APG – newsletter #3 – is it March already (finally)?

It won’t be long now before all those jobs that didn’t get done last fall will reappear from under the snow – STILL not done! Plus the snow gremlins will have been at work pulling down fences, splitting pipes and wreaking all sorts of havoc. But once the sun is shining and the temperature climbs back up it won’t look all that bad.
Productivity is what we all need to get through the work. The bit about post it notes caught my attention in this item “You’ll never have a sink full of dirty dishes if you follow Toyota’s productivity secret”  http://qz.com/183999/how-toyotas-productivity-guru-and-thousands-of-post-it-notes-changed-my-life/
Todd Cuban has an interesting take on what we should offer for the spectator experience at sports events . If you don’t know who he is, Cuban made his fortune selling out to Yahoo and parlayed that into a bigger fortune with professional sports teams and new media investments . He is an outspoken and original thinker. http://blogmaverick.com/2014/02/23/my-2-cents-on-sports-marketing-and-what-i-learned-from-smu-basketball-this-week/
There is general agreement that our sport is not doing anything significantly different from what we were doing 10 years ago.  When we are ready to start thinking big here are some great examples of companies redefining the business of athletic entertainment. ” THE WORLD’S TOP 10 MOST INNOVATIVE COMPANIES IN SPORTS” http://www.fastcompany.com/3026313/most-innovative-companies-2014/the-worlds-top-10-most-innovative-companies-in-sports
Ever been frustrated by the failure of you emails to reach their intended audience? Sometimes you need to pause and think really carefully about what they see at their end. Here are some great tips on how to write subject lines (and yes I went though it to compose the subject of this email) http://www.fastcompany.com/3026313/most-innovative-companies-2014/the-worlds-top-10-most-innovative-companies-in-sports
With motocross so closely aligned with energy drink marketing it seems prudent that the sport should have a policy and message in place for damage control given the continuous stream of media critique.  The day that the main stream media links something nasty to energy drinks and mx every track owner will get getting calls from the press seeking comments on whatever it is they have latched onto. Hemming and harring will not be an appropriate response. http://www.vocativ.com/underworld/drugs/new-teen-gateway-drug-energy-drinks-secret-ingredients/
One of the frustrations of being self employed is being spread so thin that nothing gets done properly . At some point you will need to prioritize , refocus and delegate to move forward.An interesting way to frame that decision point is too ask the question “When do you feel the strongest at work?”
Just when you have started to believe the gloom and doomsters you read this

“Construction crews have started clearing land in Punta Gorda for the future Florida Tracks & Trails facility. Twenty-six miles of leisure trails for ATVs, go carts and motorbikes. Bike tracks for Motocross races. A 40-acre paintball park. A 15,000-seat amphitheater that will host major national musical acts. A man-made recreational lake complete with cabanas and white sandy beaches. All that and more will be packed into the sprawling Florida Tracks, Trails and Entertainment complex in Punta Gorda. Construction recently started on the 1,000-acre “adventure park” on Burmont Road, and organizers say it could open as soon as the end of the year — barring bad weather and other delays. Organizers envision the place coming alive every Thursday through Sunday with the buzz of ATVs and motorcycles, the splat of paintball guns and the sounds of live bands in the amphitheater.”

If you were to believe the scuttlebut then Red Bull blew their sponsorship wad on the Sochi Olympics   –  did you notice that Red Bull has also fired up the Red Bull Air Race World Championship again after a few years hiatus?   And a point of interest is that a leading contender this year is a Canadian from London Ontario,  Pete McLeod !  http://www.redbullairrace.com/en_INT/article/introducing-pete-mcleod

Watching the Olympic athletes try and win and fail was inspiring and captivating . A reminder that to succeed in our sports, our  lives and our businesses …

“You have to do the hard things. The things that no one else is doing. The things that scare you. The things that make you wonder how much longer you can hold on.” http://www.businessinsider.com/hard-things-you-need-to-do-to-be-successful-2014-1

This newsletter is part of the greater plan for  the Allied Promoters Group to advance our collective business practices and the sport of motocross through communication and collaboration. It will be a highlight reel of current issues relevant to the APG members (in the opinion of your humble editor ) and business profiles . Any feedback on the concept or submissions for content would be welcomed chris@waltonraceway.ca

