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View Full Version : How to get more racers???


Mike Keely
2010.05.25, 08:32 PM
I was wondering if anyone has had any luck at putting on a event to try to get more racers? I was wondering about putting on a race at a busy shopping mall or at a world of wheels type car show. Has anyone tried anything like this?

arch2b
2010.05.25, 08:40 PM
word of mouth mostly. you get as many of the large scale locals to try it out and hope it sticks. i know your area is saturated in large scale racing, just need to convince a few to jump into a smaller class of racing. where did all the cwhits guys go?

i started dc gtg with 3 people MANY years ago. i treated it like a family and it grew. i do miss that atmosphere that we seemed to have lost when we moved to racing at hobby works. we used to race all day, enjoy a good dinner and wrap up racing.

EMU
2010.05.25, 08:46 PM
Are there any larger scale races in your area?

Maybe flyers at high schools, or local colleges with URLs to videos about the cars and racing.

Inside Line Racing hosts the KO Propo race in a shopping mall for that purpose... You want a good crowd of racers, so there is plenty of action on the track for everyone passing by to watch.

Having rental cars at the local track makes it easy for newcomers to try before they buy.

Target early teens that would spend their parents money on the cars/parts, and actually learn something in the process... They also learn to drive a lot faster than adults :eek:

arch2b
2010.05.25, 08:55 PM
oh, we've done the mall things many times at hobby works. we can run outside in the open area on sundays provided we plan it far in advance. it always draws spectators but so far it hasn't brought in any new racers. it's something we may need to do more often.

are there any malls in your area that this would be possible? we can try to get our clubs together for stuff like this as a recruiting tool for both our clubs.

Mike Keely
2010.05.25, 09:09 PM
oh, we've done the mall things many times at hobby works. we can run outside in the open area on sundays provided we plan it far in advance. it always draws spectators but so far it hasn't brought in any new racers. it's something we may need to do more often.

are there any malls in your area that this would be possible? we can try to get our clubs together for stuff like this as a recruiting tool for both our clubs.

I was thinking about Annapolis Mall or Arundel Mills.

QuantumRC
2010.05.25, 09:38 PM
My personal thoughts on this is that, with all the marketing that we can do, it's really a hit or miss.

If it interest people, they will come from anywhere. If they are not, no matter what they will not bite the bait.

But of course, we do whatever means to garner interest to potential drivers.

Action B
2010.05.25, 10:00 PM
Mike Keely.

Every year we put on an event at a local anime convention in hampton called "Nekocon". To date I can't say that anyone we met there has actual become a regular racer but it introduces thousands of people to the hobby over the course of a weekend.

The whole event is aimed at increasing awareness of the hobby and having veterans interact with event attendees who often for the first time are trying a hobby class R/C. We provide the demo cars. Arch2b has always been involved with this. Its planned to happen again this year so long as I can get enough real racers to attend. There is also a pro-race event.

That being said, I found out about a race group off of atomicmods site. They have local club contacts on there you may want to inquire about having your clubs contact on there.

Mike Keely
2010.05.26, 05:16 AM
I was looking at a search for car shows in the area. I see that there are many planned around here in MD. I was wondering if we did something at a place where it is car guys and gals that it might be a better group to have a race in front of.

Action B
2010.05.26, 09:20 AM
I was looking at a search for car shows in the area. I see that there are many planned around here in MD. I was wondering if we did something at a place where it is car guys and gals that it might be a better group to have a race in front of.

I really like this idea.

hrdrvr
2010.05.26, 09:38 AM
As these guys have already stated, be ready for many futile efforts if you are trying to get significant club level growth.

Ive been trying my best to grow mini-Z racing in our area for almost 5 years now. We have gone through fluctuations where we've had as many as 20 active racers, but always seem to dwindle back down to a handful of core racers. At least through each phase we've found another core guy or two.

The biggest thing that got us up to our biggest numbers in the area was the LHS actually taking part by supporting the locals with parts, and a very nice track room set up. It came shortly after I got a couple of 1/8 scale nitro buggy guys into it. I had been trying to push Zs onto the LHS owner for years and he wouldn't bite. He did finally let me put some fliers up in his store, and I found a guy who had two kids, interest in competitive racing, and the desire to get back to racing on-road. The best thing though, was he got hooked, and was one of the top guys at the off-road track. Within a few weeks of him running with us, our track room was exposed to nearly 20 new people (all with similar experience to his), of which about 4 (in addition to him and his sons) took it in and started racing with us. This is what sparked the hobby shop to join in on the action.

Within a few weeks of the hobby shop setting up a track, we had tons of exposure to local racers and bashers, and had picked up more than a dozen more racers, boosting us up to (my guess) around 30 people in the area who owned miniZs. Not all of them were 100% active all the time, but we would have nearly 15 in our race room (on a weeknight), and the hobby shop would have upwards of 20 (weekend races) on any given club race.

