. The fans are agreeing to watch 1-3hrs of motorcycle racing. They are agreeing to look at bikes covered with sponsorship markings, track signage, advertising graphics, and commercials. This agreement has value to the sport. The TV contracts, race fees, and licensing are worth about $250M and the sponsorship deals and merchandising are worth a fair amount to the teams as well. Dorna and the fans engage in ongoing negotiations regarding the accessibility and cost of MotoGP. In case you are unaware, quite a few racing series can be watched for free online. Official youtube channels exist for FIA GT1, FIA GT3, and Blancpain Endurance. ALMS and IndyCar are viewable for free on Watch|ESPN.

Dorna puts much of its content behind a paywall, not necessarily b/c they think people should pay $120 a year to watch MotoGP, but b/c they have to protect the TV companies. American consumers are required to pay $120 per year to watch the races live, while European consumers are not. Fairness is irrelevant. The arrangement makes growth nearly impossible in the US, despite 3 US GP's. The economic imbalance is the reason you believe in your flat-earth niche sport. You are simply reacting to the environment in which you live, which is stagnant for pay wall and accessibility reasons, not riding culture. You should broaden your horizons.

Total votes: 51

At the horizon, tapping watch, waiting for you to catch up

re: "No one is asking for a free lunch."

yeah we are.

re: "The fans are agreeing to watch 1-3hrs of motorcycle racing. They are agreeing to look at bikes covered with sponsorship markings, track signage, advertising graphics, and commercials."

well that's one way to look at it...? another might be the fans are "socializing the cost" of entertainment (they are unwilling or unable to pay for) on to others, while they "privatize the gains" of the enjoyment it delivers.

re: "This agreement has value to the sport".

no, this agreement has value to US and us alone. the message that's been sent is clear. straighten out the "rabbit ears" and you'll pick up the signal just as i've have.

re: "Dorna puts much of its content behind a paywall, not necessarily b/c they think people should pay $120 a year to watch MotoGP, but b/c they have to protect the TV companies. American consumers are required to pay $120 per year to watch the races live"

ummn no they're not. the only thing that's asked of them is to set their alarm clocks so they can account for the differences in time zone. i have watched many a live race on speed sunday mornings.

re: "while European consumers are not."

wait, italy is still part of europe... innit...? both them and the UK have both gone PPV for both MotoGP and F1. as you protest, the landscape is changing right in front of your eyes.

Total votes: 46

Socialization of cost

We are not attempting to socialize costs, we are diversifying the risk of GP to the manufacturers, sponsors, TV companies, and promoters in exchange for a constant revenue stream. GP has always functioned according to this risk paradigm. The manufacturers assumed the financial risk of running the bikes. Then the promoters (or track owners) assumed risk by purchasing the rights to hold the races. Then came the sponsors, tv networks, licensees, and advertisers.

If the fansumer is to assume the risk of GP, then the sport must change completely. No sponsorship on the bikes, other than manufacturer/technical sponsorship. Absolutely no commercials during the broadcasts and no track signage. Ticket vouchers are included in the price of a GP.com membership.

If you really sat and thought about it, you'd realize that shifting all risks/rewards to the fansumer is virtually impossible. We can only tell the GP businesses what we want and offer them a bid price and a service (viewership). If they fail to meet our demands, MotoGP fails. The only reason we face the specter of market-failure is b/c the manufacturers have created an artificial monopoly with their international racing organizations (FIM, FIA). If you expect me to pour my hard-earned money into the coffers of incompetent monopolists, you're smoking crack.

Total votes: 48

jeez

This is easily the most insulting and least intelligent responses Ive ever seen. It reminds me of when my little brother read the Communist Manifesto in college and proceeded to tell us all how much capitalism keeps the little guy down and how the rich dont pay enough ect ect yaaa Communism. Usual college BS. My father cancelled his room and board, withdrew his tuition, but didnt bother to tell my brother. Oh how I wish I was at the school when they told him that and kicked him out. Dad then proceeded to take the money and buy himself a nice midlife crisis classic muscle car, a 1971 Dodge Challenger 440 6-pack. Gorgeous by the way, sounds amazing, youtube it if you havent heard one.

The point of this story? Dont look a gift horse in the mouth. Stop attacking the people that are contributing to the effort and dont simply demand that they pay more. You might wake up one morning to find that what you thought you had was gone.

Just a thought.

Total votes: 53

Do some research on the how

Do some research on how the television system created and supported by the most profitable system of capitalism in history actually functions before calling anyone else insulting and unintelligent.

