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So where did it all go wrong?

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1 hour ago, PHILIPRISING said:

IF you were a teenager why would you go to speedway?

The answer is to promote it as an 'extreme' sport. All kinds of usually American manufactured sport are skilfully sold under that banner. It's all sensation and image based. Speedway needs expert selling.

Many years ago I was invited by the BSPA to discuss a proposal I had made that they set up their own in-house marketing and TV production business so they could control the 'message' and maintain control over TV revenues and the spin-off sponsorship. I was naive of course. They heard me but admitted that they didn't have the expertise to do it themselves. 

Tellingly they didn't have the vision to realise that it might be an idea to hire those who did have that expertise. 

The sport needs stable management, clear, intelligent policy, a vision of where it's going and to find people who can sell it for them. 

I actually feel sorry for the BSPA at times. They come across as reasonably successful small to medium businessmen who care about the sport but when it comes to TV, sponsorship and general marketing they're way out of their depth.

Reverting to the 'extreme' aspect I have taken occasional looks at what gets lumped into this 'product' and to be honest speedway is far more interesting than most. It is a triumph ofd style over substance. Sadly we need a little of that American hucksterism.

All we seem to get are expensive attempts at American style with only a vague connection  without selling turning that image into revenue. The flashy trappings and irrelevant costs would look good, if anyone was looking. 

Do we want a sport fuelled by hype? Well, that's what got it started  and thriving. Hype's moved on from our old showmen though and the sport's been left behind. 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Gemini said:

 I can't help thinking as most holiday makers are only there for a week the family wouldn't be back for the next meeting anyway so they have had a nice free evening out.  :lol: Good idea for other tracks though.

 

Islanders only, Gem.

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Ah okay I misunderstood. How do they know they aren't just holidaymakers though, unless they make it obvious by turning up with a bucket and spade. :D

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3 minutes ago, Gemini said:

Ah okay I misunderstood. How do they know they aren't just holidaymakers though, unless they make it obvious by turning up with a bucket and spade. :D

They get asked :D

Edited by Halifaxtiger

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3 hours ago, PHILIPRISING said:

IF you were a teenager why would you go to speedway?

You can't say that. Here on the BSF it's akin to suggesting you round up old people and kill them! And whatever you do, you CANNOT upset the old people who go to speedway, they come at you with their pitchforks!

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6 hours ago, THE DEAN MACHINE said:

, the sport has become a individual rider sport that is focussed and directed at the riders and the fans seem like an after thought but are expected to pay for the privilege , 

Totally agree and the importance of this cannot be overstated.

In which business do the needs and requirements of paid employees come before paying customers ? 

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14 minutes ago, Halifaxtiger said:

Totally agree and the importance of this cannot be overstated.

In which business do the needs and requirements of paid employees come before paying customers ? 

FOOTBALL

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OK. So number 1 is NOT, absolutely NOT to promote the sport. That will just get more people in short term to see a rubbish show and never return. If your restaurant was giving everyone food poisoning would you solution be to put a full page advert in the local paper or would it be to clean up your restaurant, get good feed back and THEN advertise in the local paper? So please, don't advertise just yet.

I honestly don't think the sport is as broke as some people would have you believe. I say that as someone who has probably only attended as many meetings since August 2011 as I attended in each season from about 2003 when I learnt to drive until August 2011. It doesn't need all out changes, it doesn't need a totally new sport. 4 riders doing 4 laps 15 times is damn exciting and I'll sell that concept to anyone and argue how great it is with anyone. Even on the most dull of tracks it's a wonderous spectacle, on the right tracks it's not possible to beat it in any other sport IMO.

 

So, my 6 things.
1. Stop the corruption and ignorance of the rule book. This idea that it needs re-writing is wrong, the actual rule book itself is only about 8-10 long from memory (tech spec and people jobs specs just don't matter to any fan). Just make sure what rules we have are adhered to consistently and with fairness. That means employing someone full time on 25-30k a year to make sure that is the case. It's not a lot of money shared between the 30-ish speedway teams in the UK right now.

2. It's 2018 this coming season. Not 1975. ARGH! Seriously. Do away with the "Smashy & Nicey" presentation duo, do away with the granddad jokes and borderline racists comments from the announcers because it was funny when they were a lad in the 60. Play some music that actually fits with the night, that probably means paying £1-200 a night for a proper DJ with a planned set list for when certain events take place. Not 60-year old John pressing play on the newest edition of his "hit of the 60s" CD regardless.

