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old bob at herne bay

Will British Speedway Survive ?

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2 minutes ago, RobMcCaffery said:

Yes, really. They can have this conversation while enjoying their overpriced pints "I pay £17 to get in here and half the night's racing I wouldn't watch for free. How long before the next speedway? Oh, time to go home I think".

It's rather like interrupting a football match to play rugby. 

Whilst team speedway all over the UK attracts a few hundred 50, 60 and 70 something year olds rattling around in a four fifths empty stadium...

Its working so well it's probably best we just carry on doing the same thing....

Over and over and over and over again.. :D

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47 minutes ago, RobMcCaffery said:

Yes, really. They can have this conversation while enjoying their overpriced pints "I pay £17 to get in here and half the night's racing I wouldn't watch for free. How long before the next speedway? Oh, time to go home I think".

It's rather like interrupting a football match to play rugby. 

Hmm. I think you've added 2 and 2 and got five there Rob.

I understand it's practically difficult to alternate sports on the track. I'm talking about 60-90mins slots per sport, then the next sport. Have your pint, have a look, maybe see what other entertainments kicking about and enjoy the atmosphere with a bigger weekend crowd. 

Of course, I very much doubt any of this will happen, nor even be attempted.

Much more likely - almost certain - is we continue to carry on as normal with our 50-80yr old hardcore and keep the likes of The Third Man happy, serving up the same old midweek speedway model and sleepwalk into oblivion. 

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6 hours ago, falcace said:

Great! They can spend time and money in the bar then. And while the speedway is on, fans of motocross, flat track or whatever can clear off to the bar. Win win.

Of course if an additional element such as motocross is delivered within a simple speedway meeting, then of course it is going to get a lukewarm reception from a traditional speedway crowd. But if an event is marketed as a "track racing spectacular" or "bikefest" or the like, you are going to get a broader demographic..more footfall, more eyeballs, more income.

Didn't king's Lynn recently run a similar two day event and no one turned up. 

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, falcace said:

Really? Speedway fans still get their 75-90mins fix of the sport, so too do fans of the other sports. Are you not coming back because other sports are taking place around your sport? Some you might like, some you may not. Would people really cut off their nose to spite their face?

Speedway's big problem is that it is stuck in the 1970s, unwilling to change with an ever dwindling hard core of ageing fans who don't like change. It is a crumbling pub struggling badly because it is trying to please the old blokes who prop up the bar every week. It needs to freshen up, broaden its reach and offer real value to more people.

The majority of fans want a swiftly run meeting. Standing around for hours doesent appeal to everyone. That's what i like about football, it runs like clockwork.

Edited by cityrebel
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I see people are abusing the current situation to promote their own private agendas. The sarcasm from one does suggest desperation.  You are free to advance individual racing instead of teams or putting together composite meetings, despite there being clear evidence that apart from SGPs individual racing is box-office poison and that mixed meetings please none and annoy all. 

The situation is serious but making the sport profoundly worse would be suicidal.  I shall leave you both to it. Even in self-isolation there simply isn't enough time.

These ideas have been tried - and failed and no amount of sarcasm will change that.

 

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11 minutes ago, cityrebel said:

The majority of fans want a swiftly run meeting. Standing around for hours doesent appeal to everyone. That's what i like about football, it runs like clockwork.

Quite right. 

 

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9 hours ago, cityrebel said:

Didn't king's Lynn recently run a similar two day event and no one turned up. 

Probably running it late winter with 'anyone who would ride' didnt help?

Running something similar over the August BH weekend, after loads of advertising to fans during the Speedway season, with some recognised riders riding, would get decent crowds I would think..

If space allows, then have camping facilities, music, bar, bbq etc... 

Like the old Grasstrack weekends for the big events..

Often wondered if letting track licences get bought for certain dates by 'anyone' would be a possible successful venture?

One off big events ran by people who truly know how to promote any event..

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Which Reading Racer testimonial was best attended (relative to normal crowds at that time)?

Not the stars like Jan Andersson, Dave Mullett, Armando Castagna or Jeremy Doncaster, but....

.... David Steen - who ran an event that containing mixed disciplines and promoted it heavily.

So it can work, but I fear UK  speedway lacks the promotional and commercial skills to make it work.

