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  • #31
    Originally posted by guruof track
    I don't think the drop off is from PEDs, thats my thing. I think its from lack of household names and characters. Usain Bolt has flare about himself, the other sprinters, not so much.

    When you look at sprinters int he past they had major personalities, Mo Greene, Ato Bolden, Carl Lewis, Marion Jones, Donovan Bailey, Marie Jose Perec. Those personalities are missing right now. Its not PEDs and the scandals IMO.
    I do think that PEDs have their role in the drop off, not entirely the reason. Fans still hold onto their feelings about this, which affects the PR aspect of this. So when the next big bust happens and it will, there will be repercussions as a result of it, more putting out of fires, etc.

    I don't think we can compare the fan base of baseball with track & field, apples & oranges. But certainly there was this disdain when the association of PEDs came to light. Now people simply wait for the next name to be released from the list, they have come to expect it, really from the numbers that have been put up and to some extent, that atmosphere is in track & field as well.

    Again the status quo isn't working for track & field, fresh, new fans aren't coming out, do they really TRUST track & field or are they simply waiting for the next wheel to fall off?
    on the road

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    • #32
      Shorter meets...more college duals.

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      • #33
        I'd agree...while the PED discussion is occurring, the most glaring spotlight on the sport right now is the lack of charismatic individuals, rivalries, and electricity.

        While I'm all for a U.S.A versus Jamaica event showcasing the best...outside of that and possibly the Golden/Diamond League (whatever you want to call it) and a major international championship, what does the sport showcase? Especially here in the States which underscores the need for a major international championship (not necessarily the Olympics) to take place.

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        • #34
          Originally posted by Speedfirst
          I do think that PEDs have their role in the drop off, not entirely the reason. Fans still hold onto their feelings about this, which affects the PR aspect of this. So when the next big bust happens and it will, there will be repercussions as a result of it, more putting out of fires, etc.
          Maybe a little, but I think its overblown. How many of the past men 100 meter record holders have been busted or associated with PEDs? What about Olympic 100 meter Gold medalist? (Lest start from 1968, because losts of people believe thats the last clean Olympics). It didnt make fans less receptive.

          People need a story line to follow, they need a hero and a villian. Right now people either have a hero and no villian or a villian and no hero. In the 80s we had the cold war and the US hated the Soviets and vice versa, it was a compelling story line (look at Rocky 5 if you don't believe me )

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          • #35
            Originally posted by ndamix
            I'd agree...while the PED discussion is occurring, the most glaring spotlight on the sport right now is the lack of charismatic individuals, rivalries, and electricity.

            While I'm all for a U.S.A versus Jamaica event showcasing the best...outside of that and possibly the Golden/Diamond League (whatever you want to call it) and a major international championship, what does the sport showcase? Especially here in the States which underscores the need for a major international championship (not necessarily the Olympics) to take place.
            I think because the professional athletes garner the spotlight of the sport and as such the good and the bad comes with that, is why fans really have whatever perception they have about the sport.

            As we see it, Europe doesn't have the problem with promoting the sport. Here in the U.S. the powers to be aren't going to shake the apple cart. They understand the stars of the sport are the ones who push the sport, those stars are making money. Please believe, if the powers to be here in the U.S saw a glaring need to push the sport in the U.S., they would.

            They understand what they are up against here in the U.S., with respect to competing for the affection of fans here. They have choosen not to pick that battle and to pick other battles.
            on the road

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            • #36
              Originally posted by guruof track
              Originally posted by Speedfirst
              I do think that PEDs have their role in the drop off, not entirely the reason. Fans still hold onto their feelings about this, which affects the PR aspect of this. So when the next big bust happens and it will, there will be repercussions as a result of it, more putting out of fires, etc.
              Maybe a little, but I think its overblown. How many of the past men 100 meter record holders have been busted or associated with PEDs? What about Olympic 100 meter Gold medalist? (Lest start from 1968, because losts of people believe thats the last clean Olympics). It didnt make fans less receptive.
              People need a story line to follow, they need a hero and a villian. Right now people either have a hero and no villian or a villian and no hero. In the 80s we had the cold war and the US hated the Soviets and vice versa, it was a compelling story line (look at Rocky 5 if you don't believe me )
              Hardcore fans are gonna follow the sport, it is so much easier for core sports like baseball, basketball and football to attract a casual fan without much PR work.

              The fact that track & field has to be concerned about PR, is a problem. Again part of the PR problem is outta sight, outta mind (Olympics) every 4 years. The casual fan really doesn't consider the world's as something they put on their calendar/schedule to watch.

              I know some hardcore fans who didn't get caught up in worlds this year, their interest in the sport is slipping.
              on the road

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              • #37
                Problems I have with track:

                The big names don't race each other often enough. Football/Basketball/Baseball/Golf/Tennis fans get to see the best go head-to-head almost every week during their season. We are lucky if the best race each other every month. Outside the 100h of course.

                The track season is too long. Sometimes there is a month between 'good' meets. Do you seriously think you can keep an audience with a one-month break in season!