Sadly enough, that hobby shop closed down, and we are back to a half dozen serious racers, with an occasional visit from a few off-roaders that kept their cars around.

What I have learned in my 5 years, is that it is hard work if you want to have serious Z racers to run with on a a regular basis. Something I accept is that building the club is often a lot of times harder than building "event" based relationships. A few years back I decided I wanted to go out and find new people to race with. My first event was back in the spring of 08. It was club level event out in Charlotte NC. It was an awesome experience. I got to meet Cristian Tabush, who flew out to support the event. I met a few handfuls of people but, Mike (mleemor60), Pedro (pedrocamp), and James (pick), all took me under their wings, and made me feel right at home.

In the time since then, I have raced in NC, GA, VA, PA and NJ. Ive run into the same guys from NC (and a few more of them) many times, and have formed a solid bond with those guys, and many more. From these bonds I gain participants at my events, as well as more motivation to go to theirs. Most of our events have all the states Ive raced in represented.

By traveling on a regular basis, and by hosting events on a regular basis (most at our office), Ive gained a huge racers base that I get to run with on a regular basis. Sure I race with the same handful of guys weekly, but about once a month or so (pending on how work/family schedule effects travel) I get to race with as many as 20 or so other guys. Some of our events have had more than 30 (Spring Fling last year was 36), and almost every one of them has between 20 and 25. The core "event" group I run into on a regular is very tight as well. We are becoming rivals and friends at the same time, and sometimes I feel like my "club" consists of people from up and down the east coast. The guys from NC are definitely just an extension of our group, and I feel just as close to a few from VA, and PA as well.

If you can get a group to come down to one of our events (or just come yourself), you will have a chance to meet people from our coast who would all be willing to travel up to your place to support events. We are trying to make the Carolina Cup, just the series to build club level relationships, and all though a couple of this years races have been run, there is still a lot to be won from participating in the next few. We've got the SE regional coming up on June 12th (I see you've got your BTE event that day though), and we will have NJ, VA, NC, GA, of course SC, with possibility of PA being represented too. Of course with that many states present, you know the folks attending are willing to travel :D

Sorry about the long ramble. I've been trying to push this sport in our area for a long time....and I guess I had a lot to say about it :D FWIW, this is the shortened version of what I really wanted to post, lol.

chad508
2010.05.26, 10:36 AM
FWIW, this is the shortened version of what I really wanted to post, lol.

he aint kidding either

Action B
2010.05.26, 10:44 AM
If you can get a group to come down to one of our events (or just come yourself), you will have a chance to meet people from our coast who would all be willing to travel up to your place to support events. We are trying to make the Carolina Cup, just the series to build club level relationships, and all though a couple of this years races have been run, there is still a lot to be won from participating in the next few. We've got the SE regional coming up on June 12th (I see you've got your BTE event that day though), and we will have NJ, VA, NC, GA, of course SC, with possibility of PA being represented too. Of course with that many states present, you know the folks attending are willing to travel :D


Mike, I want to attend several events down there. Due to financial issues I have not been able to. If you or a group of your club start going I could afford to split trip costs.

Either way your club picked up Maya and I as regulars ;)

It has become what I look forward to every week.

imxlr8ed
2010.05.26, 02:15 PM
I initially had the feeling of "if you build it, they will come"... but after renting a really nice facility form the city for a year or two, and running all kinds of local events in my area outside of the walls of our regular place, it just got to be too much for too little. I handed out around 200+ flyers at one of our older mall races and at one point we had a crowd of at least 80 people cheering and laughing with us... had a bunch of people tell me directly that they will definitely be at our regular location that very next weekend... not a single one showed.

The majority of my "core" drivers were picked up when we ran at local Hobbytown, after that... the majority of that crew either moved on or gave up RC altogether due to different scenarios (school, jobs... life stuff).

I couldn't tell you what makes or breaks it, but it does seem that if you are in or around a highly populated area... it makes it that much easier. I've been waiting for a Philly MiniZ movement to begin but it just seems like most RCers down there are into bigger scales. Not sure if it will ever happen there.

Not trying to be a downer, I think if any area has a shot to start pulling in new racers, it the DC area. But it also seems to ring true that any area with a Z devoted shop with a real race schedule seems to be the key for gaining and maintaining racers.

As of now, I am waiting for Larry to retire and open up his shop/track in Kutztown. :rolleyes:

arch2b
2010.05.26, 02:42 PM
we've been fortunate that we've convinced hobby works to support mini-z racing. they order parts, and provide a minimal amount of floor space and use of their tables, power, etc. i had to provide the track, timing system, and computer as well as manage the calendar/events.

in talking with the store manager, he wants to expand racing however i'm not exactly local and never able to make weekday racing. just isn't going to happen for me at all which is unfortunate as most shops seem to run races during the week vs. the weekend.

i'd love to see racing expand at hobby works, i just don't have the time to push it during the week.

keeping momentum at a location outside a retail environment has got to be tuff. i think what served our club well for so long was that it was much more of a family atmosphere at the time.

the difficulty is similar to many other areas outside cities, most are into large scale racing. our area is heavy into this and it's been a struggle to get anyone to make the jump down in scale. ken may be the only one i know that still does 1:18 or larger and moved down to 1:43 as well.

