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  • Track has a PR Problem

    Unfortunately, the author seemed right on. What is your perceived view of the status of track and field (athletics) in Europe? Would a Bolt drug issue be a death knell there too? Gh- what is your view??

  • #2
    Re: Track has a PR Problem

    Track & field is not like football, in its various forms in several countries, nor other sports that have the emotional appeal of teams winning and losing for a city or school, but people who like track are used to that. It is a sport, however, which needs to promote itself better, so that, the sportswriters who habitually report it in negative terms will realize the historic and unending basic nature of competition among all people who run, jump and throw things.
    The article mentions:
    Originally posted by Tim Layden
    In the U.S., where track & field has long been delegated to niche status
    Originally posted by Christopher Clarey
    declining sport
    Originally posted by George Vecsey
    American local team sports are what “truly count” and that the Games are just “summer filler.”
    The writer is probably correct with respect to the US, but he is also painting europe in the same way, as far as I can tell. Is europe really getting as bad as the US with regard to the above quotes?

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by glimp5k
      Track has a PR Problem
      No slight to Mr. Glimp (nice name, by the way! ), but this subject matter has been done to death here, and I in particular have been dressed down repeatedly for suggesting it's a 'PR problem'. The sport's American demise has several insurmountably problematic causes, none of which are amenable to 'PR' fixes. My solution (targeting the HS huddled masses) has also been pooh-poohed, so I think this is also one of Daisy's dead horses, for which the cane has already been broken!

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Marlow
        so I think this is also one of Daisy's dead horses, for which the cane has already been broken!
        Man, you have a memory like an elephant. I've beaten this horse before? But in light of the new article on the home page, maybe this horse is reborn?

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Daisy
          Originally posted by Marlow
          so I think this is also one of Daisy's dead horses, for which the cane has already been broken!
          Man, you have a memory like an elephant. I've beaten this horse before? But in light of the new article on the home page, maybe this horse is reborn?
          So we're beating a stillborn colt?! Ewwwww!

          Comment


          • #6
            I'll weigh in in a way I've weighed before.

            USA T&F needs to come up with some bigger promotional ideas (web 2.0 concepts and otherwise) as to how to promote track and field positively. And this doesn't mean the standards 2 minutes segment we see every time on NBC when a meet in in the US and athletes go to visit a local school. "Don't do drugs and believe in yourself...yada yada yada..."

            I've mentioned Spike TV and Ultimate Fighting as an incredible success story. Here's a sport derided as exhibition of violence Coliseum style. They put on a TV show (Ultimate Fighter) that shows how hard the athletes train and illustrate how it's not just bar fighting, there's a real science to it. And next thing you know the UFC is one of the hottest tickets in town. Ask any high school football player about it- I'll be you a high percentage of them wants to fight in the UFC.

            Reality can be very sexy and very compelling. It's the reason why they show "Up Close and Personals" on TV meets instead of showing, well, instead of showing the actual meet. But we're all so exposed to reality TV shows, that little Hallmark glitz pieces aren't enough.

            Who (well,here anyway) wouldn't want to watch a Reality TV series following Clyde Hart training camp while also following the Oregon runners. Call it the Long and the Short of It. (or something like that). Maybe the show doesn't get on cable right away, so put it on the web and let it grow...

            The Dallas Cowboys did a reality show where they got one kid a shot at being on the Cowboys training camp squad. He's not gonna make the team, but suddenly, everyone wants to know about him. Imagine if the show showcased world class athletes.

            Anyway - my 3 cents.

            Comment


            • #7
              I'd bag what's left of the indoor circuit (except to keep Millrose and Nationals)and replace it with a small league of teams with a short season, sort of like World Team Tennis.

              Comment


              • #8
                @BCBaroo-

                You have to have a product people want, in order to dump millions of dollars into a promotional campaign (atleast the one track and field needs). The way the sport is setup, its not particularly fan friendly, its more athlete friendly. There are lot's of people who attend track meets and only come to watch 3 or maybe four events, I have always been an advocate of making professional track more 'team' oriented.

                This would make sprint/distance/throws/jumps fans pay more attention other aspects of the spot. We need more HIGH profile meets in the states, and they need to condense the meets..........3 hours is way to long.