                The US coverage of the meets are TERRIBLE. I just watched a meet where they showed almost the entire 5000 race (no record attempt or anything) and then showed the last 100 meters of the women's 400 (where Sanya ran one of the fastest times in several years) and the last 100 meters of the mens 400 (where Jeremy was defeated again by Merritt, but Jeremy is a very recongizable figure). This happens all the time. Once they even showed only the last 50 meters of a 100 meter race. Are you serious! The casual fan clicking through channels would stop to see the 100 or 400 well before they will stop to watch the 5000. I could go on and on about how the TV coverage alone is killing the sport.

                'Drug' positives do hurt the image of the sport, but its not stopping people from following or watching the sport. I watch with casual fans (never ran track) and they think all the sprinters are users. It hurts when we get positives for little stupid stuff that won't make much difference and don't help long term like minor stimulants. I understand some can be used to hide real steriod use, but not all. So I think the rules of what is illegal need to be simplified to only those things that ARE steriods or can be used to hide a steriod. But other stimulants are ok. Perhaps they should give a list of things you CAN use. But Inger and Torri (and Carl?) have been tarnished over stuff that is no longer illegal.

                I have more, but it would be a 3-page paper if I continued.

                I should add that TEAMS would be much more fun. Otherwise you only care about 2 races. But when you care about the team outcome then every race is important. Think of how exciting the NCAA's are. Or how much MORE attention you pay to other events b/c of people who are on your IAAF/USATF team.

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                • #38
                  Re: Track has a PR Problem

                  Originally posted by mor'fiyah
                  Originally posted by Daisy
                  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, I think he avoided painting the European market for the sport with the same brush when reading between the lines.
                  This was the comment that made me think he was painting a broader brush.

                  Layden also pointed out that the capacity crowds in Berlin only occurred when Bolt was running (although attendance was generally strong) and that if he turns out to be not clean it will be “fatal” to the sport. One basic theme of the piece was that Bolt is the savior of a lame sport.
                  But then we see Zurich and Brussels sell out. Was the Berlin attendance all that bad? Bad enough to think that an interest in track and field is waning in Europe too?

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by Speedfirst
                    ndamix....as PR is considered, I know this discussion has taken place in the past as well, making PED's legal. If the current format cannot be or isn't adopted to attract more fans, than the status quo remains.

                    Track may have to go the way of WWE/WWF wrestling, we see the popularity in that sport.
                    Do you think it would be a problem when, in a free for all of PEDs, you have a number of high profile American distance runners die in their sleep from excessive red blood cells or women who end up like Andreas Krieger?

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                    • #40
                      People seem to forget that the night of the first sellout in Berlin featured not only the Men's 200m final, but the final of the Women's High Jump, as well.

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by Ned Ryerson
                        People seem to forget that the night of the first sellout in Berlin featured not only the Men's 200m final, but the final of te Women's High Jump, as well.
                        No one is forgeting that or disputing that. But do you think more people came to Bolt run or Vlasic jump? Honestly?

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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by Ned Ryerson
                          who end up like Andreas Krieger?
                          Just out of interest is she the sole case? If there was systematic use of steroids in the 70's and 80's wouldn't we have seen more examples of this? We have discussed this before but never resolved whether there is a real correlation with PED's.

                          Originally posted by guruof track
                          But do you think more people came to Bolt run or Vlasic jump? Honestly?
                          Probably they were there to see Friedrich, right?

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                          • #43
                            [quote=guruof track]
                            Originally posted by "Ned Ryerson":3g31u766
                            People seem to forget that the night of the first sellout in Berlin featured not only the Men's 200m final, but the final of te Women's High Jump, as well.
                            No one is forgeting that or disputing that. But do you think more people came to Bolt run or Vlasic jump? Honestly?[/quote:3g31u766]

                            Neither. Maybe half for Bolt. But I'll bet that a lot of those tickets were sold for Arianne Friedrich, soon after she had an impressive win in Berlin two months prior to Worlds. You couldn't have asked for a better promo.

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by Daisy
                              Originally posted by guruof track
                              But do you think more people came to Bolt run or Vlasic jump? Honestly?
                              Probably they were there to see Friedrich, right?
                              Humour me. ops:

                              I can tell you that looking at the meet, and having personal friends at the meet, Friedrich didn't get the same reaction as Bolt. I understand people were there and they were going to support her because of their patriotism (imagine that, probably a bunch of trolls ), but Germans had been competting the whole meet and only one day sold out. And lets just be VERY frank, the HJ doesnt sell tickets.

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                              • #45
                                [quote=guruof track]
                                Originally posted by Daisy
                                Originally posted by "guruof track":1o5tg2pz
                                But do you think more people came to Bolt run or Vlasic jump? Honestly?
                                Probably they were there to see Friedrich, right?
                                Humour me. :|[/quote:1o5tg2pz]
                                You think more were there for Vlasic?

                                The reality is the local fans looked to see what events were on when deciding which days they would attend. It is likely they thought the chance of cheering on a potential German gold medalist in combination with a chance to see Bolt was a good bet.

                                Obviously Bolt was a draw but this IS a three ring circus.

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