RE Report – February 2012

RALEIGH, NC – (NCRSCCA) – Our season of racing was remarkable, considering the state of the economy. While revenues have been down, our specialty chiefs and other participants have cut costs, so we finished the season with a very small loss. This is great considering we processed a large amount of money through our club in that period of time.

Going into the 13 Hour race, we were low on entries. Our board reacted by removing obstacles some might have encountered trying to enter late. This and other moves helped get more entries into that race, and we wound up having a good number of entries, and having a good race. This helped our bottom line for the season.

Our Annual Banquet is behind us now, and we experienced a new city, a new venue and a new planner this year. Bebe Harrison is to be commended for a great event. Members were commenting favorably about the food all night. The venue, Caffé Luna, is known locally for their food and they reinforced their reputation that night. The awards were impressive and well chosen, also. Thanks go out to Bebe and the staff at Caffé Luna.

Lastly, I ran unopposed for Regional Executive (RE) during the last election, and two other positions were unopposed, also. We need more involvement by our membership, because I know there are members who could do this job better than I do. Please step up. You could try your hand at RE in two years. The job is not as tough as it seems, because of our strong member participation in the important areas. The job of RE needs vision and the desire to improve the club, and this is more important than the day-to-day operations, because these duties are so well handled by others. My hat is off to those others.

Rex T. Deffenbaugh, RE North Carolina Region, SCCA
Work – 919-467-2884  Home – 919-542-1457

Additionally, Blair Stitt’s account of his visit to the National Convention for 2011 is reprinted below:

Regional Leadership Orientation

Some things here were new to me and I want to make sure our membership knows.

On the subject of updating who the RE is on the national website, it is imperative that the old RE update the new one before he eliminates himself as RE. Once he eliminates himself, he no longer is admin on the site, and can’t make changes.

We need to forward a copy of our nonprofit letter to Rick Myers, where he will keep it on file for future reference. This also makes an extra copy kept in a different place for safe keeping. We only get one of these letters, and if it’s lost, it’s hard to replace.

On the subject of marketing assistance, Rick Myers offered a lot of help in many areas. He has the capability of generating many email lists depending on different criteria. Rick said just call him, and he will help – he said this many times throughout the weekend. He also offered many handouts and posters that can be customized by FedEx.

His department (Region Development) has solo promo kits and prospective membership packets he offered to mail. He offered a prospective membership card and holder that could be displayed at car shows and other promotional events. The filled out cards could be mailed to him so he could mail a packet to each prospected member. He also could take a list on a data base form and could mail packets to them. He offered this as a free service to Regions.

He also offered a free sponsor letter template for our use for looking for sponsors.

He said his department could develop a list of media sources in our area, or depending on our requirements, upon request.

I need to check who is authorized to purchase merchandise from National, as I am the only one automatically authorized to.

National is recommending continued use of snail mail for some communication – possibly a post card or magnet with event dates on it.

Membership incentive programs have existed in many forms for some time. One is for individual members and includes credit that can be used for merchandise and dues. Others award the region for retention and acquiring new members. On the National website, look under resources and Region accounting, for details, and a complete list of incentives.

Weekend memberships are more recognizable when using MotorsportReg than with other email blasters. National requires $5 from each weekend membership, but other than that, we can charge anything we want for weekend memberships.

Three email service systems were discussed: Constant Contact, Mail Chimp and MotorsportReg. There are many reasons to use MotorsportReg, and two of them are that Myers’s system works well with them in that they can develop email lists and transfer them easily directly to that system, and their low cost. A setup charge of $25 and 2 – 3 cents per mail is the cost, at the lowest volume pricing. Higher volumes are cheaper. Myers said Constant Contact seems cheaper at first, but then have many up charges not obvious at first. Myers liked MotorsportReg marketing analysis better, also.

Best Practices: Club Racing RE’s and Race Chairs

Some discussion about combining races showed that at least one region was charging $50 for the second set of points if a driver wanted to enter both races combined. At that point, the driver would get all the benefits associated with both races, including trophies.

Another topic was Express Tech. Some Regions are running the gear check part of Tech’s work at the same location as Registration. To accomplish this, another table is set up next to Registration so both services can be performed in the same place, making registration easier and simpler for the customer.

Other Regions are making an online database of logbooks that can be used for Tech at Registration. If this happens, the gear check can be performed at Grid as part of their checks and many Grid personnel are already checking helmet stickers.

