Jump to content
British Speedway Forum
uk_martin

Auntie Beeb has remembered what Speedway was, once...

Recommended Posts

I did see that sports journalist Oliver Holt had retweeted the Oxford Mail story about the possibility of getting Speedway and Greyhounds back in Oxford. He said let' get the speedway back.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rather confused by the headline and how a darts story can relate to "Auntie Beeb has remembered what Speedway was, once" (sic). What exactly does that phrase mean?

Moving into the real world, darts has been successfully hyped for many years by professional businesses which specialise in such work, because darts went out and found someone to do this. Speedway has not.

If the poster is trying to knock the BBC perhaps he should pay attention to what BBC WM are doing right on his doorstep?

You have to sell the sport to broadcasters as much as the rest of the media. Instead speedway views the press as freeloaders who are likely to stop people paying to watch the sport.

It's remarkable how much coverage speedway actually gets, usually down to the personal enthusiasm of a local editor. You can't just sit back and expect to be given coverage such as that darts piece. You have to at least meet these people half way.

Most press and publicity in speedway is undertaken by willing amateurs. I know, I was one. You get what you pay for. Don't blame the media if they're not interested in what is offered to them, if any is.....

 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, rmc said:

Rather confused by the headline and how a darts story can relate to "Auntie Beeb has remembered what Speedway was, once" (sic). What exactly does that phrase mean?

Moving into the real world, darts has been successfully hyped for many years by professional businesses which specialise in such work, because darts went out and found someone to do this. Speedway has not.

If the poster is trying to knock the BBC perhaps he should pay attention to what BBC WM are doing right on his doorstep?

You have to sell the sport to broadcasters as much as the rest of the media. Instead speedway views the press as freeloaders who are likely to stop people paying to watch the sport.

It's remarkable how much coverage speedway actually gets, usually down to the personal enthusiasm of a local editor. You can't just sit back and expect to be given coverage such as that darts piece. You have to at least meet these people half way.

Most press and publicity in speedway is undertaken by willing amateurs. I know, I was one. You get what you pay for. Don't blame the media if they're not interested in what is offered to them, if any is.....

 

I guess, from that, that you never read the actual article. If you had, you would have seen exactly why it is relevant to speedway. Because it saysvthat at one time darts was in danger of going the same way as other second division sportsbof the 80's  like speedway and greyhound racing.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎14‎/‎12‎/‎2017 at 7:02 PM, rmc said:

Rather confused by the headline and how a darts story can relate to "Auntie Beeb has remembered what Speedway was, once" (sic). What exactly does that phrase mean?

Moving into the real world, darts has been successfully hyped for many years by professional businesses which specialise in such work, because darts went out and found someone to do this. Speedway has not.

If the poster is trying to knock the BBC perhaps he should pay attention to what BBC WM are doing right on his doorstep?

You have to sell the sport to broadcasters as much as the rest of the media. Instead speedway views the press as freeloaders who are likely to stop people paying to watch the sport.

It's remarkable how much coverage speedway actually gets, usually down to the personal enthusiasm of a local editor. You can't just sit back and expect to be given coverage such as that darts piece. You have to at least meet these people half way.

Most press and publicity in speedway is undertaken by willing amateurs. I know, I was one. You get what you pay for. Don't blame the media if they're not interested in what is offered to them, if any is.....

 

Well said, Rob. The BBC, nor any other broadcaster, owes speedway nothing.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The most depressing thing about comparing UK speedway with all these other 'minor' sports is that we have no chance of ever attracting a rich benefactor in the mould of Kerry Packer or Barry Hearn, etc.

Speedway's 'Sugar Daddy' for the past 20 years was Tony Mole, and to a lesser extent Terry Russell, and they have both effectively thrown in the towel. Matt Ford is still hanging in there but for how long....?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just staying with the BBC for a moment, I once met the then head of Sport for BBC Nations and Regions at a rugby event held by BBC Radio Gloucestershire. Nations & Regions covers all localised BBC radio and TV across the the three nations, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, plus regional TV and local radio in England and the Channel Islands. It does not include national TV programmes or the main national radio networks.

