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What attracts you to a race?(3 posts)

What attracts you to a race?moneyman
Jun 5, 2002 2:14 PM
For the past three years I have been pretty deeply involved in the foundation established by a certain Texan who has had a modicum of success in a bike race in France. My involvement has been raising money for the foundation, and over the next 18 months I'll raise some more.

I am thinking of having a criterium in Cheyenne, Wyoming next May to raise money and awareness of the foundation and its mission. I will be able to put some sponsors together to provide cash, prizes and promotional materials. I am politically-connected enough in Cheyenne to get the logistics of a crit done, but I need your help with one small item:

What's the best way to attract racers?

I don't want to hold a race and have no one show up. What would entice you to come to a crit in a far-off windy land? Cheyenne is less than two hours from Boulder and/or Denver, and only 45 minutes from Fort Collins. Would it make a difference if you knew that all proceeds were to go to said foundation? What about if we had some cycling celebrities? Raffles for very cool cycling prizes? Big race purses? Trophies?

Your help is greatly appreciated.

Matt "moneyman" Potter
Cheyenne, WY
all of the above and...lonefrontranger
Jun 5, 2002 2:46 PM
I'd say that a decent prize list (perhaps $3500 total) will haul 'em outa the woodwork, because the ACA "bucket" is pretty slim pickings. The key thing is to make sure you're not conflicting with anything on the ACA calendar, ESPECIALLY BAR/BAT races because the Front Range teams live and die by their points standings. This will be your primary challenge, because they pretty much monopolize everything from April through August.

Don't go too late in the season, the racers in this region all seem to labor under the belief that the racing season ends on July 1, and promoters have a heck of a time pulling decent fields any time after that date

Crappy pavement and unsafe conditions on a crit course will do more to damage your reputation than a meager prize list and inattentive staff. I heard a lot of folks swearing they'd *never* race City Park again after this year's debacle.

Races grow in popularity and attendance through the "grapevine", so unless you have the means and tolerant sponsors, don't hang a huge budget out there expecting great attendance your first year. Expect moderate turnouts on the inaugural event, and if you do a good job of holding the event and the word spreads that it's a quality affair, they will show up in droves afterward. The Platte Bridge Stage Race is a good example; if he settles on Memorial Day Weekend I think his attendance will only continue to grow.

Remember that the Front Range is ACA-driven, so if you hold a USCF event remember that's asking about 70-80% of the participants to spend an extra $5 on a one-day license.

Bottom line: Publicity, publicity, publicity. Post event listings on every event calendar you can get your grubby little hands on, and budget the couple hundred extra bucks to do a direct mailing to all licensed racers in the region. I was a promoter in the Midwest, so feel free to contact me for additional ideas: beth@chinkes.com

For more information on the ACA, surf to http://www.americancycling.org
My 2 cents:shirt
Jun 5, 2002 3:32 PM
Well, I'm not coming as it's over 1,000 miles, but I always look for a Masters 35+ 4/5 race. In other words, the more you break up the races, the more attractive they are. This will make more work for you, the organizer, but you'll pull all of the sandbaggers out of the woodwork. I don't care about the prize list, I just want to know that I stand a decent chance of placing.

/shirt