Total votes: 47

Norm has achieved some rare air

he is officially the most annoying person on the internet. It's like having a battle of wits with someone utterly unprepared.

Norm, baby, you've been weighed and measured about 80 times here and been declared wanting.

Total votes: 50

This site is sooo awesome;-)

This site is sooo awesome;-)

Total votes: 57

This is not like any other sport

It is like any other product, which may include other sports.

You cannot create demand with more sponsorship unless those sponsors have an interest as an investment. Anything less is asking for a charitable donation. If sponsors are asking to buy into something that will offer a greater return on their investment in the long run then they have some sort of equity share. But the current model is to sell ad space on an annual basis. This can only be valued by the current product.

If ad companies were asked to invest by buying long term transferable rights to the blank slate of bikes, clothing, equipment and naming rights then those assets could grow in value. It would be like investing in new billboards in areas where you hope a new road will be built.

The current model is asking for short term rent on the billboards where the value is demonstrated only by the most recent performance. Events that ask for support from business partners are just venues for increasing the value of ad space FOR entities like Clear Channel formerly owned by Red McCombs and now owned by Bain Capital. (note: McCombs made 350 million on the MN Vikings sale. This does not account for profits made over 7 years of team ownership. He did not buy the team to promote the sport of American Football.)

Does this story of claiming the sky is falling and asking the rank and file to do the heaving lifting sound familiar? It shouldn't be to US readers.

Total votes: 50

Bain, profits, rank and file

Let me guess who you voted for. This is a racing forum. Lets keep the focus on that.

As for your answer, to be clear, the "format" you refer to sees an equity share for advertisers? Equity infers ownership. If anyone would gave an ownership interest it is teams. Revenue sharing on a formal basis among teams and Dorna, beyond covert rider funding and lease offsets, is needed. Advertisers will never own anything.

Racetracks around the world are no different than concert halls or minor league baseball stadium. The owners of these venues have no stake in the event beyond hoping the show is good enough for advertisers to want to pay for their product placement and to generate recurring ticket revenue.

Total votes: 57

Not advertisers...

...but Adverstising companies. The people that own the billboards, design the ad campaigns and, yes, own the venues (examples: LiveNation, Clear Channel, MSVR (BSB) and Dorna itself). Team owners do get start money beyond covert riding funding. It's clearly just not enough to offset the costs of running the team. If they don't have the money to invest in the sport, then it has to come from somewhere. Or the costs have to be limited. Stakeholders invest in the future of any venture. Advertisers are not long term stakeholders.

It was an economic statement. If you can find a way to divorce any connection of economics from politics, please share.

Total votes: 53

Who you gonna call...? Ghostbusters...?

re: "Team owners do get start money beyond covert riding funding. It's clearly just not enough to offset the costs of running the team. If they don't have the money to invest in the sport, then it has to come from somewhere."

that's damn right. and if not from YOU, ME, WE, US, ie. the people who derive entertainment from all this (hello mcfly, rapping knuckles on noggin')...? then WHO...?

Total votes: 48

ok, marty

I think you are confusing the two products: the spectacle and the ad space. Race day tickets are a pittance compared to getting to one. Video streaming is just about the right price point to keep well heeled fans from not stealing the stream. If the ad space is a hard sell then they are asking too much or don't have a good enough product.

If the Colonel said KFC was going out of business, regardless of how much you eat, unless you get your town or employer to give him money would you go beg your mayor or boss to chip in? This is what a sports promoter refers to as much needed new revenue streams.

Total votes: 45

Start with this fundamental

Start with this fundamental truth: If it's not on free TV or basic cable, it doesn't exist, and it has no value to advertisers.

I live on the West Coast of the USA, and it is easier for me to watch British sidecar racing than it is for me to (legally) watch WSBK or AMA Superbike. That's nuts.

