From: colinginger .....--... AFX-Superbike Championship to Expand in 2012
on 16/09/2011 at 05:01 PM
Any thoughts on how to expand the spectator numbers!? can you give us an idea of the numbers you've recieved over the past few rounds?
Any plans for attracting more spectators.. especially at the last round at Eastern Creek? local advertisement and-or cheap entry!?
It's a great series... but more people at the events would create a better meeting.
When at winton we befriended an old couple who lived not far from the circuit and they only knew the event was on due to the noise. We had extra tickets spare, so they came along for the racing both Sat-Sun and throughly enjoyed themselves. But they also mentioned about the lack of spectators, local advertisement and cost of entry.
I apologise for taking so long to answer your email.
Starting with Winton, we had over 450 radio adverts on four radio stations from Albury to Shepparton. There was also several full pages of advertising in AMCN and banner advert on MCNews.com.au, these last two media outlets are the two highest read and visited motorcycle specialist media outlets in Australia.
So after all that advertising were the spectator numbers good? No they weren't but that is what is happening at present with most motorsport in general.
For example look at the greatly reduced crowds at the V8 events at established tracks, so even Australia's premier domestic motorsport series isn't doing well at present unless they are at street circuits or the icon rounds. We could have spent many tens of thousands on advertising and chances are right now that would not have made a massive difference. When it comes to paying spectators, at present time times are tough.
Re cheaper entry prices, I have been through this plenty of times before and tested this 'cheaper admission prices means more' theory in years gone by and history has shown that dropping prices dramatically doesn't work. It does not get you any more spectators, often it gets you less, either people want to see top end motorcycle racing or they don't. In the first year of IEG running the ASBK, they dropped entry prices from $40 when I ran it to just $25. There actual paying spectators numbers went down from when we ran it. They then increased the prices again the next year, but by then it was to late and the numbers have never recovered from what they were prior to 2009. As a promoter obviously we out of everyone want paying spectators for obvious reasons, but it is going to take time for things to improve and to be frank I don't think they will ever really get back to they way they were. The world has moved on and the vast majority of people today are time poor and aren't prepared to sit on the side of a race track for six or seven hours on a Sunday to watch racing.
In reality now most motorsport fans stay at home and watch their racing on TV and read about it on the net, that is why we keep on working on improving the coverage so more people can see the racing and what brand is winning in what class. Even when crowds were really good at events they were never approaching even ten percent of what would watch your average AFX-SBK 30 minute show and we get four x 30 minute shows per round. For sponsors getting reach to as many people as possible is the most important thing and our TV makes sure our sponsors get just that.
One thing is for sure we have not given up on rebuilding spectators numbers, but that will take time and lots of hard work.
The views and opinions expressed in these pages are strictly those of the authors and cannot be taken to represent the views and opinions of Formula Xtreme Promotions Pty Ltd or the Australasian Superbike Company Pty Ltd (Ausco).