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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Re: Track gets no respect

    I agree that the events are tough and require great skill. It's just that they aren't sexy enough, and I think metric's is partly to blame.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Re: Track gets no respect

    While there is certainly a valid argument that there are too many events, I'm not sure that's what is killing public interest. To me, it is the inconsistency of the events run at major meets. Those who have even a basic understanding of track and field expect a meet to consist of events like the 100, 200, 400, 800, 1500/mile, hurdles, hj, lj, pv, etc.... So, this person is naturally confused when he or she looks at the results of recent Golden League or GP meets and sees that different events were run at each.

    If I attend a meet (or, in the uncommon event that a meet is televised), I want to see a full-slate of events. Not just the few events the IAAF has designated as grand prix events for the upcoming year.

    Yes, the 100m is a bit different than the 200m. Likewise with 200/400 or 800/1500 or 1500/5000, etc. Each event requires a slightly different set of skills to be successful. That's what makes the sport interesting. Can the runner who blew the field away in the 400 do the same in the 200? Will the 1500 runner hold up as well at the longer 5000 race?

    No sport makes perfect sense and many spectators have trouble adjusting to the nuances of that sport. The key is to make the sport interesting to people.

    >I love track and field, but I think the metric
    >distances are killing public interest.
    >100,200,400,800,1500,3000,5000,10000, etc.etc.
    >ad nauseam. It is like watching binary code in
    >your computer......after awhile it becomes
    >meaningless. A 2 hour Marathon or a sub-4 mile
    >has meaning to the public, can we say the same
    >about a 3:42, 1500?

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  • jlanza
    replied
    Re: Track gets no respect

    At the risk of sounding like John Housman, you earn respect and you do that from the ground up. The leadership of track in this country has missed the opportunity to build interest and participation from the youth level on up. I said it in another thread - which "commissioner" of any sport in this country has juristiction from the youth to the pro level? None. So why does the leadership of USATF (Masback et al) try to attack this problem from the top down, i.e. trying to get more uninterested, sedentary adults to watch taped meets? Why not start with the kids and build fromt he ground up? Masback has the luxury of being able to take the strategic view with little fear of losing his job. Rather than being tactical (its not working anyway) he needs to approach this from the grass roots level.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Re: Track gets no respect

    I love track and field, but I think the metric distances are killing public interest. 100,200,400,800,1500,3000,5000,10000, etc.etc. ad nauseam. It is like watching binary code in your computer......after awhile it becomes meaningless. A 2 hour Marathon or a sub-4 mile has meaning to the public, can we say the same about a 3:42, 1500?

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Re: Track gets no respect

    Here's a question many of you could answer : We all complain about USATF's leadership, so what can we do about it? I assume that USATF membership includes a chance to vote for representation. If so, should all of us bellyachers join up and vote for those who wish to push the elite level into the national spotlight?

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Re: Track gets no respect

    I agree we Americans love our relays and to not showcase such fine meets as the Texas Relays and Mt.SAC is horrible. We could have a nice package of meets in the early spring to the early summer.However sports channels like ESPN and others need to step up and commit to this sport, because the sports they are showing right now are no where near as watchable to me as track,with the exception of baseball.

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  • gh
    replied
    Re: Track gets no respect

    Blacklilly hits it on the head with the comment about the availability of channels. Note that even ESPN2, if her figures are right, has only an 80% pentratation.

    Problem is that even if you get the money to get a new venture up and running, you also need to convince your local cable operator to carry it.

    I get something on the order of 60 channels on my basic cable, but i can't even get such popular ones as Comedy Central or the History Channel, for example. So if a track channel came available in my area, what do you think the chances are that my operator would bounce something else to get it ahead of Comedy/History/Turner Classic Movies, etc., etc?

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  • blacklily
    replied
    Re: Track gets no respect

    >Track and field's leadership over the last 15
    >years has gone to the dogs. Even Craig Masback
    >(that's right, I said it!). If I'm a track
    >marketer, I'm putttin' the US's biggest meets,
    >Penn, Texas, Mt. SAC and Pre, right in people's
    >faces. How is it that a meet which is 110 years
    >old (Penn) is still unknown to people in NYC,
    >which is only 90 miles from Philly (trust me,
    >there are people in New York that have never
    >heard of Penn Relays). Only in track. Peace.
    >

    PS--The people who run Penn have made their
    >meet better over the years, too. And USATF
    >doesn't have a clue of what's going on.

