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  1. In Topic: Be the Solution

    Posted 30 Dec 2017

    Guys,

    I found this article several years ago. It was written by Mandee Pauch who is a big racing fan and PR blogger. She still tweets even today check her out. I saved this article because I thought someday when I'm rich & famous I'm buying a track (I-70 in MO is on my list) and this will be my instruction manual, because she absolutely nails it both in identifying the problems AND developing solutions (Dick, #3, #9, #39, #83 and especially #41 :biggrin:/>/> are for you). It's long and I get that most promoters don't have the attention span to get through these, but here goes again. Are these really that hard??

    85 Ideas Every Racetrack Should Try

    Now, I’m not saying racetracks should do these every single week, but they should at least give these a good hard look and try some…

    1) Each track should have its own drivers committee. Meet up once a month or every other month; go over rules, procedures, schedules, questions, what can be improved… It would be beneficial for both the track and the drivers so they can make it best for everyone.

    2) Have heat winner dashes or match races. Do the top winners or top two in each heat. Give the fans a little excitement, something different than the normal every week routine.

    3) Have a family pack…$40 family pack, you get two adult tickets and either 3 senior or 3 student tickets, 5 hotdogs and 5 sodas. It’s expensive anymore to bring your family to the races so why not offer a family pack.

    4) Every racetrack should have their promoter sit in the stands at least once a month to see what it’s like from their fans perspective.

    5) Work with a local car wash to get discounts for fans to get their car washed. Nobody likes a dirty car after the races!

    6) Have twin twenties, triple twenties, four twenties… Have someone sponsor the features offering bonus money for anyone that wins them all.

    7) Put a fan in the pace truck to pace the laps for a feature. How many fans have actually seen a race from inside the track?

    8) Always thank your drivers. That can go a long way!

    9) Every hour over a four-hour program you should give a discount towards next weeks ticket. Not everybody wants to be at the track all night.

    10) Have driver interactions with the fans. At Action Track USA I always like to involve the kids with our redraw or any games. When our drivers throw frisbees into the stands I have them sign it. If that driver wins, whoever caught the frisbee with their autograph can go into victory lane.

    11) Pay outs should be posted before the race.

    12) Introduce the drivers to the fans in front of the stands at least once a year. It helps the fans put a face to the name. You’d be surprised how many people don’t know who’s behind the wheel.

    13) You should guarantee your customers a discount for the following week (must bring wristband) if your intermission goes over 30 minutes. They paid to see races, not watch the grader go around the track.

    14) Cross promote with other racetracks. Help each other out.

    15) Offer county discounts one night. Have Hunterdon County night at the track or if you’re from a specific town, give them a discount or get in for free. Must show proof.

    16) Have Military night, First Responders night, etc., Give thanks by letting them in for free.

    17) Throw a party for your fans once a year or have a fan appreciation night letting them in for free.

    18) Destroy Car fund / Flip Fund– get a sponsor to put in an x amount a week.. Wrack up the money towards it. Then if a driver wrecks their car bad enough you can offer them some money. It helps out the driver that wrecked, say “We’ll give you money to help you out if you come back next week.” The promoter would obviously have to draw the line because people may argue who should get it, etc. These drivers support your track, shouldn’t you support them?

    19) Try Delaware style restarts one night, one car starts by himself in the front row then second and third are the first row to be double file. Make things a little interesting rather than the same old usual.

    20) Call 50/50 before the feature. People end up leaving early to beat the traffic, some can’t stay late, etc.

    21) If a driver runs two different divisions and they win both divisions, give them a bonus.

    22) Take a hard look at your bathrooms once a year.

    23) Topless night. Have the cars run without their roofs. It’s different and the fans will be able to see more of the drivers and inside the cars.

    24) Involve the fans in victory lane. Have it behind the stands, allow them to be in pictures, come on the track, etc. Let them congratulate their drivers! Maybe hand out checkered flags to the kids for the driver to sign.

    25) Tracks should make two trophies, one for the driver and one for the driver to give to a fan.

    26) Pit gates should be open to the fans within ten minutes the races are over. Nobody wants to wait a long time to go in the pits afterwards.

    27) Promote a rivalry between drivers. Fans feed off of that.

    28) Give a fan the chance to meet a driver, sit in their car, see their trailer, meet their crew, etc.

    29) Give the neighbors surrounding the track free passes to get in for a night.

    30) Reward those that go weekly to your track. They are your diehards; they come week in and week out. You should thank them, give them a free pass, so much off, a free shirt, a hot dog, you get the gist.

    31) Have a community night at the track. All businesses in the community of your track are welcome to set up a table for their business behind the stands. They can have activities, hand stuff out, pamphlets, etc.

    32) Have a fan get the chance to be on a pit crew for the night.

    33) Be pet friendly!

    34) Give a tour through the pits.

    35) Make your employees have a smile on their face. Who wants to pay $20 to someone behind the window with an attitude? Give a smile! It goes a long way!

    36) Have a suggestion box / suggestion page. Always ask for input. What will it hurt?

    37) Do a nostalgia night to racing. Bring in racing legends, an appreciation to our racing history. Make special posters for the fans to get autographed as well.