Total votes: 57

From soup to nuts

re: "I live on the West Coast of the USA, and it is easier for me to watch British sidecar racing than it is for me to (legally) watch WSBK or AMA Superbike. That's nuts."

naw, that's not nuts, that's just YOU and a entitlement, welfare mentality becoming so entrenched that you/we've forgotten that ALL THINGS of value (not some, ALL) inherently have a cost associated with them.

ie. a once-upon-a-time flight on the concorde had a cost, my new luxury automobile has a cost, a master's degree in engineering has a cost, a ducati panigale R has a cost, etc. btw, when i'm in the bay area on business (frisco, freemont), i've watched both WSBK and MotoGP. ya know how...? because my buddy in union city was coming off the dime and PAYING FOR IT.

speaking of AMA/DMG, it's just been reported yet again on superbikeplanet (SOUP), that fox sports is continuing to make moves against our domestic series...

http://www.superbikeplanet.com/2012/Nov/121121mdix.htm

see, no amount of "freelunch mentality" is going to help us here. i contend a decade of this ever increasing "freelunch mentality" is exactly whats going to see us with NO MOTORCYCLE RACING AIRED IN THE US WHATSOEVER...!?!? :( the sobering truth behind fox's motivation is that secular sports (NFL, baseball, football, hockey, nascar, F1, etc.) all come off the dime... whereas we DO NOT. time has come to stop lying to ourselves.

as we wallow in denial, the "election returns" coming in keep repeatedly painting the same bleek picture. the question isn't whether or not this is going to happen...? it's not even a question of WHEN this is going to happen...? it's a question of... what are we/you going to do about it...?

(Ps: rolling over while continuing to cry broke isn't an option, that dead horse has been thoroughly beaten.)

Total votes: 36

MIC/DMG

The situation between MIC/DMG has little to do with a 'free lunch' mentality, and a lot to do with philosophical differences between DMG and the MIC regarding the rules for the 600cc middleweight segment. AMA SBK still follows a relatively traditional production motorcycle racing format. Daytona Sportbike uses DMG's performance-balancing sanctioning model, which allows DMG to reduce costs. The manufacturers do not want to support performance balancing b/c they don't want the sanctioning body to have direct control over their competitiveness.

The TV package has been an on-going problem b/c the manufacturers were paying SpeedTV to televise the races, by purchasing all of the ad time during the race. Buying time on SpeedTV was necessary b/c the technical regulations created the Spies vs. Mladin and Hayes vs. Zemke shows, which were not universally popular with the fan base. The manufacturers were not entirely responsible for the technical regulations, but they weren't doing much to fix the format. The manufacturers no longer have the money to buy time on SpeedTV.

The free lunch mentality has almost nothing to do with the AMA. The MIC ruined their industry and nearly ruined US roadracing. DMG bought AMA Pro, and they used the MIC's failure as an opportunity to fundamentally alter the middleweight marketing model. No such overhaul was required. The on-going dispute continues to suppress AMA financial success. The fans can give their entire income to DMG. It won't fix AMA Pro.

Total votes: 44

You can always spot the pioneers...

re: "The situation between MIC/DMG has little to do with a 'free lunch' mentality"

your right, 'cause nobody's talking about the relationship between MIC and DMG. you know full well i'm talking about... and that's the relationship between the "fan-sumers" and the greater industry. in contrast, this has EVERYTHING to do with a "free lunch mentality". it's only odd because i'm the first and only one with the courage and articulation to address it. today there is one, tommorrow they'll be others (david amongst them).

Total votes: 59

Um, Norm, what the f**k are you

Um, what the f**k are you talking about?

Here's what I'm talking about: 2wheelstv.com has professional-quality coverage of every British sidecar race. It's available 24/7. For free. They also have coverage of the Hottrax solo racing (sprint and endurance) series. Nicely shot, nicely edited, I can watch it whenever I want. And I do. And you can, too. And someone sees an economic value in that model - that's why they do it.

Here's a bit of television reality that every attempt to go to a pay-per-view model has run up against: Free programming attracts a bigger audience than pay programming. And television networks make money by attracting audiences. Like it or not, the cultural environment is only so big, and if you're not willing to provide programming for free, someone else will fill your spot.

It's in the creation of the audience that something of value to corporate sponsors is created. If you actually tried to finance an international road racing series on pay-per-view revenues - hell, bicycling couldn't survive on that money. And once you try to charge viewers, you lose the opportunity to sell advertising, since the ad-supported media model requires mass audiences.

NASCAR is facing an economic meltdown. Know what they're not talking about? Charging people to watch races on TV.

The advertising-supported model is deeply rooted in U.S. media delivery systems, dating back to the earliest days of our newspapers and the beginning days of radio. That's the media environment motorcycle racing has to figure out how to flourish in.