With varying levels of success, notably high in the Midlands with BBC WM this is the side of the BBC that is far more likely than the national side to bother with speedway.

I asked him what was their policy on speedway and the response was that it was up to the relevant sports editor whether to feature speedway but that he was totally open to coverage of the sport, with the obvious proviso that what was offered was suitable. 

A secondary point is why does media at a national level so often shun speedway? My feeling is, you must remember that most senior national journalists started out as junior local journos, some of whom might have been sent out to the local speedway track to get copy. Having seen the attitude shown to the press in speedway it would be no surprise if they simply got the job done and hoped to move on to more appreciative sports. 

It was claimed that one very famous BBC sports commentator of the 1960s-80s was extremely hostile to the sport, chiefly because of resentment at how he felt he had been treated as a young journalist. 

Now some tracks do know how to look after the media, or have in the past and the momentum carries on, and they are the ones that you will find have great local coverage, or others may be lucky to have a speedway fan working locally as a professional journalist. Sadly I suspect far too many think they have a divine right to coverage or amazingly view it as something that will stop fans coming, the "If they want to know the result let them pay to come in" mentality. 

When you buy a local paper and find speedway on several pages including the back it didn't happen by magic. Hard work won that space. The occasional advert would also help smooth the relationship.

Speedway seems to think it's something special that demands attention. It isn't.......but it could and should be.

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, rmc said:

..It was claimed that one very famous BBC sports commentator of the 1960s-80s was extremely hostile to the sport, chiefly because of resentment at how he felt he had been treated as a young journalist...

So when Kings Lynn ejected two BBC Radio WM jounalists from the No Folk Arena a few years back, that shows how few lessons were learned from that earlier experience. The guy in charge of the expulsions is now chairman of the BSPA, so if the BBC guys ever climb their ladders of seniority, you can guess at how many burnt bridges you'll be able to count.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 14/12/2017 at 8:32 PM, Grachan said:

I guess, from that, that you never read the actual article. If you had, you would have seen exactly why it is relevant to speedway. Because it saysvthat at one time darts was in danger of going the same way as other second division sportsbof the 80's  like speedway and greyhound racing.

Not just Darts, but I can recall Rugby Union being in the same category of 1980s second-division sporting staples.

It goes to show that sporting fortunes CAN be turned around, IF the right people adopt the right policies and make the right decisions.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, tmc said:

The most depressing thing about comparing UK speedway with all these other 'minor' sports is that we have no chance of ever attracting a rich benefactor in the mould of Kerry Packer or Barry Hearn, etc.

Speedway's 'Sugar Daddy' for the past 20 years was Tony Mole, and to a lesser extent Terry Russell, and they have both effectively thrown in the towel. Matt Ford is still hanging in there but for how long....?

What relevance is Matt Ford? The guy is part of the reason British Speedway is dying. Yeah, great in the short (even medium term) for Poole but when the EL is left with just Poole riding against themselves every week, then what?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 14/12/2017 at 8:32 PM, Grachan said:

I guess, from that, that you never read the actual article. If you had, you would have seen exactly why it is relevant to speedway. Because it saysvthat at one time darts was in danger of going the same way as other second division sportsbof the 80's  like speedway and greyhound racing.

No I didn't have time to read what was a rather irrelevant article in full. Apologies for not spotting a very minor point hidden in it. Perhaps if the original poster had actually drawn attention to this rather than just lazily post a link to the article and post an intelligible header then there might have been a little less confusion? I really have no interest in games like darts.

The pettiness and stupidity on this forum when trying to have a reasoned discussion is deeply saddening at times, but perhaps to be expected.

Edited by rmc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, rmc said:

No I didn't have time to read what was a rather irrelevant article in full. Apologies for not spotting a very minor point hidden in it.

That will explain why you were rather confused, then.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, rmc said:

...Perhaps if the original poster blah blah....