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Speedway isn’t a big enough concern that people with little to no knowledge of the sport will attend on “name value.” To the uninitiated it wouldn’t matter whether Bartosz Zmarzlik or Ben Woodhull were doing a few laps around their local track, if it isn’t promoted properly nobody will bat an eyelid (or attend). 

To my mind, there are four main groups of people that promoters should look at.

The die-hards - these people will attend week in, week out even if a steaming pile of turd is presented before them. The issue is that they are advancing in age of course and won’t be around forever.

The floating fan - they pick and choose their meetings. Perhaps their club has folded but they’ll still attend 10-15 meetings a season, not necessarily at the same track each time but where they deem a meeting to be worth travelling to, be it for entertainment or value for money reasons. A lot of these floaters will perhaps go to watch meetings specifically because a rider who used to represent their club is riding. Those links to the defunct club will eventually disappear as riders retire and those floaters will drop into the next category. These fans already like Speedway, they should be the easiest for their local track to turn into regular attendees.

The “oh they still do Speedway?” - Personally I attend 1-3 GP meetings a season now and that is it. I don’t attend domestic Speedway. I reckon there are a lot of people out there in the same boat as me. I would push such people into this group. Those who know about Speedway but haven’t been for a long time or attend very rarely. Harder to draw in than the floating fan but their interest could be piqued with the right promotion of the product because at the very least, they know what Speedway is. 

Finally, the uninitiated - anyone who doesn’t know what Speedway is. This is the group of which there is the largest number of people to target but also the hardest to draw in. Ironically they are probably the easiest to win over with the correct promotion strategy. We all love the product of Speedway, which is four riders going hell for leather round the track. That is a bug that bites hard and is later ruined by overcharging and politics among other things. It may be a cliche but they say if you throw enough s*** at the wall some of it will stick, if you throw enough people into a speedway meeting, some of them will stick. The key is to getting them into the meetings in the first place and this is where we currently struggle without a doubt. 

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, cityrebel said:

The majority of fans want a swiftly run meeting. Standing around for hours doesent appeal to everyone. That's what i like about football, it runs like clockwork.

Exactly the problem. Speedway is trying to please a dwindling hardcore. Trying to please 70% of 400 people then next year trying to please 70% of 350 people is no way to run a sustainable business.

If speedway is to have any successful future, it needs to consult with and tailor its product for those people it is not attracting to the stadium, not the shrinking hardcore it is. 

Do you think cricket came up with Twenty20 by consulting with the few hundred who bother with county cricket? 

Not sure where the standing around comes from. Think of it as a festival, you pick the bands you want to see, those you don't and after you have seen what you want to see then go home. No one's forcing anyone to stand around?! 

The starting point has got to be the target market. Who does speedway want to appeal to? And then create the experience from there. That's why Twenty20 is a success. That's why UFC is a success. It's also why horse racing has thrived..it has become a much more family friendly experience. 

That's why I put forward the multi sport weekend festival model, to appeal to the young family market. It's far from a personal wishlist of activities, because its not about me and its not about you either. It's about getting the sport a new and bigger audience to give it a fighting chance of survival. 

 

Edited by falcace
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9 minutes ago, Ben91 said:

Speedway isn’t a big enough concern that people with little to no knowledge of the sport will attend on “name value.” To the uninitiated it wouldn’t matter whether Bartosz Zmarzlik or Ben Woodhull were doing a few laps around their local track, if it isn’t promoted properly nobody will bat an eyelid (or attend). 

To my mind, there are four main groups of people that promoters should look at.

The die-hards - these people will attend week in, week out even if a steaming pile of turd is presented before them. The issue is that they are advancing in age of course and won’t be around forever.

The floating fan - they pick and choose their meetings. Perhaps their club has folded but they’ll still attend 10-15 meetings a season, not necessarily at the same track each time but where they deem a meeting to be worth travelling to, be it for entertainment or value for money reasons. A lot of these floaters will perhaps go to watch meetings specifically because a rider who used to represent their club is riding. Those links to the defunct club will eventually disappear as riders retire and those floaters will drop into the next category. These fans already like Speedway, they should be the easiest for their local track to turn into regular attendees.

The “oh they still do Speedway?” - Personally I attend 1-3 GP meetings a season now and that is it. I don’t attend domestic Speedway. I reckon there are a lot of people out there in the same boat as me. I would push such people into this group. Those who know about Speedway but haven’t been for a long time or attend very rarely. Harder to draw in than the floating fan but their interest could be piqued with the right promotion of the product because at the very least, they know what Speedway is. 