    You're right. America's biggest track meets with significant elite participation aren't part of USATF's Golden Spike Tour! Not even Penn Relays, & it's on television.

    http://www.usatf.org/events/2003/Golden ... eets.shtml

    Backward strategy. Penn Relays, Texas Relays, Drake Relays (which is the same weekend as Penn), & Mt. SAC Relays should be added to the Tour.
    They would certainly boost USATF's attendance figure claims, & attract more sponsorship. They should've been added before USATF created meets such as the Oracle U.S. Open & the Home Depot meet. The relay meets are what make the U.S. season unique from any other country's season, & obviously there's interest there. Follow the feet!

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  • blacklily
    replied
    Re: Track gets no respect

    >Isn't a cable channel accessable to anyone w/ the
    >right dish/hookup? Wouldn't their be enough
    >people around the world that would tune in or
    >subscribe? A track and field cable channel would
    >be so great. They have the food channel, golf
    >channel, weather channel, c-span...maybe it could
    >happen. I would pay extra to get it...would you?

    It depends on the cable channel's distribution system. For example, the Outdoor Life Network is only available to 40% of Americans. I think ESPN (but not ESPN2) is available to about 80% of the populace.

    The issue would be to get enough investors to get the project off the ground, not to mention attract enough advertisers to keep it running. Subscribership alone won't pay the channel's bills. E.g., investors put up $80 million to get the Golf Channel off the ground. That's more than the IAAF's own budget, & let's not discuss USATF's budget. The Tennis Channel had $50+ million before it launched. The money is just not currently there in track & field.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Re: Track gets no respect

    Track and field's leadership over the last 15 years has gone to the dogs. Even Craig Masback (that's right, I said it!). If I'm a track marketer, I'm putttin' the US's biggest meets, Penn, Texas, Mt. SAC and Pre, right in people's faces. How is it that a meet which is 110 years old (Penn) is still unknown to people in NYC, which is only 90 miles from Philly (trust me, there are people in New York that have never heard of Penn Relays). Only in track. Peace.

    PS--The people who run Penn have made their meet better over the years, too. And USATF doesn't have a clue of what's going on.

    Leave a comment:


  • 400guy1
    replied
    Re: Track gets no respect

    Isn't a cable channel accessable to anyone w/ the right dish/hookup? Wouldn't their be enough people around the world that would tune in or subscribe? A track and field cable channel would be so great. They have the food channel, golf channel, weather channel, c-span...maybe it could happen. I would pay extra to get it...would you?

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Re: Track gets no respect

    A monthly TV show might work - a "review of the month" show with film & commentary of major highlights, an interview or two, one historical piece (say, evolution of WRs in an event, with film clips?), and finishing with a preview of next month. Plenty of time to assemble it, and a viewership of all hardcore fans. Would it work?
    Just one show, at the end of each month.It could be on network channels (but maybe kinda late at night...)

    Leave a comment:


  • blacklily
    replied
    Re: Track gets no respect

    A track cable channel in the U.S. can't happen until track gets more popular in the country. With low TV ratings, who would invest the hundreds of millions minimum needed to launch such a channel? Who would buy ad time to keep the channel operational? I don't even see such a channel being profitable in Europe right now.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Re: Track gets no respect

    Maybe USATF should get their own cable channel.Model it after the golf channel.Maybe then we could see a complete 5000,10000 or steeplechase covered.Also maybe we could see all 6 rounds of a javelin,shot,discus,hammer,long jump or triple jump competition.I don't want to forget the pole vault and high jump getting more airplay as well.I know track has to try and keep the attention of fans of other sports so that is why you can only see complete races of a mile or shorter.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Re: Track gets no respect

    Right on, it's all about marketing. But everyday people like us (not the ones paid to do the marketing) can be the reason T&F blows up and gets huge. Go read a bookg called "The Tipping Point" and you'll see what I'm talking about.

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