What? And deprive you of your favourite pasttime of slagging off posters to this forum rather than reading and replying to the message that they convey? This is the season of goodwill, got to give you something to bite into. :D

Discovering the message yourself and seeing what other people (not just the died in the wool converts) have to say about the sport may just help it sink in a bit more. Only when you see the problem rather than what the situation "could and should be" (to use your words) will a chance emerge of being able to rectify the problem.

But then of course, your problem isn't with identifying and solving problems, it's with those people who dare to speak up about them.

Merry Xmas RMC and Prosperous New Season to you

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Little bit off topic but we quite often see the success of darts compared to the demise of Speedway. Just how many people pay to watch darts each year? It enjoys big crowds at a relatively small number of it's top events but it is completely different to trying to get crowds to an outdoor sports meeting every week.

I can fully understand what RMC has to say and have seen the success of cultivating a local journalist on one hand and the failure to cultivate his successor on another. Difficult to see a way to bring professional media people into promoting Speedway though as the funding just isn't available and they alone can't guarantee enough success to change that.

I think Speedway in the UK has almost found its level, perhaps crowd levels will drop a little further but then it will just have to find other ways to fund the sport in the long term while there might be the odd burst of popularity to remind the oldies of how wonderful it used to be.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Vince said:

Little bit off topic but we quite often see the success of darts compared to the demise of Speedway. Just how many people pay to watch darts each year? It enjoys big crowds at a relatively small number of it's top events but it is completely different to trying to get crowds to an outdoor sports meeting every week.

I can fully understand what RMC has to say and have seen the success of cultivating a local journalist on one hand and the failure to cultivate his successor on another. Difficult to see a way to bring professional media people into promoting Speedway though as the funding just isn't available and they alone can't guarantee enough success to change that.

I think Speedway in the UK has almost found its level, perhaps crowd levels will drop a little further but then it will just have to find other ways to fund the sport in the long term while there might be the odd burst of popularity to remind the oldies of how wonderful it used to be.

Just a thought re Promotion of the Sport without any need to pay any money out to a pro media company..

I would suggest circa £15k a night is the ball park figure (maybe more?) for both teams salaries collectively per meeting. ..

If so,  why not make that £15k the 'Prize' on offer?...

It could be split £10k to the winners £5k to the losers. It might mean less riders per team for them to ride for the money but that would create much needed rider supply..

Plus points would be...

It would give the Competition some 'kudos' which it so badly lacks at present..

EVERY meeting would have something riding on it which often isn't the case now we have the play offs...

Riders dropping their averages would lose cash as well as lose their team mates money..

No riders could 'go through the motions' as they could earn double with a victory, as it would be basically performance related pay...

To be succesful you would have to have individuals working as a  team committed to the cause rather than treating it like a 'stop off' on a weekly European sojourn..

Crowds could stay behind and watch  a 'proper presentation' at the end of every meeting, interviews with riders, photos taken with big cheques in front of those boards you see in other sports with the Sponsors names on them etc etc

Given there are 118 meetings in the Premiership, you could then sell the Sport along the lines of

"The Speedway Premiership is this year worth over One and Three Quarter Million Pounds to the Eight Teams competing".

Maybe even add in the extra £30k collectively to take it to £1.8M? (Actual total would be £1,770M)..

Obviously clubs would agree how the money is shared around their riders from No1 downwards but if you ran with five or six man teams each would get a good few quid even in defeat..

Selling the sport using those sort of numbers must generate some outside response and interest if nothing else..? 

All of a sudden it doesn't appear as 'small time and irrelevant' as it looks today...

People are like sheep and will follow the latest fad or trend because for so many, "if it's sounds succesful, it MUST be succesful"..

To afford it and pay the vat at £15 a head you would need 1200 a night. Obviously there are other costs on top to pay for each meeting but maybe that's where Sponsors come in? And maybe more hype will bring more Sponsors in wanting to be associated with the Sport?

Tracks that weekly average around 1000 - 1200 now for often 'Mickey Mouse' meetings must increase their regulars count surely if EVERY match had something tangible riding on it?

Teams pay out vast sums already in pay, so they might as well use that same cash to enhance the Profile of the Sport through a bit of 'style over substance' marketing which so many very successful businesses use...

Edited by mikebv

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×