Some regions are selling one race group to outside organizations (i.e. Corvette, Porsche and BMW clubs to raise car counts.

Closed BOD/REs

There was more talk about more effective communication. I had the impression that all Region problems would go away if we could communicate more effectively.

I think I caused the most uncomfortable moment of the conference when I brought up the fact that I had attended the Sandhills Sandblast Rally the weekend before and found it alive and healthy. Seven years ago when SCCA dumped Rally from its activities, including this race, I was told these events would be uninsurable within 2 years. This event is insured by the same insurance company we use, and is now run by NASA. I told the BOD that they could help the Regions acquire and keep members by standing more on the side of the membership than the insurance companies.

Street Survival

Bill Wade is the National Program Manager ([email protected] 502-649-4871 www.streetsurvival.org). This program was developed with the help of BMW Club Foundation.

At the Street Survival seminar, I found that 81 schools had been executed in 2010, with 32 done by SCCA, 10 sold out, and 5 new Regions participating. 22 Regions participated and SS’s goal for 2011 was 90 schools. I also found 4 scheduled by the BMW club in our area. I plan to attend the next one to be conducted at the old Sanford airport on 2/11/11.

SS was in the process of starting an “Ambassador” program to help organize more events. I found that the minimal space required was about 600 feet by 800 feet. Rick Myers has presentation tools that can help show a prospective sight manager what SS is, what is required, and what liabilities are. Possible sources for students are high schools, PTA, school counselors, churches, and Scout Troops. It’s important to know that kids do not want to attend – it must be sold to the parents. The kids love it after they attend, but don’t want any part of it before. Ages are 15 to 20 and aspects of driving covered include threshold braking, lane change, regular and irregular slalom, an air bag demo, and skid pad (wet with Dawn detergent), a tractor/trailer parked with cars placed in blind spots so the kids can climb into the cab and see what the driver sees. Law enforcement can make presentations about alcohol and driving, texting and how to handle being pulled over by police. Judges have been approached about forcing convicted drivers to attend, but this didn’t work well because they might require a class when none is scheduled, or forcing a class with only a few attendees.

Sponsorship can be developed for lunches and other costs or services from volunteer fire departments, American Legion, Lions Clubs, Rotary Clubs and other social organizations. Other sponsors have been Subway, Coke/Pepsi and sponsors get a tax donation letter after event.

A good size class is 25 to 30 students with 15 instructors (class is split in half, half the number of students are needed for instructors). Tire Rack uses their PR group (Brandware) to publicize the event 1 week before the event to help with the next one. This will be an all-day event. Cars should be restricted to those with low rollover risks as recommended by www.safercars.gov, 2004 or newer cars, as there is no real tech. Each instructor is asked to look over the cars for safety and compressed air is made available on sight.

Michelin Tire will provide $500 for venue rent. There is no cost for insurance or sanction. $150 is paid to BMW Club to license, and leftover revenues go to the club. Costs to student are $75.

Managing online communications – Email, Facebook, Twitter

This meeting was conducted by Brian Ghidinelli of MotorsportReg ([email protected]), and got a little technical for such an unaccomplished communicator as I, but I will hit the highlights. Brian and Jeff Eng had communicated in the past and should again, in light of recent changes.

These pages have “analytic tags” which allow performance evaluation. It is recommended that email blasts be limited so they won’t be ignored.

Facebook – The page should be updated regularly, because if not, it goes dead. A dead page is a negative over no page at all – don’t let it go stagnant.

Twitter – Is newer than Facebook, but news comes faster, and is first hand. Posts limited to 140 characters – there are 190 million visitors per month. Twitter feeds can be streamed live to conferences and is simpler than phones, but is text message capable.

Flicker – For photos – can supply photos for you to use on your site, etc., after you join.

YouTube – Use videos on YouTube on your site. Many are posted after a race weekend. Find tips at YouTube’s site. An example of a good banner is sfrscca.com.

“Hash tag” ties them all together – I’m lost here.

Combining events

Regions are combining events like schools and PDX’s, PDX’s and Club Trials. “Rationals” are the result of combining a National and a Regional race on the same weekend. This counts for one race for licensing purposes. The National and Regional race are run at the same time and are the same length.

Blair “Pepe” Stitt, SEDiv NCR/SARRC/ECR Representative

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