    38) Have a future drivers night. Allow younger kids to bring in their cars, display them and take a couple laps around the track.

    39) Try having just a three-division show. Don’t go overboard with six divisions in one night.

    40) Every track should evaluate their tracks food menu and quality.

    41) Let senior citizens in at half price.

    42) Hand out gas cards (have games or hand out to whoever came the farthest!).

    43) Have a fan wave the green flag for a feature.

    44) If a driver brings an x amount of people one night they should receive a free pass. They can only receive one free pass a year.

    45) Pay out to your drivers every night.

    46) Make a point to update social media on a timely basis.

    47) Make a decision on canceling within an x amount of the start time if there is a chance of bad weather in the forecast.

    48) Work with local schools to show kids what racing is all about.

    49) Top ten in points should get first choice of parking spots for the following year.

    50) Try to make victory lane timely efficient.

    51) Treat your drivers fairly. No favoritism.

    52) Have things for kids to do and play with such as a playground, a kids club, basketball, football, games, etc.

    53) Create an e-mail list for weekly updates.

    54) Every track should have ice cream! (I couldn’t leave that one out)

    55) Have a loyalty pass for your loyal fans. If you come for an x amount of weeks you can receive a free pass.

    56) Have an information booth/person. Have someone people can go to ask questions; what’s the schedule, what’s racing, where to go, where the bathrooms are, etc., so people are aware of what’s happening. First timers are always full of questions.

    57) Give each race team an x amount of schedules so they can hand them out at their business or to friends and family.

    58) Give heat race points, it’ll make the drivers work for their position or accommodate them for winning the heat with money, points, free pit pass for the following week, etc.

    59) Each track should have a set up area where drivers can sell their t-shirts like a t-shirt alley so everyone is aware of where to find them.

    60) For those that love to gamble. Have fans bet on who they think the top 5 finish will be in the feature. Have them bet an x amount (or have a sponsor put up the money), if someone gets the top 5 correct they win, if someone has the top 5 but in a different order they get an x amount, and so on. Half of the money goes towards the winner and the other half can go towards a charity. If nobody wins it can roll over to the following week.

    61) Have a family section in the stands where alcohol is prohibited.

    62) Make sure to have your line-up on the board before you call your drivers to the track.

    63) Your headline division should go first.

    64) Hand out the schedule of events when drivers enter the pits.

    65) Have the raceceiver frequency listed on the schedule.

    66) If your speaker system isn’t very good in the pits, have someone go through the pits announcing what’s going on the track next or use a blow horn warning everyone so nobody misses their heat, feature, etc.

    67) Offer a gamblers fee for a special show.

    68) Have an autograph session for the fans before the races or during intermission.

    69) Don’t make your drivers have to run the track in. Do you ever see sprint cars having to go out and run the track in? It’s ready for them when they get there. Tracks have equipment for a reason. Your drivers shouldn’t have to run it in.

    70) Make sure your track has a sufficient amount of tow trucks.

    71) Have a ‘run whatcha brung’ race. Bring back the ingenuity of racing.

    72) Let the fans decide on a show. Have them vote early in the season or pre-season to when they’d like to have a special show, for example on July 4th or Labor Day (giving options). Announce each week what the tallies are then at the end of the voting announce the wining date.

    73) Have a big end of the year show and make it an annual event.

    74) Have a retro themed t-shirt night. The oldest racing t-shirt can win a prize or a free pass. Themed nights!

    75) Offer a higher purse for those that start farther back in the feature. For example, if you start 16th, instead of the purse being $2,500 it’ll be $2,600 or if you start 18th it’ll be $2,700 if you win. Give the drivers that are putting on a show for you a little extra for coming through from the back.

    76) Make sure to have a program for people to read. Have the points listed, pictures, stories, last weeks results, etc.

    77) If you have a program, have a picture of each division that runs at your track (maybe the recent champions). Under each picture explain the difference between them such as the motor size, the chassis, the weight, etc. It will help give your fans more of an understanding of the difference between each division.

    78) Have a ‘fan of the week’ or a ‘driver of the week’ in your weekly program book. The fans love to see people they know in the program and learn about the different drivers.

    79) Have special shows on holidays such as Easter, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, etc.

    80) Have a night where you open the pits early to the fans before the races start so they can walk around, see what it’s like in the pits, visit their drivers, maybe do a meet and greet with some drivers and fans.

    81) Make sure your track has wheel chair accessible areas.

    82) Have your employees look professional. Make them wear the track shirts or have all of your employees wearing the same shirt. They shouldn’t wear any driver’s shirts. If you work at a racetrack you shouldn’t show any favoritism, even if your job is simply taking peoples tickets at the front gate.

    83) Always be consistent with your track rules. If you plan on changing them (not in the middle of the season) make sure everyone is aware of the changes.

    84) If you do drawings or re-draws make sure it is fair and in front of everyone so nobody can question it.

    85) Have your track sponsor package include sponsorship to one of your regulars. Let’s say Herrs for instance sponsors your track, as part of their sponsorship package they will also provide sponsorship to one of your track regulars. You’re not only helping yourself but you’re helping one of your loyal drivers.

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