3. Stop pandering to old people. They're going to die soon. Letting them in cheap to clutter the place up with their flasks and fold up chairs is hardly going to entice a group of young lads along is it? Plus Maud, Joan and Derek who have sat on the 3rd bend the last 50 years are unlikely to add much to the atmosphere are they? They're not going to be jumping up and down when the team get a 5-1, they seem to politely clap ever result regardless of if it home or away.

4. Build rivalries, slag each other off in the press. Get a bit of agro going. This idea that speedway has to be "nice" and you have to clap the away riders after a race win is sickly. You don't get it in any other sport. How great is it when Nicki Pedersen turns up and you spend the night booing him? Soap operas have bad guys as well as good because people enjoy seeing them fail and speedway should be the same. More bag guys.

5. The score. What is the score? No bugger knows. There no scoreboard at most tracks and some of them that have them are a waste of time showing wrong numbers (you used to have to translate have the numbers at Brandon while Swindons is too small to show the info needed without it rotating) and you can't hear the score when it is read out  because the PA system is crap. There should be a huge drive to get all fans to download the BSPA app. This app lets you select push notifactions for a meeting of you choice so the current score is sent to you after each heat 10-15 seconds after its been announced. You currently have to fill in a programme and people do that rather than cheer and celebrate. Also clubs should have a decent scoreboard with 5 rows able to fit. Row 1 is the current score and the next 4 rows is the result of the last heat.

6. Stop postponing meetings. Especially once they have started. Is it any wonder fans don't turn up when the weather looks a little dodgy. The first sign of rain and the meeting is off and the fans are short changed, again. This never used to happen. Even worse when you see a great race with passing in the rain and they refuse to run the next heat.

 

TRs, R/R, guests, averages etc I don't think they really matter. People don't care what the rules are, they just want to be able to understand the rules that do exist.

Edited by SCB

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1 minute ago, PHILIPRISING said:

FOOTBALL

Luckily football has millions of customers and is selling out stadiums, it can treat the fans however it likes.

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I was going to respond myself.

But it would be superfluous after reading SCBs post.

I do not think I have seen a better critique.

Brilliant.

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2 hours ago, SCB said:

 

3. Stop pandering to old people. They're going to die soon. Letting them in cheap to clutter the place up with their flasks and fold up chairs is hardly going to entice a group of young lads along is it?

 

That is downright offensive. Perhaps if instead of your ignorant ageism we have someone post some equally obnoxious homophobia and see how you like it.

Comments like that destroy any respect for the rest of your occasionally intelligent comments. Just because you post in detail and some are taken in by it all doesn't mean you're in the right. 

I've worked damn hard for speedway in my time and it would be good to think that I could still go to speedway without facing obnoxious comments from yourself about people in my age group. 

Anyway, hopefully I'll be dead soon, eh?  Uteerly disgusting. We should cater for all not just overgrown children like you. 

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One thing I'd add to SCB's excellent post is team identity's need to be reestablished. For example team building rules that encourage tracks to retain more of the previous season's riders would be a start.

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It is fascinating to note that offensive comments by scb can be considered part of an "excellent post". Whatever sense he might make in his other points is devalued by his ignorant use of ageism.

People have a right to enjoy speedway irrespective of race, gender, sexual orientation or AGE. Yes the sport needs a younger age group following it but is that really to be achieved by sneering at the elderly who do attend meetings?

Where do we stop in SCB's nasty little world, an age limit on attendance and proof required of being under what arbitrary age limit he considers 'old'? 

I have to admit though that he is in fact doing me a favour, along with other posters of his nature. For a few years it hasn't been possible for me to attend more than a handful of meetings. Thankfully my circumstances have changed and with it came the joy of being able to start going to meetings regularly again. Then I read things like "Don't worry about the old, they'll die soon" make me realise that I have other interests to spend my time and cash on. After 46 years I'll make that one less oldie to be despised and sneered at in future. 

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3 hours ago, SCB said:

OK. So number 1 is NOT, absolutely NOT to promote the sport. That will just get more people in short term to see a rubbish show and never return. If your restaurant was giving everyone food poisoning would you solution be to put a full page advert in the local paper or would it be to clean up your restaurant, get good feed back and THEN advertise in the local paper? So please, don't advertise just yet.