Until next time …

APG newsletter # 2

Preamble: This newsletter is part of the greater plan for  the Allied Promoters Group to advance our collective business practices and the sport of motocross through communication and collaboration. It will be a highlight reel of current issues relevant to the APG members (in the opinion of your humble editor ) and business profiles . Any feedback on the concept or submissions for content would be welcomed chris@waltonraceway.ca
After a few weeks of power outages, internet interruptions, blizzards and ice storms it is a great time of the year for some introspection – how did 2013 really go, what can be learned from it and where what are our goals for 2014. Some key questions to ask , whether about the APG or our businesses.
1) What is the single biggest untapped opportunity that we have not capitalized on as a enterprise?
 2) What is the single biggest risk that you worry could disrupt our future momentum if we fail to address it?
3) What is the one thing we could do to screw it all up in the first year of APG?
Much as we we speak of pro level sports success being mostly mental so to are the aptitudes of winning independent business people. Here is a good refresher list of mental habits to build on
13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do
1. They Don’t Waste Time Feeling Sorry for Themselves
2. They Don’t Give Away Their Power
3. They Don’t Shy Away from Change
4. They Don’t Waste Energy on Things They Can’t Control
5. They Don’t Worry About Pleasing Everyone
6. They Don’t Fear Taking Calculated Risks
7. They Don’t Dwell on the Past
8. They Don’t Make the Same Mistakes Over and Over
9. They Don’t Resent Other People’s Success
10. They Don’t Give Up After the First Failure
11. They Don’t Fear Alone Time
12. They Don’t Feel the World Owes Them Anything
13. They Don’t Expect Immediate Results
But at the same time maintain some balance “Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. You name them – work, family, health, friends and spirit … and you’re keeping all of these in the air. You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls – family, health, friends and spirit – are made of glass. If you drop one of these they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or even shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for balance in your life.” Brian Dyson,  former CEO of Coca Cola  http://www.virgin.com/richard-branson/juggling-life#!
#DIDYOUKNOW For the year end review you may want to know how the industry is performing nationally. Download the 2012 The Canadian Annual Industry Statistics Report Summary from MMIC . The 2013 stats will be up in a month or so, meanwhile … Over one hundred and three thousand new units of motorcycles, scooters and ATVs plus parts and accessories were sold during 2012 at an estimated retail value of one billion, four hundred and fifty-seven million dollars ($1,457,028,000). ATVs accounted for 50.94 percent of total new units sold while motorcycles and scooters made up the remaining 49.06 percent. By dollar value, new motorcycle sales accounted for 48.67 percent of the total retail value of sales and new ATV sales accounted for 51.33 percent of the total retail value of new unit sales. In 2012, 71.18 percent of new motorcycle and scooter retail sales occurred in the spring and summer from April to September inclusive, and 28.82 percent in the fall and winter combined. New retail sales for ATVs in 2012 were 60.18 percent in the spring and summer from April to September inclusive, and 39.82 percent in the fall and winter combined. There were approximately 1085 authorized motorcycle dealers and 875 authorized all-terrain vehicle dealers across Canada in 2012. http://www.mmic.ca/content.asp?ContentId=1058
#IDEA – How about a motocross Fan Hall of Fame ?? e.g. When it comes to recognizing the fans who do the most for the sports they love, ESPN is selecting inductees to the Fan Hall of Fame for a second year in a row. The recognition provides a hat tip to the voices that help lift the lovers of these teams to whole new levels. http://mashable.com/2013/12/18/espn-fan-hall-of-fame-metrics/
In planning marketing strategies it is definitely time to reflect on what we learned about mobile video in 2013 and think about what we need to know for 2014. It has been a watershed year for the advertising industry as a whole, but especially for those in the mobile video ad space. What We Learned About Mobile Video Advertising In 2013 http://adage.com/article/adcolony/mobile-video-heat/245743/#%211.We learned video is currently the fastest growing ad format in mobile, and mobile is the fastest growing channel across all digital ad spending. Mobile advertising is expected to blow past desktop by 2017, with much of this growth catalyzed by mobile video.
2. We learned mobile is 20 percent of global Internet traffic, and ad views on mobile devices tripled year-over-year. Eyeballs are shifting to mobile at an astounding rate.
The whole energy drink industry is under pressure to amend it’s marketing tactics and submit to increased regulation . The end result may have profound impacts on our sports sponsorships in coming years  and is something to keep an eye on http://www.pe.com/business/business-headlines/20131216-industry-monsters-countersuit-tossed-out.ece

Rogers Communications Inc. has signed a new broadcast deal for NHL rights in Canada that will give them exclusive rights to all NHL games, on all platforms for the next 12 years. The deal effectively shuts out TSN, its chief rival, from NHL hockey games. So is it possible TSN may look to motorsports to fill the vacated air time especially with the success of SX and outdoor mx in the USA. The value of the broadcast rights and associated sponsorships could be leveraged in our favour.  http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/hockey/what-does-the-new-rogers-deal-mean-for-hockey-fans/article15600779/

When you get your staff together for the year end strategic review … there’s nothing more annoying than a meeting that goes on and on and on. As a manager, it’s your job to make sure people don’t go off on tangents or give endless speeches. But how can you keep people focused without being a taskmaster or squashing creativity? The Harvard review has a good guide here
http://blogs.hbr.org/2013/12/the-seven-imperatives-to-keeping-meetings-on-track/Even seemingly solid sponsor relationships can shift – look no further than Rocky Mountain ATV/MC has announced that it will partner with MX Sports and join the AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship presented by AMSOIL as the title sponsor. http://www.mxsports.com/articles/2190_rocky-mountain-atvmc-as-title-sponsor
Until next time …