Mike Keely
2010.05.26, 05:28 PM
I would like to add a few guys and that is all to our club. Where we race could not handle 15 racers. The owner runs it in his garage where he does not charge to race. I think the owner wants a place where he can race and for his sons to see that you can have fun without getting in with gangs and such.

If we could do a few outside events to try and increase our racer base for the area even in the DC club I am all for it. I would like to do these events every few months at my work and get 30 or 40 racers. We had one last year that had 19 racers I think. I think we have 11 so far but a few others that would normally come have other plans already.

I will try to work on a event at a car show for July and see how it goes.

Arch is there any days that work for you in July?

Davey G
2010.05.26, 05:34 PM
Word of mouth, Facebook, MySpace, this forum, banner adds,flyers, email blasts, other forums, announce big sponsors providing race prizes, get the car customizer shops involved, etc

bermbuster
2010.05.26, 05:58 PM
I believe it is the Fun factor and the cost. Racing for die hards (core group)
is fun. We enjoy tinkering with the cars to go faster and we have invested in the rising cost of mini z. Someone new has to get over the sticker shock of what it really costs.....
Nobody I know runs a box stock car....(cheapest cost and the slowest)
When new racers come to the track and see the racers going fast...thats what they want. Technically most people want the fastest baddest z and when they get it they cant drive it to its potential because they need practice.....
and they spend upwards of $300 just for the car....
Face it we want the hobby to evolve with hop ups things to make us faster but it all costs$$$
Tell me this How much do you think it will cost to get into mini z racing today vs 5 years ago vs 10 years ago......
Get the initial cost down and try to make the racing fun yet competitive
and you will see it grow......

JuniorWKR
2010.05.26, 07:47 PM
a box stock class will most definitly help...

cosmicsoul
2010.05.26, 07:49 PM
Why not start posting on some other RC sites/forums. We have one out in NC called Carolina RC. Although I have not visited in some time I did initially find some 1/18 on the forum. It seems to me that they encourage people to post race information about any scale.

This forum led me to another forum, which led me to Atomicmods, which led me to HIGH SPEED HOBBIES. Seek and you shall find!

For me HIGH SPEED was the closest racing near by. 3 years later we have 1/10 scale racing in my city every weekend and I still drive 2 hours round trip every week to race. There are several guys at our club that drive at least that long.

Availability to a race venue, access to parts and a consistant race program is key to succes. Having a permanent track at Highspeed with parts availabitliy is the best. We have about 10 core guys and have had as many as twenty. I am not sure why more people don't get involved and stay involved, what could be more important.

Well it's a good thing we have guys like you Mike that have a vision and desire to see this sport grow! Keep up the good work! Men with out vision shall perish!

ukyo
2010.06.11, 12:46 AM
this is a very interesting thread guys..
seems we are facing the same issues around the world.

Here in Melbourne Australia, the iwaver Australian distributor opened up hobby shop in Oct 2008 and had a small outdoor track, they have since moved indoor. That track led to a few of us dormant miniZ racers to race once again.
Two of us out of circumstance managed to get some RCP shipped to Australia late last year without breaking the bank so we started up a small club. So compared you guys we've only been trying to grow our club for not even a year yet.

We have the same issues with people being interested in the larger scale, cost, losing interest altogether etc..

imxlr8ed.. i hear you!! "if you build it they will come".. is exactly what we thought.. we are renting a space once every two months to setup a large track event.. but we haven't been to the extent of handing out flyers just yet. We do post on a fair number of the local RC forums but there isn't any response in those threads. We have had these large track events a few times but its mostly the core group that turn up. We've also thought about the mall idea but haven't executed on that one just yet.

One of the guys from the large scale RC clubs also mentioned to us to do more serious series/events/championships to attract more people as alot of people would be motivated by the competition and winning titles.

In relation to marketing... i came across this recently which was quite interesting...
http://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspire_action.html

benmlee
2010.06.11, 02:16 AM
In relation to marketing... i came across this recently which was quite interesting...
http://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspire_action.html

One of the few how to be a manager speech that made some sense. Not like other management help book like the 7 habits of highly effective people book where majority of the companies used as example went bankrupt.

I wondered the same question too. Why Apple is so successful. Steve Job believed in what he does rather than just to make profit. He could have cut so many corners on Apple products like all other companies, but he did not.

Back to the subject, another idea is to have clinic to show beginners how to drive and set up the car. Have some of the fast drivers show them the ropes. If your car spin out every corner, you will quit. There is already a steep learning curve to driving a R/C car.