Finally, the uninitiated - anyone who doesn’t know what Speedway is. This is the group of which there is the largest number of people to target but also the hardest to draw in. Ironically they are probably the easiest to win over with the correct promotion strategy. We all love the product of Speedway, which is four riders going hell for leather round the track. That is a bug that bites hard and is later ruined by overcharging and politics among other things. It may be a cliche but they say if you throw enough s*** at the wall some of it will stick, if you throw enough people into a speedway meeting, some of them will stick. The key is to getting them into the meetings in the first place and this is where we currently struggle without a doubt. 

Many of the Clubs in the Championship are attracting new young fans.

We certainly are at Birmingham and on Away Match trips to places like Somerset; Redcar; Eastbourne saw plenty of evidence that other Clubs are doing the same and not only getting them in but showing them around and making a bit of a fuss of them.

Yet when my Club do that what happens, some of the grumpy old men in the old guard moan about "too many kids", and a new family coming for the first time that may have "knicked my space" get abuse. Hardly welcoming is it?.

We have some of the best facilities in Speedway at PB and good to see the work done to try to encourage new blood. 

 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, falcace said:

Exactly the problem. Speedway is trying to please a dwindling hardcore. Trying to please 70% of 400 people then next year trying to please 70% of 350 people is no way to run a sustainable business.

If speedway is to have any successful future, it needs to consult with and tailor its product for those people it is not attracting to the stadium, not the shrinking hardcore it is. 

Do you think cricket came up with Twenty20 by consulting with the few hundred who bother with county cricket? 

Not sure where the standing around comes from. Think of it as a festival, you pick the bands you want to see, those you don't and if you want to after you have seen what you want to see then go home. No one's forcing anyone to stand around?! 

The starting point has got to be the target market. Who does speedway want to appeal to? And then create the experience from there. That's why Twenty20 is a success. That's why UFC is a success. It's also why horse racing has thrived..it has become a much more family friendly experience. 

That's why I put forward the multi sport weekend festival model, to appeal to the young family market. It's far from a personal wishlist of activities, because its not about me and its not about you either. It's about getting the sport a new and bigger audience to give it a fighting chance of survival. 

 

"I wont be watching this pyjama cricket" was an often noted quote from 'the dinosaurs' who liked to watch the dying County 3 and 4 day game, with around 50 or so other die hards every day, in a 20000 seater stadium..  :D

And also 20/20 over here doesnt market itself or pay out the same cash against the mega league of the IPL, or even the Aussie Big Bash..

Instead it uses a "good standard" of player, (mainly UK lads), paying less, but getting healthy attendances.. 

The same way that British Superbikes use a lower level of rider (again, based on UK lads in the main) than the WSB, yet still get very healthy crowds.. 

Both know that when the "big boys" come knocking for their best talent they will lose them to the higher standard. However they have a pro active plan to bring in replacements as they know it will be inevitable.. 

What they dont do is let their business plan be impacted by other competitions in the same sport..

Needs a complete re think and refresh British Speedway..

Get a brand identity, get a clear business plan, and then build a fit for purpose operating model based on its affordability and resource capability.. 

And then market the s**t out of it!!!

Edited by mikebv
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Actually there is a link between speedway and cricket. One of the pioneer speedway promoters A.J Hunting held the first one day cricket game in Australia. It was a success , but the authorities then warned any player getting involved in a further game would be banned. So that was the end of that for about 30 years or so

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42 minutes ago, HGould said:

Many of the Clubs in the Championship are attracting new young fans.

We certainly are at Birmingham and on Away Match trips to places like Somerset; Redcar; Eastbourne saw plenty of evidence that other Clubs are doing the same and not only getting them in but showing them around and making a bit of a fuss of them.

Yet when my Club do that what happens, some of the grumpy old men in the old guard moan about "too many kids", and a new family coming for the first time that may have "knicked my space" get abuse. Hardly welcoming is it?.

We have some of the best facilities in Speedway at PB and good to see the work done to try to encourage new blood. 

 

Again, proof that speedway doesn't understand its target market. Why promote speedway to kids? It makes no sense.

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26 minutes ago, MattK said:

Again, proof that speedway doesn't understand its target market. Why promote speedway to kids? It makes no sense.

Especially when clubs run on a school night and many do not have public transport that runs past the track, so unless their parents take them they cannot get to and from a meeting.

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