Is the Drag Racing Community Ready for an Unconventional Approach to Funding?
Race teams, tracks, and others in the drag racing community rely on sponsors or advertisers to provide funding for their operations; however, in this economy, many struggle to gain necessary support through official sponsorships. Some search for the ‘big deal’ to get funded for the entire race season by sending proposals to potential sponsors. While others create websites for the sole purpose of seeking sponsorship hoping interested businesses will find them. Unfortunately, those without sponsors have to spend a significant amount of their limited budget on expenses not directly related to their racing operation (i.e. travel). Race tracks also have difficulty obtaining the necessary funds for upgrades such as equipment, bleachers, etc. due to the lack of businesses paying to advertise at their facility.
Crowdfunding is a perfect alternative for the drag racing community to offset expenses. Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the internet. Crowdfunding campaigns raised $2.7 Billion through a variety of projects last year and projected to be $5.1 Billion this year. Many successful campaigns were initially turned down by investors, but able to secure funding later because the campaigns demonstrated high interest through the number of contributors.
The Drag Racing Crowd hopes to bring awareness to drag racing through a funding effort that has quickly become a popular means to finance projects. The Drag Racing Crowd is a collective cooperation of people (fans, racers, and businesses) raising money through a network that supports the drag racing community. The intent is to help anyone in the drag racing community with a compelling story and legitimate need to raise funds. Whether they need a little extra money for travel to the next race, have a bad luck situation they are trying to overcome, building a new track, reopening an old one, making a drag racing movie, writing a book, or raising money for a cause, they can reach out through the Drag Racing Crowd. The ultimate goal is to utilize successful campaigns to illustrate the power of the “crowd” to potential sponsors/advertisers as another means to show businesses the impact racers have on the drag racing community and how their support can translate to revenue for their company.
The Drag Racing Crowd is out to prove the drag racing community can take an unconventional approach to fund their hobby by incorporating practices currently being used successfully in other business ventures. It provides a single crowdfunding platform for anyone in the drag racing community to tell their story through words, pictures, and videos. When they have a need to raise funds, they simply submit a proposal, launch a campaign, receive funds, and distribute perks/rewards. Crowdfunding projects are successful because they offer incentives for people to contribute. The type of perk/reward is based on the amount of the contribution.
The Drag Racing Crowd also plans to sell apparel, promotional items, and novelties, as well as purchase advertising to further promote this unique approach of assisting others. Profits will support an aggressive marketing strategy because the more successful this project is, the more money campaigns will be able to raise.
You can visit www.dragracingcrowd.com for additional information, ‘like’ their Facebook page and ‘follow’ them on Twitter. If you have any questions or would like to provide feedback, please email Drag Racing Crowd at firstname.lastname@example.org .
From: Don Garlits Sent: Thursday, January 20, 2011
NHRA Media Center Online: http://media.nhra.com
"Big Daddy" Don Garlits' thoughts on "Fixing the NHRA"
The man voted as the greatest drag racer in the National Hot Rod Association’s
first 50 years has plenty of ideas on how to fix the sport he dominated for nearly
four decades. At 77, ‘Big Daddy’ Don Garlits still spends most of his days tinkering
with race cars and antiques in his garage outside the Drag Racing Hall of Fame in Ocala, Fla. If given the opportunity, he’s more than ready to tinker with the NHRA’s current rules. The NHRA, he says, is in trouble, and he’s right. Quality entries are down, attendance is down at tracks, and there isn’t a whole lot of money being made. Garlits blames the rising expenses, which have priced many teams and drivers out of the sport.
“A lot of us got into drag racing because it was affordable,” he said Wednesday. “Now you have teams that have a $3 million or $5 million budget, where they can just outspend everyone else. They’re the teams that are holding change up. We could easily make the tires smaller and lower the wing and run a lot slower, but they don’t want any part of that.”
Garlits’ biggest problem is that the races themselves have gotten too short. Races were shortened for safety concerns last year from a quarter-mile to 1,000 feet. That shortened the races from about five seconds — still too fast by Garlits’ account — to about 3.5 seconds. The races are too short; three-and-a-half seconds is just not long enough to keep the fans interested,” he said. “Then you have the cars blow engines every race, and then you have to wait another 10 minutes between races to get the oil cleaned up. It’s a bad show.”
Garlits’ ideas are simple and harsh. Make the rear wing smaller and lower it to take away downforce. Have Goodyear build smaller racing tires to take away grip. Disqualify any team that blows an engine and drops oil on the track. The engines right now, if they’d cut them back to about 1,000 or 1,500 horsepower, they would run forever,” he said. “And the problem about slowing the cars down would be solved. It would also bridge the gap between the haves and the have-nots. The competition would be a lot closer, and that’s what’s going to bring the fans back.”
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