View Full Version : From a sponsers point of view

T. Adams
09-10-2002, 05:54 PM
I'm on my way to Reno on Friday, and I'll enjoy it no matter how many planes are racing.

But say your a potential sponser of this race, or a racers potential sponser. It looks like now that maybe up to 4 of the top Gold contender airplanes are out of the picture. If I look at this from a sponser point of view I would not be happy. I realize this takes an obscene amount of money, and an even more obscene amount to have spare parts and engines. If I'm a sponser of the race or your airplanes primary sponser I would have to ask what your backup plan is if you blow a motor. Sitting the race out would not be an acceptable answer. I don't know the answer, but this does not make the sport look good.

I'll enjoy myself regardless, because if it has wings, it's cool to me, but something needs to be done.

09-10-2002, 07:24 PM
Unlimited racing for warbirds cannot be sustained. Planes are too rare and valuable, parts supply drying up and rebuild time too long. How can a sport survive when it takes a competitor up to 2 years to rebuild an engine? (how long since you saw Dreadnaught?) No way a sponsor would go near that. I fear Unlimited racing will soon turn into an exhibition race only, for warbirds anyway.

Sure hope I'm wrong.

09-10-2002, 09:21 PM
In the 1980's many people had the money to race unlimited with their own money.Airline pilots(low dig end) to multi millionaires(trucking,high finance,developers,industry)fielded airplanes or multi airplane teams.This was when these airplanes were relatively cheap and parts were still available.Now there were some good sponsors to be had and some did the sport some good,Lyle Shelton probably reaped the most of a good sponsor in 1986-1991 and it showed, in that they won 4 times in a row.
Money is now short.Airshow acts that had multi-million dollar contracts with big corporations 2 years ago, suddenly were told the contracts would not be renewed.No more Toyota ,1800Collect,etc.Airshow acts get more exposure than air racing so they got the aviation money.
So now what we are seeing is the result of not having either,1)Tons of individual funds,or 2)sponsorship funds.
Strega is Bill Destefani's own airplane with him paying the bills.He has one engine and thats it.If it breaks, they go home.If he had had a 1 million dollar sponsor,he would have had three engines and it would have looked great to you .
Lets say owner of Mustang XYZ has a business that allows 1 million dollars to be spent on air racing.He has three engines and wins.This guy can afford to be prepared for any contingency and look good on Sunday.
In this financial era the mood is conservative and until it improves, the idea of a sponsorship is not likely.It was not likely ever though, because aviation is not mainstream.Are you a pilot?If not, you are one of the reasons aviation is not mainstream.You do not participate in the act of flying.Do you drive a car? Well then you are more likely to understand and appreciate auto racing.And this is why auto racing is popular.Sponsors think so too, so they give their money to the organization that shows more races. That brings us to our biggest problem in air racing:the number of races.Exposure.There is one race and that is it.
At one time,however, there was a chance for air racing to have a multi- city circuit of races.A group was formed, headed by a man from Dallas.He dared to change the air racing world and prepared to do battle with RARA. He proposed that to make air racing survive ,teams should be rewarded with cash.RARA was very unfamiliar with this concept and made a lot of noise,but some Bakersfield boys said ,"I like this idea" and started to spread the word around that this was a good thing.
One thing led to another and this Dallas man was on his way to Kansas City,Miami,Cleveland,and other cities to meet with sponsors and had their attention.RARA was saying "Hey,what is going on" and this Dallas guy told them he thought Reno was the perfect topper to a 5 city circuit.He said,"You guys can be the crown jewel if you play ball.First, I want to be the sole sanctioning body of air racing, speed records and licensing of air racing. In return ,I would not have a race unless a minimum amount of money is present.In escrow,on hand by a certain date guaranteed."
This money was to provide a minimum level of prize money high enough to lure people to participate in the sport.The teams were awarded show money when they arrived,and the winner was to earn a minimum of 120,000 dollars.Does this make you think everyone was on the band wagon?
No way.Egos were bruised,"How can this guy be the sanction when I've been doing this longer. NAA is the sanction for US aerosports." And the one that didn't want the Dallas man to succeed was one of Unlimited's own.So he started a campaign on the Saturday night of the new Kansas City Air Races.Right in the sacred Big Bar,this unlimited man embarked upon a series of machinations.
The teams had received their show money.Mickey Rupp had blown his engine in the hopes of winning this big purse.Sunday was going to be a huge show down with Dennis Sanders pushing Dreadnought harder than ever and Tiger was willing to go for broke on a repaired engine.
Still the campaign against the Dallas man continued."He doesn't have a good credit rating" the unlimited man whispered into another owners ear.Into the ear of the next he said that a man named Patrick Dial had a better plan,more dignified too.This went on until every owner and pilot had changed his allegiance away from the Dallas man,to whom they had pledged not two hours before in a meeting, to the seductive plan spearheaded by Patrick Dial.
And in the end we all know the outcome.Tiger won and took home 120,000,Dennis was second and took home 80,000,Rhino was third because Kevin couldn't hold a, him off, took home 60,000. And Pat Dial stiffed the whole class,and thanks to the unlimited man,we never got our 5 race circuit.
Greg Morse,the Dallas man.I remember.Good try,man.
But who cares.Tiger said he'd race for a case of beer,right?
Truthfully submitted as I saw it that night.Chris...

09-10-2002, 10:27 PM
What happened to Pat McGarry's post?

09-10-2002, 10:30 PM
I was just telling the "rest of the story" You were too nice and didn't mention any names. It was all true, guess the some can't handle the truth!


09-10-2002, 10:54 PM
Originally posted by Unregistered
I was just telling the "rest of the story" You were too nice and didn't mention any names. It was all true, guess the some can't handle the truth!

PM You guys play nice! You don't even post your name, come in here and slander one of the great men of the sport... Do NOT take this any further... Period!

Wayne Sagar