The only texts that work in a Pay-Per-View model are ultraviolence (UFC, etc.) and porn. The thing they have in common is that they offer niche texts for which nothing similar is available elsewhere and the mainstream has no interest in, there is no expensive machinery involved, no major corporations, and realistically no mass audiences for an individual event. And it still doesn't work particularly well there; porn revenues are in the toilet and UFC's ratings are nothing to write home about; the last fight drew a slightly smaller audience than the god-awful Bravo reality show "Shahs of Sunset."

p.s. You don't know who I am or what I do. So take the personal insults about my "entitlement, welfare mentality" elsewhere. By the way, did you pay your friend for watching the programming he paid for, or did you feel entitled to freeload off of your buddy's purchase?

David, feel free to edit or delete this post if necessary, no hard feelings.

Total votes: 52

What you talkin' bout Willis?

re: "Um, what the f**k are you talking about?"

i'm talking about "skinflints" Vs. the majority that PAY for cable or satellite and their desired coverage packages therein. unless your stealing it...? none of these signal arrive into a household for free. there is no "wi-fi HBO". you have to come off the dime same as you do for a gallon of gas or a quart of milk.

re: "Free programming attracts a bigger audience than pay programming. And television networks make money by attracting audiences. Like it or not, the cultural environment is only so big, and if you're not willing to provide programming for free, someone else will fill your spot."

nope, this is just something cheapskates say so as to divert your attention away from the fact that they're cheapskates.

re: "p.s. You don't know who I am or what I do. So take the personal insults about my "entitlement, welfare mentality" elsewhere."

sorry, on this one the shoe fits, so you must wear it (hans landa voice). we've been going around in circles now on this for a decade. time has come for you and others like yourself to make a decision... am i going to be part of the problem...? or am i going to be part of the solution...? it's a simple choice... and before you ask, NO YOU CAN'T SPEND 2013 SITTING THE FENCE.

Total votes: 61

It's not sport, it's manipulation

Marketing has nothing to do with sport apart from a symbiotic relationship.
The potential for creating passion about this sport is huge. Look at what happened in Malaysia.
Spain became dominant not because they stuck some Repsol ads on a Honda but because they set up a programme, funded it, stuck with it. And lucked out. No – they kept with the business plan.
All analogies (and raw ideas) have weaknesses. ‘Win on Sunday sell on Monday’ has weaknesses. But there are truths in there too. Proving that Honda winning a race made some person buy a Fireblade or scooter is nigh on impossible. What you can say is that if they were not out there they would sell less.
Why is it that energy drink Co’s spend so much money on sports? Because they love sport? Maybe. But it’s a marketing arena where they are more likely to reach people who will buy their product.
I don’t buy a lot of that stuff but when I do need a boost to keep me going what do I buy ? If it’s on the shelf it will be Red Bull.
Are you manipulated when you walk around a supermarket? Yes – even if you know it’s happening you really cannot always stop yourself.
I wasn’t being really serious about the reality stuff, but if someone can make something like that bring new audiences and money to make the sport sustainable, so be it. I wouldn’t watch it if you paid me (probably) but I bet I would find it hard not to have a peek, and I will acknowledge that those who do watch it are also paying for the feed I’m benefitting from. Knowing what YOU want is great. Just don’t force it on everyone else or limit their choices.
Every good team needs different personalities and perspectives. But without the ‘off the wall’ ideas the one that really makes sense will probably not come out. I doubt that many ‘creatives’ start off by saying ‘Now, let’s sit down and be really careful not to upset those guys who have made such a success of this sport’. (Insert sarcasm tone depending on your opinion).
Old men/women may make good sport management people but I doubt that they will have the ideas to make the sport attractive to a new generation of young people with no family connections to the sport.
What Dorna needs (this is about both series not just MGP) is a marketing team that understands the sport and what drives its customers AND its potential customers. The industry has failed to make it work to date – bring in some ‘outsiders’ because it’s fresh ideas that are needed.

Total votes: 58

Motorcycle R&D benefits Automobiles

I haven't read all the comments above so forgive me if someone already commented on this subject.

Couldn't MotoGP gain outside income by using a pitch that technology used by high reving moto engines is now being used in some high end sports cars and may well eventually trickle down to improve all automobiles?

Specifically Yamaha's involvment in helping to build the Lexus LFA's engine. And not just the acoustic aspects. I understand that the engine itself is built at Yamaha and that it uses Yamaha connecting rods. I seem to remember reading that it also uses Yamaha's ball bearing connecting rod bearings and that this is the reason the LFA's engine is so lively.

I understand that the LFA is a bad example as Lexus is expected to loose money on the project. But this example shows that it is not just motorcycles that benefit from motorcycling R&D.

Total votes: 54

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