                Just a couple my thoughts. I have more.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Aside from the Reebok meet, Millrose, Tyson, and Nat'ls what indoor meets (other than collegiate meets that will allow open athletes) available for elite athletes? Most don't compete indoors even with the $25K Visa prize as an incentive. I agree w/ Halfmiler, scrap the indoor season and focus on outdoor & cross-country.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I don't think it's necessarily a PR problem. To me, the problem stems from the inability of the average viewer to believe any of the performances they're seeing due to the history of doping, as well as the lack of true star power outside of Bolt. I'm sure you noticed the uptick in interest when athletes like Bolt are mentioned (when is the last track T&F was on the cover of Sports Illustrated?), so perhaps it's just a matter of not having enough marketable elite athletes. That, to me, is a much stickier problem.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by nbonaddio
                      I don't think it's necessarily a PR problem. To me, the problem stems from the inability of the average viewer to believe any of the performances they're seeing due to the history of doping, as well as the lack of true star power outside of Bolt. I'm sure you noticed the uptick in interest when athletes like Bolt are mentioned (when is the last track T&F was on the cover of Sports Illustrated?), so perhaps it's just a matter of not having enough marketable elite athletes. That, to me, is a much stickier problem.
                      Thats a PR problem nik, well maybe more an image problem, but you can directly link that back to PR.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Track has a PR Problem

                        Originally posted by Daisy
                        Track & field is not like football, in its various forms in several countries, nor other sports that have the emotional appeal of teams winning and losing for a city or school, but people who like track are used to that. It is a sport, however, which needs to promote itself better, so that, the sportswriters who habitually report it in negative terms will realize the historic and unending basic nature of competition among all people who run, jump and throw things.
                        The article mentions:
                        Originally posted by Tim Layden
                        In the U.S., where track & field has long been delegated to niche status
                        Originally posted by Christopher Clarey
                        declining sport
                        Originally posted by George Vecsey
                        American local team sports are what “truly count” and that the Games are just “summer filler.”
                        The writer is probably correct with respect to the US, but he is also painting europe in the same way, as far as I can tell. Is europe really getting as bad as the US with regard to the above quotes?
                        I am not sure about Europe Daisy as I have never been there... but, assuming that the writer is tapping an American point of view in his article (a fair asumption given the numerous references he made to US track officials, other US sports, and US sports journalists throughout the article), I think he avoided painting the European market for the sport with the same brush when reading between the lines.

                        What I do find mildly coincedentall is the echoing of a charge I made in that locked thread yesterday on the state of track and field and my theory on why it doesn't seem to be as popular as newer sports have been. Interesting

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by guruof track
                          @BCBaroo-

                          You have to have a product people want, in order to dump millions of dollars into a promotional campaign (atleast the one track and field needs). The way the sport is setup, its not particularly fan friendly, its more athlete friendly. There are lot's of people who attend track meets and only come to watch 3 or maybe four events, I have always been an advocate of making professional track more 'team' oriented.

                          This would make sprint/distance/throws/jumps fans pay more attention other aspects of the spot. We need more HIGH profile meets in the states, and they need to condense the meets..........3 hours is way to long.

                          Just a couple my thoughts. I have more.
                          Great idea! And I say that not just because that's what is done in Jamaica. Ok... thats its pretty much the primary reason... but if something works why not adapt it?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by nbonaddio
                            I don't think it's necessarily a PR problem. To me, the problem stems from the inability of the average viewer to believe any of the performances they're seeing due to the history of doping, as well as the lack of true star power outside of Bolt. I'm sure you noticed the uptick in interest when athletes like Bolt are mentioned (when is the last track T&F was on the cover of Sports Illustrated?), so perhaps it's just a matter of not having enough marketable elite athletes. That, to me, is a much stickier problem.
                            Yet the average baseball fan still watches baseball - a sport strife with doping allegations right now. I just don't get why people can't see what a HUGE role vested interest and loyalty in a TEAM of athletes competing against other teams of athletes with their own vested fans can play in amping up interest in the sport. It works in every single other sporting model!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by mor'fiyah
                              Yet the average baseball fan still watches baseball - a sport strife with doping allegations right now. I just don't get why people can't see what a HUGE role vested interest and loyalty in a TEAM of athletes competing against other teams of athletes with their own vested fans can play in amping up interest in the sport. It works in every single other sporting model!
                              Unfortunately, it's been tried with the track club model.

                              While races are pretty straightforward to understand, it's the field events that can become quite tricky. How to fit field events in with races would be the trick if the team concept were to be re-embraced.

                              Comment

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