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So Bolt might command $200K per meet?

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  • So Bolt might command $200K per meet?

    That was gist of story that was posted to the front page over the weekend. Wonder if Z├╝rich, long about the heaviest hitter, will be among those willing to pony up that much. (willing = able in this case)

    <<..The head of the Swiss Banking Commission said he did not rule out that UBS AG might need more government aid to survive the financial crisis, a daily newspaper reported Sunday..>>

    UBS, of course, is the Weltklasse's angel of long standing.

    Let's see where the gnomes' priorities lie.

  • #2
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/25/sport ... ds.html?hp


    G.M. and Woods Drive Their Separate Ways

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    • #3
      In the Old Economy, maybe $200K, but in the New One? Can't see it.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Marlow
        In the Old Economy, maybe $200K, but in the New One? Can't see it.
        I agree. I suspect it wouldn't take many non invitations before Mr. Bolt lowered his rate.

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        • #5
          In other Bolt news, he says he doesn't plan to run the early Golden League meets and will instead prepare for the Worlds. While I understand where he's coming from, this is precisely what's wrong with track and field.

          The most popular athlete in the sport refuses to run!

          The sport needs more of Bolt, not less, especially during a non-Olympic year. Again, he's doing the right thing from a selfish standpoint by protecting himself from possible injury (not as common as most think) and from tiring out, but he certainly isn't serving the sport well. Why not compete in more meets but just run one event, such as the 100? Surely he won't be "tired out" from such a short event.

          And you wonder why track will never get major exposure or respect from print or broadcast companies.

          It reminds me of boxing, where the best fighters "save" themselves for the money bout. They fight once, maybe twice a year, whereas Ali and Holmes and Smokin Joe and Norton fought 5-6 times a year. That's why boxing is dead and why track, if not dead, is on life support.

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          • #6
            VIP yes and no.
            There should be more of the stars, but this is not why track is suffering.
            Track suffers from poor marketing and presentation. The 2 are related and linked.

            Until folks stop talking about the usual suspects and start recognizing the absence of basic marketing needs, we will continue to suffer.
            Track is full of "when you get it we will pay attention". From fans, to agents, to journalists, to TV exec, to federations, this is the prevailing mantra and it has served no point to the overall health of the sport. As you stated we need more Bolt. Yes we do, but we should be beyond riding one person. Not because they may be flawed, which is another usual suspect, but because the sport is far too diverse and international to survive on such a premise.

            I have no problem with him skipping some meets especially the Golden League because that too needs some revamping and retooling. We need better marketing to get what everyone is always wanting, money and fame. Without it, we will continue to chase our tails.

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            • #7
              I've been hearing "poor marketing" for 30 years.... hard to believe that nobody in the sport has ever hired anybody who knows anyting about it... c'mon! It's a bloody tough sport to do right, that's the problem.

              But the Bolt situation goes to what I said on the other Golden League thread about the season being too long. Tough to expect people in most events to be at top of their game for as many months as it demands.

              And w/ Bolt holding back on his services, we're once again heading to the same danger zone that U.S. track had w/ Carl Lewis in the '80s: public perception is if your meet doesn't have Bolt, it's not worth much. (see Woods, Tiger)

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              • #8
                Hey Smoke, I see where you're coming from, but before you market, you must have something to market to the masses.

                Badminton, for example, can have the best marketing on Earth ... but if the people don't want badminton, they won't come!

                The sport of track and field needs stars, transcendant stars, and Bolt is one of them. He's like Carl Lewis. He can get folks, who otherwise wouldn't give track a moment's thought, to buy tickets or turn on TV. And yes, it's not all about Bolt, but he's the biggest star. If Bolt competes than maybe the audience will recognize others as well.

                Trust me: if track had about a half-dozen Bolts, it could market itself.

                Before you market, you must have something to market!!!

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                • #9
                  The meet organizers already tried to lure him by making his event part of the Golden League $1 million Jackpot for 2009. Which might possibly be the last chance to get that prizemoney relatively easy, because of the planned Golden League format changes and expansion after 2009.

                  But if he really expects to get paid $200.000 per meet, he could probably earn that amount in just 5 meets.

                  From his point of view though I think it's probably smart not to risk his physical health, by wanting too much too soon. It will help his longevity as well.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by gh
                    And w/ Bolt holding back on his services, we're once again heading to the same danger zone that U.S. track had w/ Carl Lewis in the '80s: public perception is if your meet doesn't have Bolt, it's not worth much. (see Woods, Tiger)
                    And yet, there are plenty of golf tournaments that do not have Woods, Tiger, but do have good sponsors, television, and substantial prize money. Tiger is a major plus, to be sure, but golf doesn't seem to be entirely dependent on him.

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                    • #11
                      No, but it's all a matter of scale. A PGA event that's half as "big" without Tiger is still many X as big as the biggest track meet.

                      Golf tournaments can afford downsizing; track meets can't.

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                      • #12
                        In re:

                        Bolt running in the early GPs.
                        Those meets may need him, but the question is, does he need those meets? No. End of discussion. It's his career to manage.

                        T&F's marketing 'savvy'.
                        The IAAF is indeed trying, but I see very little evidence that USATF is. My own 100 track team kids only know what I tell them. There is NO other avenue of communication to them. Meanwhile they know all about the other 1st and 2nd tier sports. We have become so marginalized that a Big Push is necessary and I just haven't seen it. We've done it to ourselves. If and when the NFHS and the NCAA and USATF and IAAF want to so something about the ONE MILLION HS kids who actually run track here every year, THEN we'll see some progress. You ask why should the IAAF care about USA HS kids? Because they COULD be a huge source of fan interest and they're not.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by gh
                          But the Bolt situation goes to what I said on the other Golden League thread about the season being too long. Tough to expect people in most events to be at top of their game for as many months as it demands.
                          Hear, hear. Follow NASCAR and the PGA and have your big payoff series over a short period of time at the end of the season.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Mighty Favog
                            Follow NASCAR and the PGA and have your big payoff series over a short period of time at the end of the season.
                            ?? More people watch the Masters (and now TPC too), which is early in the season.

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                            • #15
                              True, and more people watch the Olympics than any series the IAAF will come up with. But more people watch late-season golf and NASCAR than ever used to, and that's what we're hoping for: a series of meets that merits attention.

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