I honestly don't think the sport is as broke as some people would have you believe. I say that as someone who has probably only attended as many meetings since August 2011 as I attended in each season from about 2003 when I learnt to drive until August 2011. It doesn't need all out changes, it doesn't need a totally new sport. 4 riders doing 4 laps 15 times is damn exciting and I'll sell that concept to anyone and argue how great it is with anyone. Even on the most dull of tracks it's a wonderous spectacle, on the right tracks it's not possible to beat it in any other sport IMO.

 

So, my 6 things.
1. Stop the corruption and ignorance of the rule book. This idea that it needs re-writing is wrong, the actual rule book itself is only about 8-10 long from memory (tech spec and people jobs specs just don't matter to any fan). Just make sure what rules we have are adhered to consistently and with fairness. That means employing someone full time on 25-30k a year to make sure that is the case. It's not a lot of money shared between the 30-ish speedway teams in the UK right now.

2. It's 2018 this coming season. Not 1975. ARGH! Seriously. Do away with the "Smashy & Nicey" presentation duo, do away with the granddad jokes and borderline racists comments from the announcers because it was funny when they were a lad in the 60. Play some music that actually fits with the night, that probably means paying £1-200 a night for a proper DJ with a planned set list for when certain events take place. Not 60-year old John pressing play on the newest edition of his "hit of the 60s" CD regardless.

3. Stop pandering to old people. They're going to die soon. Letting them in cheap to clutter the place up with their flasks and fold up chairs is hardly going to entice a group of young lads along is it? Plus Maud, Joan and Derek who have sat on the 3rd bend the last 50 years are unlikely to add much to the atmosphere are they? They're not going to be jumping up and down when the team get a 5-1, they seem to politely clap ever result regardless of if it home or away.

4. Build rivalries, slag each other off in the press. Get a bit of agro going. This idea that speedway has to be "nice" and you have to clap the away riders after a race win is sickly. You don't get it in any other sport. How great is it when Nicki Pedersen turns up and you spend the night booing him? Soap operas have bad guys as well as good because people enjoy seeing them fail and speedway should be the same. More bag guys.

5. The score. What is the score? No bugger knows. There no scoreboard at most tracks and some of them that have them are a waste of time showing wrong numbers (you used to have to translate have the numbers at Brandon while Swindons is too small to show the info needed without it rotating) and you can't hear the score when it is read out  because the PA system is crap. There should be a huge drive to get all fans to download the BSPA app. This app lets you select push notifactions for a meeting of you choice so the current score is sent to you after each heat 10-15 seconds after its been announced. You currently have to fill in a programme and people do that rather than cheer and celebrate. Also clubs should have a decent scoreboard with 5 rows able to fit. Row 1 is the current score and the next 4 rows is the result of the last heat.

6. Stop postponing meetings. Especially once they have started. Is it any wonder fans don't turn up when the weather looks a little dodgy. The first sign of rain and the meeting is off and the fans are short changed, again. This never used to happen. Even worse when you see a great race with passing in the rain and they refuse to run the next heat.

 

TRs, R/R, guests, averages etc I don't think they really matter. People don't care what the rules are, they just want to be able to understand the rules that do exist.

Some good points but point three is way over the top. 

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1 hour ago, arnieg said:

One thing I'd add to SCB's excellent post is team identity's need to be reestablished. For example team building rules that encourage tracks to retain more of the previous season's riders would be a start.

I only had 6 points so kept to generic things. I’d also like a rule that said every returning rider had an x% discount on their average each season. 3% a year. Maybe not a huge amount in year 1 but by year 3 that’s quite a bit, someone like Freddie Lindgren had he not missed a season would be on a 39% reduction now.

 

regarding my old people comments, maybe they were a bit harsh but they’re not untrue are they? Why try and keep old people who will die, statistically in the next 10 years? And you’re not going to attract young people while you insentivise old people. I honestly think the best thing for speedway will be in 10-15 years time when the currently fan base is dead. It will need to start again with a bottom up approach. It can go for loud, dirty, horrible, tattoos like Woffys that you ban wouldn’t like. Rather than this “it’s really lovely” approach is takes now.

Edited by SCB

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