Monthly Archives: December 2008

mx to or at pri

You never know who you’ll see at PRI. Ex-MX Champ and current truck racer/event promoter Ricky Johnson, left, was at the Alpinestars booth talking strategy with team owner Steve Barlow, center. Steve owns 2 Red Bull/KMC/Bosch sponsored CORR trucks, drives Pro 4 while RJ handles the Pro 2 truck.

It’s no secret that marketing budgets have been slashed and with them the lifeblood of direct sponsored motor and powersports rides. Broadcast and print budgets have also been hung out to dry. What happens next is anyone’s guess: much will hinge on how quickly new from the ground up marketing models are created.

sales lost – here’s why

Consumer measurement firm J.D. Powers just released the first of a two-part survey on the state of bike sales in today’s dismal economic times. The major metrics focus on negative dealership issues and boil down to price, inventory shortage and experiential¬† issues.

In reverse order, pollsters racked up a disappointment among potential buyers over the ability to test ride, lack of a comprehensive floor plan and the major catchall, pricing and negotiation.

We’ll go one further and list the in-store experience as a major contributor to the above specifics. When a multi-line, multi-location dealership like this local example fails to cover their model lineup – not one dual sport on the floor – while welcoming traffic with a Sam’s Club warehouse environment, what’s to like?

Parking a camo sXs in the grass as a marketing crutch doesn’t exactly cut it in this day and age of consumer first, last and always awareness. Look closely and you’ll see a polypropelene wreath tie-wrapped to the nose. More disguise – who wouldn’t get drawn in by this kind of invisible dimensional drive-by attraction?

green – the new gold standard

More obvious than omnipresent at the 2008 Performance Racing Industry’s show, the greening of the motorsports industry is definitely underway. The Go Green pitch was in the house and awareness of the implications was impossible to ignore.

A new series – Green Prix, no less – debuted. Battery powered laptimes? Not just for RC anymore. The two biggest influences both started with ‘E’ – economy and environment.

This is an easy call – public opinion negatives regarding fossil fuel along with financial realities affecting everyone are going to have an enormous impact on the future of every sanctioning body and every series’ support, starting right now.

pri ’08 – subdued, not somber

I visited the 2008 edition of Performance Racing Industry’s efficient and very well produced trade show this week, not knowing what to expect from the trio formerly known as the Big Three, or how all the rescue plans would or would not impact the show.

Fair to say the mood wasn’t jubilant. On the other hand it wasn’t funerial, either. Impact: aisles were easier to navigate than in previous years and overall the vibes were lukewarm positive.

Between Honda’s pullout from F1 and AMA Superbike, along with rumored large scale corporate cancellations in NASCAR the broader implications of marketing to a mass audience will shock more than a few. We’ll have a web feature up soon and more commenting on the blog.