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Thread: For the Record...A Clarification to All

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    San Marcos, CA

    Default For the Record...A Clarification to All

    Recently I was contacted by a fellow AAFO'er who expressed some concern about the manner in which RARA manages non-team vendors and race teams as it relates to selling merchandise.

    I'm most certainly NOT the subject matter expert on such matters so I referred him to folks at RARA who could answer his questions and clarify how RARA deals with such matters. I put him in touch with two people at RARA HQ who, after receiving his email regarding this, offered to hop on a call to discuss. To everyone's credit that call happened the next day and the issues have been addressed and clarified. Kudo's to all concerned (AAFO'er and RARA) for regarding this as worthy of a prompt meeting.

    Specifically, there was some misunderstanding regarding the way RARA charges non-team vendors and race team who engage in selling their merchandise. RARA has established a system whereby non-team vendors (e.g. those behind the grandstands and a select few in the pits) have the option of paying (i) a fixed fee or (ii) a percentage of sales to RARA as a commission, which RARA is entitled to as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

    The misunderstanding came from the fact that many people believed that RARA also charges the teams who sell merchandise the same fixed fee or percentage of sales as they do non-team vendors. That is not the case. The only money collected from team sales is the Nevada state sales tax, as required by law. Teams retain all proceeds generated from the sale of their merchandise. While RARA could, should it choose to do so, charge a similar fee to teams as they do non-team vendors, they do not as they believe it fosters a productive and collaborative relationship.

    Just thought it was worthy of posting as there have been a few blogs on AAFO regarding this matter in the past and it's always a good thing to investigate such things and correct misunderstandings.

    Again, thanks to the AAFO'er who brought this to RARA's attention in a professional manner and to RARA for taking the inquiry seriously and responding accordingly. Well done all.
    Last edited by Air Boss; 02-21-2019 at 10:16 AM.
    Owen Ashurst
    Performer Air Boss - Reno Air Races

  2. #2

    Default Re: For the Record...A Clarification to All

    Good to know. Thanks! As I read this, I'm wearing a Precious Metal shirt purchased in the pits a couple years ago.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2013

    Default Re: For the Record...A Clarification to All

    Awesome to hear they support the racers in this way. I know for a lot of teams t-shirt sales help make the week work.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2004

    Default Re: For the Record...A Clarification to All

    Well done by all as a lot of people in the pits thought that RARA got part of the profits that the Air Race Teams were selling. Now if you could only get free beer in the pits with the purchase of team plastic cups & team Sani-Hut tickets..
    Lockheed Bob

  5. #5

    Default Re: For the Record...A Clarification to All

    This creates an interesting loop hole that could really benefit teams (and it exists in spite of RARA being aware of it, so great to seem them supporting the teams like this). You have a non-team vendor that normally sells shirts or toys behind the stands and pays sales tax and a percentage to RARA. Now an enterprising race team can offer to sell that vendor's merchandise in their pit. The vendor gets to keep more of their money and in exchange they give for a sponsorship (equal to or less than the amount normally paid to RARA). The attendee still gets to buy the souvenir, the vendor gets to increase their profit margin, and the team gets a sponsorship.

    This would seem like a bad deal for RARA, however, if these vendors are supplying exclusive items that cannot be purchased in the general area, that creates a stronger market for buying pit passes. So if played the right way this could potentially raise even more money for RARA as well!

    Also (you got me on a roll now) this really increases the pool of potential sponsors. Because now the teams have something worth offering. And the vendors don't even have to be racing related. Think of all the vendors at Oshkosh. Each of those vendors could now sponsor a team to gain access to this loophole. And we always hear about how hard it is for the unlimiteds to raise money, but this arrangement benefits the unlimiteds the most (if they take advantage of it). The unlimiteds are the closest to the grandstands and they get the most foot traffic. Therefore they should be able to get the best deals from vendors and sponsors.

    If you know any vendors that sell souvenirs, restaurants with gift cards, folding chairs, shirts, portable battery packs, etc. then get them in touch with a team. Because this is a great marketing deal!
    "young" Thomas

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