THE Cub Report 05.17.09, Version- Over Optimistic
Most of my “industry insider” friends often accuse me of being overly optimistic. For some strange reason, I have some grandiose vision of our sport rising up to near mainstream levels. Most industry insiders, while their standard of living would be greatly increased by this happening, never see this occurring. They’ve been in this industry so long, they’ve seen so many people come and go, seen so many fads and trends, seen the next big thing become boring and stale so many times. They’ve just seen so many things, and none of them has ever been a huge leap in sales or a widespread acceptance of our sport by the mainstream.
I think it is possible for huge leaps. I say this because millions upon millions of “toy grade” rc’s are sold every year through the big box stores. Every child growing up in America has had at least one “toy grade” rc car in their lives, and they loved them! There are lots of things that keep consumers from making the jump from loving their “toy grade” car when they are 8 years old to finding joy and happiness their entire lives from “hobby grade” cars. The list is long, and includes everything from competition from other hobbies, to lack of local hobby shops, to simply forgetting how much fun there is to be had behind the wheel of nice Futaba radio wheeling around the latest X-Ray 8th scale nitro buggy.
Getting national exposure can never be bad for our sport. Putting our sport in front of as many “out of the sport” eyes as possible can only help bring new people in. Traxxas has perhaps made the biggest leap in our sports history with their title sponsorship of Rick “Too Hip” Johnson’s TORC series. This will expose “hobby grade” rc trucks to millions of people, people that already dig full size off road trucks and racing, and just might remember their good days with “toy grade”. Seeing “hobby grade” at a TORC race, or on the TORC tv coverage, might very well lure them back to the world of rc. In my eyes, Traxxas cutting the big check to be title sponsor of the TORC series is a huge leap in the right direction for the marketing side of our sport, for our entire sport, not just for Traxxas.
I’ve mulled over for years just what might take the rc racing side of our hobby to the next level- a level industry insiders consider impossible to achieve. I’m saying right here and right now, we are witnessing that just starting to happen with Traxxas and the RC Pro Series hosting rc racing at the TORC series.
The RC Pro Series has paid out massive cubic dollars in the past to host their nitro finals in good sized 10,000+ seat arenas. But while the racing may have been great at those venues, the stands were empty. It’s hard to get anyone to make a trip to watch rc cars race. Cars that can barely be seen at a long distance, and even if you can see them, as a “out of the sport” spectator, you’d be hard pressed to know what’s going on or which car is actually winning. The new races that Traxxas and RC Pro Series are holding in conjunction with the TORC events is taking rc racing to the spectators. The races aren’t going to be of super high level this year, with pretty much stock Slashs being raced, and not many top tier drivers in attendance. But, in the future, if you can’t find 20,000 spectators to show up to watch a national level rc event, taking those events to a willing and ready crowd at a 1:1 venue is a genius way of adding respect for our sports most prestigious events. If someone is racing for a national championship, he really should be doing it in front of more than 100 spectators.
One last note before I go. Last weeks Cub Report generated a record amount of email responses, nearly all of them good! Thanks for reading and giving us your feedback.
That’s it for this week. Support your sport, hit your local tracks and hobby shops!
Your Cub Reporter