APG newsletter #1

Preamble: This newsletter is proposed as part of the greater plan for  the Allied Promoters Group to advance our collective business practices and the sport of motocross through communication and collaboration. It will be a highlight reel of current issues relevant to the APG members (in the opinion of your humble editor ) and business profiles . This will be sent out on a bi-weekly basis during the offseason. Circulation will be limited to APG members but will not include sensitive internal topics. Frequency will drop to monthly during race season. The format is to be simple text, minimal comment with links to topics of interest.
Any feedback on the concept or submissions for content would be welcomedchris@waltonraceway.ca
I am considered archiving these newsletters in a Google group, Linkedin group, WordPress blog or facebook group to encourage ongoing comments and expanded discussion. I would be interested in knowing if this met with approval, interest or any preference of content. chris@waltonraceway.ca
Congratulations to all involved in getting the APG to this point. It is certainly a milestone in the progression of the sport. I have been involved as an organizer since 1970 and rate this as one of half dozen significant pivot points in the evolution of motocross in Canada over that span of time.
Content:  Issue #1 December 2013
1. We have all marvelled as  MotoGP racers walk away from high speed crashes. The credit goes to well engineered track design and to the riders equipment. Who would have thought competitive riders would be wearing airbags? And that these would be available off the shelf as retail items!  http://www.pidcock.com/pages/news/pidcocknews/alpinestars-tech-air-race-suit–reduced-price-online.htm The question is, how soon will we see these designs being tested and available for offroad racers and what ‘impact’ will that have on our racer community.

2. Canada’s new Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) Bill C-28 is taking effect in July 1 2014. Anyone maintaining any kind of customer database needs to be aware of new restrictions and the steps they need to take to ensure continued marketing success.

CASL will impact anyone marketing to Canadian consumers.  http://www.business2community.com/trends-news/4-questions-canadas-new-anti-spam-legislation-0683077#qmutpQvuQ550FbeL.99

3. With the year end approaching it is a great time to pause and reflect on the nature and direction of our respective businesses. As motocross enthusiasts we tend to view what we do as ‘running races’. I would offer we are in fact operators of ‘Tourism Destinations’ and are part of the business of Sports Tourism. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tourism#Sports_tourism
  • The Canadian tourism sector employs over 600,000 people.
  • It generated $22.7 billion in government revenue for 2011.
  • It accounted for 2% of Canada’s 2011 GDP.

Recent research by Deloitte has found strong links between an increase in tourism — whether it’s for business or pleasure — and growth in Canadian exports. In other words, strengthening tourism can have a positive impact on Canadian companies and the economy overall.   http://www.deloitte.com/report
Take advantage of resources such as this
Festivals & Events Ontario will be producing the 2014 edition of the Festivals & Events in Ontario Guide, in partnership with the Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation (OTMPC). This one-of-a-kind consumer publication is the ultimate source for festival and event listings throughout Ontario.
This digest-sized, easy to carry, full-colour publication will have a 12-month shelf-life and will list festivals and events taking place from April 1, 2014 to March 31, 2015. Distribution of 250,000 copies is scheduled to begin early March 2014 and will be available for download in a web edition on the www.ontariotravel.net and www.festivalsandeventsontario.ca websites.
Deadline date to submit your events online has been EXTENDED to Friday, December 13, 2013
Thinking this way and presenting our business in this manner has the potential to open new doors of general support, sponsorship, government programs and broader fan base. Just as Richard Branson writes about creating your own marketplace ….

Just a few years ago entrepreneurs around the world who dared to combine social cause with commercial activity were often locked out of the market place because they didn’t fit the cookie-cutter business model. That model is changing rapidly as consumers are becoming far more savvy and socially minded. Entrepreneurs are starting to say, Well if there is no place for me in the existing market I’ll just create my own’.”  http://www.virgin.com/richard-branson/creating-your-own-market-place#!

4. By way of example Walton Raceway has engaged various partners through Ontario’s  FIT energy program to open a new event centre in 2012.  http://fit.powerauthority.on.ca/what-feed-tariff-program . In 2011 , partnering with Ducks Unlimitewww.ducks.ca , the federal Green Plan initiative and local conservation auhorities, there was a wetland development adjoining the motocross track which includes bicycle and foot paths for visitors.
5. Congratulations are in order to Gopher Dunes as their race team has completed a deal to put past national champ Colton Facciotti on Honda Canada sponsored CRF450s for the 2014 season. www.facebook.com/Team-Honda-Canada-GDR
6. Something to recall on those days when you question your own good judgement for pursuing this enterprise

Nelson Mandela once said that “Sport has the power to change the world…it has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair. It is more powerful than government in breaking down racial barriers.”  http://internationalpoliticalforum.com/nelson-mandela-sport-has-the-power-to-change-the-world/